Tom Brady is the most loved or the most hated player in the NFL. Depending on who you ask. The folks of New England seem to think he's the greatest human being to ever live and many of their fans will make you feel like the villain of the earth if you dare say anything about him that isn't positive.
But the non Brady fans question how anybody could love the four-time Super Bowl champion. He is married to the world's biggest supermodel, he lives in a fancy mansion, he always wins, he beats most NFL teams frequently, he models for Mens Uggs, and he gets referees to call a penalty any time he asks for it.
So there are two sides of Brady people in this world. You're either a Brady lover or a Brady hater. And in the NFL, it seems to be split. The players either love him or they hate him. There is no in-between. Here are the eight players who love the guy and seven who hate him.
15 Love: C.J. Anderson
The Denver Broncos running back has to love facing Brady. He's been part of a Denver team that has eliminated Brady twice in the AFC Championship Game. And nobody forgets his game-winning touchdown in the Mile High City Snow during the Week 12 meeting between these squads last year.
Anderson always plays well against Brady-led teams, but he also has made it clear how much he respects the Patriots legend. After Denver took down New England in the AFC Championship Game last year, Anderson said how Brady inspired him so much and credited him for being able "to fight and prove everybody wrong you belong in this league."
Anderson posted a nice photo of the two meeting at midfield after the game, and there's no doubt that the running back credits Brady for a large part of his own success.
14 Hate: Eli Manning
Eli Manning and Brady haven't necessarily trash-talked each other, but it's clear that every time they face off, they feel like they have to win this game. And it's easy to see why when you look back on their history.
The first time Eli and Brady faced off was Week 17 of the 2007 season. The Patriots narrowly pulled off the first-ever perfect 16-0 regular season. The two teams met a short few weeks later in Super Bowl XLII, where Manning and David Tyree ended their bid for 19-0 by becoming Super Bowl champions.
Then before the 2011 season, Manning said he belongs in Brady's class of the elite quarterbacks. In Week 9 of that season, the Giants shocked the Patriots, handing them their first regular season home loss in three years.
Then they met in Super Bowl XLVI, where the Giants beat the Patriots to once again become Super Bowl champions. Then they met in Week 10 of last season, but the Patriots would win on a last-second field goal.
These two are always in the other person's way when it comes to success.
13 Love: Von Miller
Von Miller loves playing Tom Brady. In last year's AFC Championship, he had 2.5 sacks and an interception that set up Denver's second touchdown of the game. Miller also sacked him in overtime of last season's Week 12 meeting, setting up Denver's win.
There are plenty of players the Patriots have had an answer for over the years, but Miller is not one of them. He simply owns Brady, so in many ways, he has to love playing against him. However, Miller has also talked about just how much he respects Brady, as he refuses to trash talk the star quarterback:
"Some quarterbacks feed off that stuff. Tom Brady, if you start talking trash to him, he'll put 21 up on you fast. So I just try to do my job -- get in and out before they even know what happened."
Well, there you have it. Miller loves to play Brady and he respects the guy.
12 Hate: Darrelle Revis
Darrelle Revis may have won Super Bowl XLIX with Brady and the New England Patriots, but make no mistake. The rivalry will forever be linked between these two. Revis Island gave Brady trouble for seven years before Revis returned to the Jets last year. Brady had to face the Jets while Revis shut down his favourite options, from Randy Moss to Wes Welker to Rob Gronkowski to Julian Edelman, among others.
When the Deflategate investigation implicated Brady, Revis, who had recently returned to the Jets, showed zero sympathy for his former teammate, who he had just won a Super Bowl with:
"But if (the NFL) feels he did the crime or he did something and they want to penalize them, then that's that. (The Patriots) have a history of doing stuff. You can't hide that.… Tom was there when they did that stuff in the past.""
Revis also talked about their problems with Spygate and how they've been playing it dirty for so long. It seems as though he was happy to get his ring, but once he returned to New York, all of that love was forgotten fast.
11 Love: Rodney Harrison
The former Patriots star safety was Brady's teammate for six years, where they won a pair of Super Bowls together. If Rodney Harrison didn't let David Tyree make that phenomenal catch in Super Bowl XLI, we' be talking about three rings and the perfect season together. But Harrison has since enjoyed a job as an NBC analyst on Sunday Night Football. For those of you who watch regularly, we know just how much Harrison loves showing his Patriots bias.
