Actor Ben Affleck has gone on quite the press tour over the past week to promote his new film The Way Back. It’s a story about an alcoholic who seeks redemption through his work as a high school basketball coach. Because of the sports component of the film, Affleck made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
Affleck is a knowledgeable sports fan, so he did not shy away from the debate. When the topic turned to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Affleck didn’t hesitate to defend the quarterback while making an ESPN commentator look foolish.
Ben Affleck is one of the most famous Boston sports fans
Affleck was born in 1972 in Berkeley, California. After his parents split, Affleck and his siblings moved all the way across the country to Cambridge, Massachusetts. This shaped Affleck’s life in many ways, including his sports allegiances.
He became a rabid New England sports fan, supporting all New England sports teams. Affleck’s breakout film was Good Will Hunting, a Boston-based drama he co-wrote and appeared in alongside friend and fellow actor Matt Damon.
How strong is Affleck’s New England sports fandom? Consider this story from the set of the film Gone Girl, which Affleck appeared in. During a scene where his character is attempting to evade attention, the script called for him to disguise himself by wearing a baseball cap.
When the production team suggested Affleck wear a Yankees cap with the team’s signature interlocking NY logo, Affleck didn’t just refuse. He threatened to shut the production down rather than don the hat of the Red Sox’s greatest rival.
The history between Ben Affleck and Tom Brady
One of the perks of being one of the biggest stars in the world is getting to rub elbows with some of your favorite athletes. Both Affleck and his friend Damon have become friends of Tom Brady’s over his years as the quarterback of the Patriots. Affleck and Brady have even taken private jets together.
The two even text occasionally, but while the two are somewhat close, apparently they aren’t close enough for Brady to reveal his destination for next season. When Affleck texted Brady about his plans for next season, the star signal-caller responded with an enigmatic shrugging emoji.
How Ben Affleck defended Tom Brady and makes ESPN commentator look foolish
Affleck’s appearance on First Take was marked by his eloquence and sports knowledge. While he is definitely biased towards Boston teams, he clearly knows what he’s talking about it and has educated, informed opinions.
When talk turned to Tom Brady’s future, ESPN commentator Max Kellerman took the opportunity to blast Brady. Kellerman pointed out that Brady was on the decline. He also brought up previous reports that Brady engineered Jimmy Garoppolo’s trade to San Francisco. Affleck did not hold back in his response:
“You should write fiction. Nothing you said has any basis in fact, is supported by any evidence, it’s just your imagination of what Tom did…it’s nonsense. He didn’t want to get rid of Garoppolo. He’s not threatened by Garoppolo….there’s no one who’s going to show up and take Tom Brady’s job until he wants to leave.”
Affleck’s commentary outs him as something of a “homer,” but he’s not completely wrong. While reports did say Brady was unhappy with Garoppolo and Belichick’s potential future plans for him, it’s hard to argue that the Patriots would be better off with him at quarterback.
More impressive is the way Affleck verbally throttled Kellerman, who argues professionally every day. ESPN may have a seemingly endless array of sports debate shows meant to stir up arguments with experienced pontificators. But, Affleck held his own and delivered a solid put down.