Tom Brady is having a great year. His 2014 NFL season ended with a first round bye, Super Bowl title, and Super Bowl MVP trophy. He also won a car, but decided he didn't need it and gave it to a rookie teammate. You know your life is going pretty great when you can just give a free car to a random coworker. He didn't stop there, however. He just posted a video showing himself jumping off tropical cliffs into a waterfall. It scared all the Patriots fans to death, but he was clearly having a blast. Weeks later, he made an April Fool's Day post of him in a body cast. It's good to be the NFL's golden boy, right?
Well, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Being on top means that haters are always going to take their shots at you. It's not just this year, either. Tom Brady has been leading a Super Bowl quality team at quarterback for 15 years. That's plenty of time to fill out a great roster of Brady-haters. It also helps that Brady has found himself at the center of so many controversies over the years: Tuck Rule, Spygate, and its absurd cousin Deflategate. Does everyone love to hate Brady because of these? Or are these why everyone loves to hate him?
When you're the best, though, you attract the best of haters. It's not only former opponents in the NFL or even coaches that lost to him. There are Hall of Fame players, celebs, and civilians not even in the football business that have slammed Tom and his hair over the years. Don't feel bad for Mr. Brady, though. He can console himself with his model wife, Super Bowl trophies, MVP trophies, and most of all - the $10 million he's been getting yearly just from football. Here are the best disses and dissers.
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15 Ray Lewis
Even though Ray Lewis' Brady diss happened in 2015, it's still a good one to start with since it goes back to Brady's beginnings. Ray Lewis is a Hall of Famer, two time Super Bowl champion, and his words still carry some weight. "The only reason we know who Tom Brady is, because of a tuck rule,” Lewis said back in January. The Tuck rule was the controversial ruling that helped Brady win his first Super Bowl all the way back in 2001. It had nothing to do with the other Super Bowls and MVP seasons! The fact that it's still brought up 15 years later tells you how much it still angers Brady's haters.
14 Terrell Suggs
After following Ray Lewis for so many years on the field, it's not a surprise Terrell Suggs also followed Ray Lewis off the field in his frothing hatred for Brady. Suggs said this about Tim Brady, in an E:60 interview in 2013: “I don’t like him. He don’t like me. I don’t like his hair." Well, that certainly clears things up. And this wasn't his first run in with Brady - there was also animosity after a 2010 loss to Brady's Pats: “[Brady] just better hope that he doesn’t see us again.” Unfortunately, both teams lost in the division round before the rematch could take place.
13 Justin Bieber
I know, I know. Justin Bieber is the worst, but him taking Tom Brady to task for his hair is just too ironic to leave out. His viral video from 2010 raps "Sacked like a sacker. Call up Mr. Brady. Tell him to leave his hair to the guy who sings 'Baby.'" Justin doesn't have the best grasp of how football works (sacked like a sacker?), nor how rhyming works (Brady does not rhyme with Baby, sorry), but this is a pretty good rapping diss. And it's also one of the favorite Brady targets of mine - his luscious hair. Although, it can't be ignored that since 2010 Bieber has gone from disser to dissee, if the latest Comedy Central Roast is any indication.
12 Daniel Tosh
Professional comedian is really not far off from professional insulter, so maybe it's a little unfair to place Tosh on here. However, there's a certain eloquence of phrase to calling Tom Brady "Dilfer with hair plugs." That's just what Tosh said in a YouTube video monologue shortly after the Patriots latest Super Bowl win. He also ran down the entire Pats' organization and owner Robert Kraft. He also brings up the "one good season" line, which is really rich in 2015 when Brady has almost enough Super Bowl rings to fill a hand.
11 Plaxico Burress
Plaxico has been a mess since his Super Bowl win following the 2007 season. The WR was run out of the NFL after a handgun and accidental shooting arrest, and only made 48 receptions after his arrest. But those troubles haven't stopped him from firing shots! On Twitter, while discussing hockey (don't ask), he dropped this quote:
Go PENS! I make guarantees. Been there done that. And I WIN! Ask Tom Brady
— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) May 8, 2014
We love this because it's based in fact. Plax caught the game-winning touchdown to give Brady his first Super Bowl loss.
10 Denver Bar Owner Sean Workman
This one comes from a private citizen, but it qualifies based on how very public and brazen it is. Prior to a 2014 playoff game between the Denver Broncos and Brady's Patriots, Workman updated his Denver bar's outside marquee to read: "Brady Wears Women's Underwear." Making it even richer, Workman is actually a Boston native. You have to respect that dedication to capitalism - insulting his hometown hero just to make a few bucks off of the mental image of Brady wearing his wife Gisele's Victoria's Secret best. Four days after the sign went up, the Broncos beat the Patriots for the first time since 2009.
9 Antonio Cromartie
No one likes to lose to a division rival. Especially when it's 45-3. Jets CB Antonio Cromartie went R-Rated to describe his feelings for Tom Brady after such a loss in 2010. When asked what he thought of Brady- "An (expletive). (expletive) him." It's pretty easy to fill in those blanks. Fiery Jets coach Rex Ryan (more on him later) would refuse to discipline one of his star defenders. Brady simply replied later to a reporter that "I've been called worse." Cromartie would go on to have a quiet game, but his Jets did beat Brady's Patriots that year to avenge their huge loss.