Ever since Brady was implicated in DeflateGate, Harrison has said over-and-over again how Brady was out to scare the NFL and terrorize them and come back all angry. I'm sure every player would from a suspension, but Harrison seems to single out Brady from everyone else.
Harrison also said he's "never seen anything like Brady's sustained level of play." I guess Harrison hasn't watched Peyton Manning either. Then again, that guy played with Brady. No wonder he loves being biased towards him so often.
10 Five Hate: Charles Woodson
The career and legend of Tom Brady would go nowhere without Charles Woodson. If you don't remember, Woodson hit Brady and forced him to fumble when the Raiders visited New England in the 2001 AFC Divisional Round. The fumble sealed an Oakland victory, but then the refs reminded us of this stupid Tuck Rule. It was considered an incomplete pass, and Brady went on to win that game. And the Super Bowl. And three more after that.
Chances are, none of that happens if the fumble holds up. Woodson talked about how he respects the guy, but that he's still hurt by the call. Woodson has maintained that it was a fumble, an he claims that he's the reason Brady is married to Gisele Bundchen and why he's won four Super Bowls.
9 Love: Drew Brees
When you're among the NFL's most dominant quarterbacks ever and you've played in the same generation, you're going to respect each other. Drew Brees and Tom Brady's stats are remarkably similar. As of this writing, here's how they stack up:
Brees: 5,481 completions, 62,172 yards, 438 touchdowns.
Brady: 4,953 completions, 58,028 yards, 428 touchdowns.
Brady's stats would be much closer if he didn't miss virtually all of 2008 with a torn ACL and if he wasn't suspended the first four games of 2016. Brees has talked about how much he's respected the Patriots legend:
"“I certainly have a ton of respect for him and what he’s been able to accomplish and how he’s gone about doing it. This is a guy who came in the league as a sixth-round pick, and his first time being able to start resulted in a Super Bowl year, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Now this is going on Year 17 for him, Year 16 for me, so again, I know how thankful I am, how appreciative."
Brees and Brady, along with Peyton Manning, will be remembered as the three best quarterbacks of this generation. So it's only fitting that all three would respect each other.
8 Hate: Antonio Cromartie
Antonio Cromartie played with the New York Jets in two different stints. Cromartie joined the Jets when big-mouth head coach Rex Ryan fueled a rivalry between the Jets and Patriots. These two teams met in the 2010 AFC Divisional Round and there was absolutely no love lost between both squads.
Cromartie called him an "a**h*le," and said that "We don't really give a damn, to tell you the truth." Cromartie made it clear before their playoff matchup he had no respect for Brady, and the Jets got the last laugh. Prior to a Week 5 meeting during the 2011 season, Cromartie "dared," Brady to throw in his direction. Cromartie would end up with an interception in that game.
Brady handled Cromartie's remarks with class, laughing it off while claiming he had been called worse. But Cromartie made it extremely clear how much he feels about the Patriots quarterback.
7 Love: Wes Welker
Wes Welker was a little-known punt returner with the Miami Dolphins in 2006. The next year, he was a New England Patriot. Welker became the NFL's top slot receiver, as he put up five seasons with 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in New England. He became a star and helped the Patriots reach two Super Bowls, though they would lose in both.
When Welker left the Patriots to join the Denver Broncos in 2013, Brady was apparently enraged and felt "pierced in the heart." The two had a very special bonding and Welker is without a doubt the best receiver Brady ever had for the longest time.
Even though it's been four years since they last played on the same team, Welker and Brady practiced football together while Brady served his four-game suspension, since he wasn't allowed to be around the team. Sounds like these two will always be close.
6 Hate: Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis said a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about Brady in his career. Lewis was known for being a brash trash talker, but he also knew when to congratulate and respect his opponents when it was warranted.
However, you have to assume that Lewis had a generally distaste of Brady. He said Brady "is only known," because of the Tuck Rule. During the 2011 AFC Championship Game, Brady slid for a first down and almost kicked Lewis along the way. The two got into a verbal confrontation.
