The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.14: One Way or Another

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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Nothing seemed to stir within the valley. Snow had assaulted the American northeast and the valley was stacked with blankets of snow. The sheer volume of the powder absorbed all the random sounds that usually bounced off the edges of the valley. When the sky finally stopped sprinkling its icy seasoning, the clouds were driven to the west by a high pressure system that brought both bright blue skies and a precipitous drop in temperature. The championship parade was supposed to be today, but the cold temperatures had persuaded Patriots leadership to postpone the festivities. The Quarterback understood the logic, but thought it was unnecessary. The Lombardi Trophy had returned for the first time in a decade. The fans would have come. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.13: The Edge of Salvation

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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He stepped out of the tunnel. There was no fanfare this time. That remained for Sunday—when the pyrotechnics, noise, flags, revelry, and brands would all descend upon this single site for a single moment in a spectacular clash of activity. For now, The Quarterback was lucky that the field was even illuminated inside University of Phoenix Stadium. The lights were hardly brilliant, but they were enough. Brady moved to the edge of an end zone, his feet gently stepping into the white. He took a breath and then a step. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.12: The View from the Mountaintop

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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Lightning flashed across the panoramic windows that stood to the right of The Quarterback. He was still lying in bed, his shoulder blades straining to dig into his immaculate mattress and find the sleep that had proven so elusive. As he rolled to his side to face the window, the thunder arrived unimpressively. It rumbled and then trailed off, like the sky was unable to adequately clear its throat. The Quarterback smirked. “Try again, thunder,” he thought. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.11: Return to the Depths

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

Tom-Brady-Chronicles

 

The Quarterback turned the handles in his deluxe bathtub to the right, first the cold water and then the hot. The stream of water ceased pouring out of the shower faucet on to his hair. As the last of the water trickled out the faucet, he slowly returned from his hunched position to his full upright posture. He ran his fingers through his luscious locks, freeing pockets of water that were trapped in thick caverns of hair. To and fro, his fingers shook through his hair until he was adequately satisfied. He brushed the shower curtain aside. His shoulders shivered slightly as the cool air infiltrated his fortress of steam, but he soon tentatively stepped on to the plush mat outside the tub—exiting the tub with the same quickness he brought to drills on the agility ladder.

By no means were his eyes blinded, but The Quarterback was surprised by how much brighter the bathroom walls appeared after the solitude in the shower, the alabaster tiles shining aggressively like a neon sign but without the aggressiveness. He grabbed his large towel off the bar to his left. With his considerable wingspan, The Quarterback had always favored over-sized towels, and this thick, brown towel stretched from his shoulders to his knees. While ensconced in his towel, Tom Brady dried himself as fast as he could. He wanted to stop the mild shivering as quickly as possible. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.10: Under the Cover of Darkness

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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The enormous bonfire leapt into the cold night air as if it, too, was trying to flee the freezing temperatures. The flames jumped straight into the sky, straining to escape the frigid outskirts of Bristol, Connecticut and fly directly into the tender embrace of the Sun. The flames cast shadows around the flaming pile of logs, casting various shades of black where the logs met the grass. A black pan sat upon the top of the fire, attached to a stick that traversed the entire fire. The pan was empty except for a bit of moisture that made a vicious hiss in its exposure to heat. [Read more…]

Requiem for Boise State: Has the College Football Playoff Come too Late for the Little Guy?

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

“Boise State, tonight, steps on to the national stage playing the role of David, trying to take down Goliath.”

“Why not give Boise State the shot at Ohio State, the shot at Florida? This game, tonight, will further the cries of the underdogs of the world wanting a national championship playoff format.”

~Thom Brennaman
January 1, 2007

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Moments after its inception, those advocating for the death of the Bowl Championship Series began rattling their sabres. In its third season, one-loss Miami was denied the chance to play undefeated Oklahoma for the national championship in favor of a one-loss Florida State whose lone defeat came at the hands of the Hurricanes. The very next season, Nebraska wound up in the national title game despite ranking fourth in the human polls. The end of the 2003 season featured a contested national title between LSU, which defeated Oklahoma in the title game, and USC, which finished atop the AP poll. The next season, undefeated Auburn was denied a shot for the national title, while undefeated Utah was stuck with thrashing Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. That 2004 season ended with both Auburn and Utah unbeaten, ranked second and fourth respectively in the final poll. Controversy became the hallmark of the BCS and sometimes was the allure. Opponents of the BCS rejoiced in the chaos precipitated by a Saturday filled with shocking defeats for the nation’s elite teams, hoping that a lack of consensus about which two teams were the best would hasten the advent of a playoff. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.9: Time and Time Again