8 Donovan McNabb
Even the best former players can turn into blithering idiots when they become talking heads for sports television. Donovan McNabb was no exception after he left being a backup QB to join Fox Sports. After a bad Brady performance just this season, McNabb said if it didn't turn around, "rumblings will start that this could be Tom Brady’s last year in New England.” It's easy to look back and laugh at this when Brady went on to the #1 seed and Super Bowl MVP. This gets a little bit further up the list though just from being from a former QB, who have a little more leeway to criticize QB play than the average person. These are the type of overreactions Brady will always face when he has the rare stinker game. You can count on similar ones this year if the Patriots start 2-2 or Brady throws three INTs in a game in September.
7 Julian Edelman & Other Pats Teammates
The players that Brady leads and inspires to greatness probably know him best. Which is why it must have been doubly as insulting when the meme started up surrounding Pats players refusing to give Brady high fives on the sideline. It started just as a pure joke / viral picture or two, but did eventually go on long enough to become a real thing. WR Julian Edelman, one of the first players caught leaving Brady hanging, told him "I'm gonna find you next time" when asked about it. Some of the other disses have more cutting words, but a high-five left hanging in the air can be more vicious than a thousand words
6 The City of Buffalo
Most sports fans can agree that Buffalo deserves a break. The Bills lost four straight Super Bowls and constantly threaten to go to Toronto and the Sabres haven't been relevant in NHL in two lockout's time. So that's why it felt a little too mean when Brady said in an interview: "I don't know if you guys have ever been to the hotels in Buffalo -- they're not the nicest places in the world." Yikes. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and well, Buffalo knows about cold. U.S. Senator Schumer of New York shot back with this tweet: "Hey, Tom, why not ask Rob Gronkowski how great Buffalo is? Good luck getting him to catch your passes," referencing Gronkowski's hometown. Later on, a car dealership would join in the fun, buying a prominent billboard reading "Nice boots Brady" after his Uggs contract. Retribution is swift for A-list stars picking on small NFL markets that count population by thousands, not millions.
5 Eli Manning
When it comes to beating Tom Brady, Eli Manning might have the market cornered. His two Super Bowl rings came at the expense of loaded Patriots teams, including the undefeated and record-setting 2007 team. But he doesn't limit the hits to the football field. Many bristled in 2011 when Manning claimed he was an elite QB alongside Brady and Brees, but Eli threw some more indirect shade in the wake of the 2015 Deflategate scandal. He made headlines claiming it's "strange" Brady knows so much about his balls (hold the snickers). "I thought it was kind of strange that Brady knew he liked his ball at 12.5 pounds of pressure in the ball." We may never know how exactly the balls were changed and how much of an effect that it had on actual gameplay, but we definitely know everyone's stance on ball inflation.
4 Joe Montana
It must be devastating to get ripped by your sports hero after following in his footsteps for years. And it must be even worse when that hero does it publically before you're about to play in the Super Bowl. Just hours after Brady posted a 1983 photo of him in Montana's 49ers jersey, the Hall of Fame quarterback said the following about the Deflategate madness: "If it was done, it was done for a reason. There is only one guy that does it. Nobody else cares what the ball feels like.” That isn't exactly trashing Brady, but it's definitely not helping him out in the public eye. Montana cuts through the bullshit and correctly points out that IF anything bad happened, it has to go back to Brady, since no one else would care.
3 Rex Ryan
There could easily be a list of just the top 15 insults of Rex Ryan's career. His tenure as Jets coach overlapped with most of Brady's prime and they were constant enemies. One of his worst insults to Brady came, ironically, while he was trying to praise another quarterback: "Nobody studies like [Manning]. I know [Tom] Brady thinks he does and all that stuff. I think there's probably a little more help from [Bill] Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning." Ryan isn't the first person to infer that Brady is only great because of Belichick, but this is one of the most blatant and direct examples of that. This is going to continue on the field and off now that Ryan has taken the Bills' head coaching job, ensuring he'll be facing Brady twice a year for years to come.
2 Randy Moss
The likely future Hall of Famer only spent three seasons in New England (and only two catching from Brady), but that was plenty of time for the volatile WR to start some bad blood. Brady and Moss hooked up to break nearly every passing and receiving record in the 2007 season, but the relationship soured in 2010 despite three straight 1,000 yard season. Moss was abruptly traded to the Vikings. The diss wasn't meant to be public and has been denied by both sides, but I want the exchange to be true badly enough to include it here. According to Charlie Casserly, "Brady reportedly expressed disappointment with Randy’s behavior, and Brady told Moss that he should cut his beard. Moss responded by telling Brady to cut his hair, saying (per Casserly) that Brady looks like a girl." Grown men making tens of millions of dollars yelling at each other like eight year old boys is just the best.
1 Richard Sherman
Lots of people are good at football and lots of people are good at trash talk, but few are good at both. Richard Sherman is one of the BEST at both. He got a close-up look at Tom Brady in 2012 as a cornerback and wasn't impressed then: "I kept saying I'm going to get that next time, Every TV timeout, I went up and said it right to (Brady): 'Please keep trying me. I'm going to take it from you.' That was when they were winning. He just gave me that look and said, 'Oh, I'll see you after game.' Well, I made sure I saw him after the game." A tweet like Sherman's with the "u mad bro?" meme is masterful work. The perfect capper to the story? Sherman and Brady shaking hands in an iconic photo after the Patriots defeated the Seahawks in the Super Bowl just two seasons later. Sherman is one of the best showman of the NFL, showing swagger in his victories as well as graciousness in his (rare) defeats.
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