Via Michael David Smith at The FanHouse:
NFL reporter John Clayton just made a rather stunning comment on ESPN Radio: According to Clayton, the ankle injury suffered by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is serious enough that if the Super Bowl had been yesterday, Brady wouldn't have played.
So that means that if the NFL had decided to schedule just one week off between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, Brady would have finished one of the greatest seasons in NFL history by standing on the sidelines and watching his undefeated team play the Super Bowl without him. What would the Patriots' offense look like without Brady? Would the Patriots even be favored to beat the Giants with Matt Cassel under center?
Okay - let's everybody just take a second to breathe. In...out. In...out. In...out. There you go. Now we're ready to talk about this clearly and rationally...
Are you fucking kidding me, John Clayton? You actually think that if the Super Bowl had been played last night, Tom Brady would have hung out on the sidelines and hoped for the best? Really?
I don't have the same sources as reporters such as yourself and Chris Mortensen, but I can say with approximately 1,000,000,000% certainty that if the Super Bowl had been held immediately following the AFC Championship Game, and instead of a high ankle sprain Brady's right arm had been detached completely from his body, he still would have played in the game. Left-handed. To paraphrase Dan Hawkins, "THIS IS THE SUPER BOWL! IT'S THE NFL! IT AIN'T INTRAMURALS!"
Four reasons Brady would have played under any and all circumstances:
1) Philip Rivers played in the AFC Championship Game without an ACL. Do you really think Tom Brady would allow himself to live in a world in which he was considered less tough than Philip Rivers?
2) His backup, Matt Cassel, backed up two Heisman Trophy winners at USC (never starting a game at quarterback there) and has attempted 39 passes in three NFL seasons. He's one of the few people who envies the amount of playing time Jim Sorgi gets. Do you really think Tom Brady would allow himself to live in a world in which he guides the New England Patriots to an 18-0 record, then decides to throw Matt Cassel a bone and let him play? Let me answer that: no, he would not. He would sooner give Cassel a weekend with Gisele than a start in the Super Bowl.
(That said, how awesome would The Matt Cassel Story be if he backed up Carson Palmer, backed up Matt Leinart, backed up Tom Brady, started and won the Super Bowl to cap a perfect 19-0 season, then went back to backing up Brady for the rest of his career? Not to venture too far into Dan Shanoff "instant history" territory here, but that would automatically qualify him for the most amazing career ever.)
3) If the turnaround time had been one week instead of two, the initial treatment would have been a wee bit different. Basically, TMZ never would have caught Brady and the boot in New York because he would have been in Foxborough with the Patriots training staff, doctors, orthopedists, psychics, faith healers, shamans, witch doctors - anyone and everyone who could have had him ready to play in seven days.
4) Bill Belichick is having way, way too much fun fucking around with the media for this to actually be a serious injury. Have you seen the way his face lights up every time he does a press conference or interview and says that the injury report will be out on Wednesday? He's positively giddy. I'm convinced the man has never had more fun in his entire life.
Okay, I'm done. Back to enjoying Clayton's overall body of work and working on the screenplay for The Matt Cassel Story while waiting patiently for the game to start.