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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The Quarterback stood at the counter, surveying three tall glasses filled nearly to the brim with what could charitably be called green sludge. He was intentional in his examination of the sludgies. He maintained casual chit-chat with his two guests sitting behind him at the grey, granite-topped island, but his focus was on the complexion of his drinks. After another hard look, he sprinkled just one more dash of seaweed flakes into each glass. He stirred the flakes in, took a final sniff, nodded satisfyingly to himself, and turned to serve the drinks to his guests. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.8: Ride On

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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The Quarterback approached the line of scrimmage. He walked towards both the 18-yard line and an inevitability—a touchdown at the end of the first half. The noble Patriots trailed the San Diego Chargers 14 to 13, but The Quarterback was nonplussed. Certainly, he felt the Patriots had thoroughly outplayed the Chargers throughout the first half. This one-point deficit was simply an inaccurate numerical representation that this close-of-half touchdown would rectify. He relayed the play call he received from churlish Coach Bill to his teammates, but only after he quickly imagined the play in his mind. He liked it. Bill was coach but Tom was Quarterback. Coach usually knew best, but he should always consider well-thought advice from The Quarterback. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.7: When the Abyss Stares Back Into You

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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The Quarterback poured a large splash of red wine into LeGarrette Blount’s nearly empty glass. The Quarterback, Blount, and Gisele were all seated in the living room of the Brady-Bundchen mansion. The Quarterback and Gisele had planned to celebrate Thanksgiving alone, not feeling up to hosting or attending a large gathering. The allure of minimizing social interactions proved to be too appealing. The couple settled on having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by themselves, turning the typically formidable menu into a very manageable dinner for two. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.6: To Flicker or to Burn

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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The Quarterback wiggled his toes. They were wrapped in thick wool socks, the grey kind with little pills popping out of them. The pills were designed into the socks—they were not lint— and The Quarterback enjoyed the texture. His toes were pointing towards the ceiling, his heels resting on the pop-out footrest of his recliner. The Quarterback loved his fine socks. While the temperature had dropped precipitously, Tom Brady enjoyed feeling warm and secure in his definitely-not-humble abode. Nothing like miserable conditions outdoors to make you love your personal indoors even more. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.5: The Taste of Crow

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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Tom Brady reclined his head all the way back on the cushioned headrest of his lounge chair. Clutching a cold Fresca that was safely ensconced in a koozie, The Quarterback surveyed the assembled guests in his enclosed porch. Although winter-like conditions had come to New England, the large climate-controlled porch at the mansion of The Quarterback defied the outdoors. He had not attained control of the outdoors yet, but he could at least artificially generate the outdoor conditions he desired whenever he wanted. He felt very American. [Read more…]

The Tom Brady Chronicles 2.4: The Slalom

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

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Rob Gronkowski leapt out of the bed of his Toyota Tundra holding four skis—two in each arm. They were massive but Gronk handled them like they were pathetic little inflatables that college students whacked together to distract free throw shooters. He scooped them up in one fell swoop and jumped out of the truck without even lowering the gate of the bed. He landed like a lynx, turned to face The Quarterback, tilted his head towards the woods behind him, and said, “I am Gronk.”

The Quarterback had nothing but a football in his right hand and lots of questions. He was dressed in standard wilderness trail garb—a hoodie, jeans, and hiking Uggs. Tom Brady had been prepared to spend his Tuesday afternoon in the film room at the Patriots’ practice facility. On the off-day that he never took, The Quarterback figured he would spend his free time on film study since the four weeks since the debacle in Kansas City had given him no reason to question his throwing accuracy and timing. Gronk had other ideas.

He followed The Quarterback into the film room, shouting “Gronk” while shaking his head vigorously. Wildly gesticulating towards the door and his Toyota Tundra, Gronkowski refused to allow his quarterback to sit. The Quarterback adamantly refused to acquiesce. This only infuriated Gronk to the point that he began throwing lose objects around the room. Still, The Quarterback stood unfazed, erroneously believing that the hurricane in front of him was but a pop-up shower. Only when Gronkowski threated to rip the video console out of its wall mount and presumably throw it all the way to Cape Cod did Brady relent and board the Gronk’s Tundra.

Wordlessly, they drove. Brady was struck by how anxious Gronkowski was behind the wheel. His driving was wholly unremarkably except for his hunched up shoulders that seemed to gravitate towards the windshield and the vice grip in which his two massive hands held the wheel. His facial expressions, however, were constantly neutral. The frenetic Gronk had been replaced by this serene, hunched Gronk. [Read more…]