To some extent, Tom Brady has earned a free pass from criticism; while there’s always room to critique an athlete’s performance, it’s tough to have too many issues with someone who’s won six Super Bowl titles. After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams, however, Shannon Sharpe felt like he had to call out the legendary quarterback.
Sharpe’s issue, however, wasn’t with Tom Brady’s disappointing statistical performance, though. Instead, he targeted TB12’s postgame behavior.
Tom Brady has an impeccable resume that usually earns him a free pass
No matter how deeply you delve into NFL history, few men have a better resume than Tom Brady. That reality, as you might assume, has also earned the quarterback some perks.
While the quarterback entered the league as an anonymous sixth-round pick, fate had other plans for him. After Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in 2001, Brady took over the offense. He, of course, held down the starting job until the end of the 2019 season, winning six Super Bowls and three NFL MVP awards along the way.
Based on that resume, Brady has earned quite a bit of social capital over the years; whenever he’s seen yelling at teammates on the sidelines, for example, it’s written off as ‘leadership’ or holding others to a high standard. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians even went on the record saying that he has no problem with the quarterback being himself and exploding from time to time.
Failing to shake hands after a defeat
Given that the best athletes are fearless competitors who live to win, it’s understandable that they’ll be a bit salty in defeat. Based on what we see on the field, it’s safe to assume that applies to Tom Brady, too.
The quarterback’s behavior made headlines earlier this year when, after a defeat to the Chicago Bears, Brady failed to shake hands with Nick Foles. While that might seem like a relatively minor offense, especially during a pandemic, it still raised a few eyebrows. Quarterbacks usually shake hands, if hug and share a few words, on the field after the game; Brady, however, headed straight to the locker room in defeat.
While many were quick to label Brady a sore loser, he told the media that he didn’t mean to ignore anyone.
“I didn’t even think about that,” Brady said, according to CBS Sports. “I think Nick Foles is a hell of a player and a Super Bowl champ and I don’t know one reason or another why I wouldn’t do that. Sometimes I’ve run off of the field, sometimes I haven’t. Sometimes if I have a personal relationship like I have with Drew [Brees] and Justin [Herbert] and Aaron [Rodgers] over the years… I don’t know.”
Shannon Sharpe calls out Tom Brady for another missed handshake
On Monday night, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered another disappointing loss. After the game, however, a new handshake-related controversy began.
After the final whistle, ESPN’s cameras showed Rams quarterback Jared Goff and his teammates walking onto the field to exchange pleasantries with the Buccaneers. At the same time, though, Brady seemed to be heading toward the locker room; he and Goff never crossed paths.
“I guess Brady doesn’t know Goff well enough to shake his hand after losing,” Sharpe wrote. “Yet, he knows every qb after he wins. Brady is full of what the elephant left on the show ground. His attitude is bulljive and it’s time to call his A** out on it.”
Whether you believe Tom Brady is simply wearing his heart on his sleeve or being a sore loser is a matter of personal taste. Whenever he fails to shake hands, though, you can be sure that Sharpe and others will call him on it.