A lot of people hate Tom Brady.
A lot of people hated Jeff Gordon...and still do.
Hate is easy.
Respect is hard.
People look at Tom Brady and see a good looking, very skilled player that wins. A lot. He's very, very good at what he does. After all, he took a team that hadn't been to the playoffs since 2007 and took them all the way to the Super Bowl and won it. In their own stadium. In the middle of a pandemic. In his first year.
You don't do that unless you are very, very good at what you do. In fact, it's never been done before. Ever. In history.
Which brings us to Jeff Gordon.
I remember when he first entered NASCAR. He was young, good looking, had a full set of teeth and could enunciate. He was everything that NASCAR wasn't. People hated him for it.
Jeff was also very, very good at what he did. That made people hate him even more. People thought "he hasn't earned his dues" and "that punk kid needs to earn his way up".
Jeff would go on to win four championships and be one of the greatest that ever raced in NASCAR.
What is it about us that we hate good looking, successful people? I mean, nobody hated Terry Bradshaw that I remember. But then again, this is Terry Bradshaw:
We relate to him. He looks more like us. And he's far from perfect. His throwing motion can best be described as a soldier circa 1917 desperately trying to get rid of a hot hand grenade that had just been thrown into his section of the trench.
Nobody hated Dale Earnhardt either that I'm aware of. Even people who rooted for other drivers gave a great deal of respect to Dale. Then again, this is Dale:
We relate more to him too. He never really dominated his sport, but he was very good at it.
I have a grudge against Tom Brady for one reason: He engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to defeat my Atlanta Falcons. We Atlantans still wince any time that game is mentioned.
But in the end we have to give respect where respect is due:
Tom Brady is, hands down, the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
Don't think so? Well, Tom has 7 Super Bowl rings now. SEVEN. The next closest competitor?
Charles Haley. A defensive end. He has 5.
The next closest quarterback is Joe Montana. He has 4. Nobody I'm aware of ever really hated Joe Montana, and he was very, very good at what he did. But then again, this is Joe Montana:
So lighten up, people. Stop hating guys that look better than you do, that are better than you are because not only were you never that good, you were never that good looking either.
In short, put a sock in it.