During a 2009 meeting, Brady drew a controversial Roughing the Passer penalty, and Lewis said Brady "is a man," and said he was barely touched on the play. Well, the Baltimore Ravens and Patriots were two AFC Heavyweights during Lewis' career. It's easy to see why there was so much tension with these two.
5 Love: Julian Edelman
You're probably getting sick of all the Patriots on here. After all, it does become somewhat obvious. However, it's really hard to find guys who love Brady, given how much his Patriots usually dominate most teams.
Any who, there is no doubt Julian Edelman and Brady are tighter than most teammates. Edelman described losing Brady to suspension was "like one of your buddies going to jail." Edelman, like Welker, was a little-known receiver on the Patriots until Brady turned him into a stud slot receiver. These two would be nowhere without one another. Edelman was Brady's hero in Super Bowl XLIX, catching the game-winning touchdown. Edelman even said that "Brady is the man's perfection."
There is no denying these two have a real strong relationship. Both of them are big characters, so they mesh well off the field, not just on the gridiron.
4 Hate: Terrell Suggs
As we talked about on the Ray Lewis slide, the Ravens and Patriots really hate each other. Terrell Suggs is one of the NFL's biggest trash talkers, and has taken every shot possible at the Patriots. After Baltimore beat New England in the 2012 AFC Championship, Suggs told them "To go have fun at the Pro Bowl, those arrogant mother f***ers."
With the NFL also changing rules to protect quarterbacks, Suggs had THIS to say about Brady, who many believe inspired the changes after tearing his ACL in 2008:
“So I guess those other quarterbacks’ knees don’t count. Everyone just seems to worship the guy so much. Not me, though.”
Suggs has also called him "the pretty boy up north," called their first three Super Bowls "questionable," and voted for Ryan Fitzpatrick over Brady in the 2010 Pro Bowl. Let's be honest, Fitzpatrick is not on Brady's level. At all.
3 Love: Rob Gronkowski
Would Gronk, who is a freakish athlete, be this great without Brady? It's hard to know for sure. But without question, this is the best and most popular teammate Brady has ever had. The two don't just dominate on the field, but their relationship away from football is one of the most entertaining for fans.
For April Fool's Day, Gronk posted a hilarious photo of Brady while number 12 slept peacefully. Brady also sent Rob Gronkowski a number of hilarious photos to celebrate his birthday. The two have dressed up in iconic fashion together while going out to events as well.
Some athletes always play well together, but their personalities don't always align. Right Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal? Gronkowski and Brady are the two faces of the Patriots franchise, and they seem to be best friends off the field, too.
2 Hate: Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman kickstarted this fun rivalry after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Patriots in Week 6 of the 2012 season. Sherman shared a meme on Twitter of him saying to Brady "You mad, bro?," after the game. Then, it was a fan delight to see the Seahawks and Patriots face off again in Super Bowl XLIX.
Leading up to that, Sherman said that Brady was calling his Seahawks "nobodies," back in that 2012 meeting. Sherman also said Brady gets this royal golden boy treatment and no one gets the bad side of him. Boy, none of us can disagree on that.
Sherman and Brady had a classy meeting on the field after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Oddly enough, Sherman actually defended Brady after DeflateGate, saying the punishment wasn't fair.
1 Love: Peyton Manning
These two gave us the greatest one-on-one rivalry in the history of sports. 17 meetings. Five of them in the playoffs. A total of seven NFL MVPS and six Super Bowl championships to go along with countless records. Yup, Manning and Brady orchestrated a rivalry for a lifetime.
But the two actually are close friends in real life, believe it or not. When leaked messages came out where Brady said Manning was almost finished, the latter brushed it off as a fun joke. Manning called Brady "his friend," after DeflateGate. When he broke Brady's record for most touchdowns in a season back in 2013, Manning said Brady would "probably break it" the next season.
And if you read Gary Myers' awesome book, Brady vs Manning: The Untold Story of the Rivalry that Transformed the NFL (must read, by the way), you get a better idea of their relationship. Brady and Manning would spend time together in the offseason. Their wives are close friends. No doubt these two will stay close for as long as they both live. That's something Manning and Brady fans can always smile upon together.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!