Brady may be the most polarizing player in the NFL when it comes to how fans view him
Whenever Tom Brady does decide to call it a career, fans are then going to have to find something else to argue about for he is one of the most polarizing figures in professional sports. Some fans love him. Some fans hate him. Both have reasons that are justifiable.
While there are plenty of reasons to love the quarterback who's won a record seven Super Bowls (with five MVP awards) and been named NFL MVP three times, there are just as many (if not more) reasons fans hate the future Hall of Famer. Whether or not they are rational is completely up to you.
5. Media bias
Both sports and politics have always carried impassioned feelings and partialities, but the difference with politics is that you can find a news channel that matches your views. It’s impossible to find one outlet in the mainstream that doesn’t gush over Tom Brady after almost every game. If you're a Patriots or now, Buccaneers fan, you still beam with pride when that happens. If you're not, this praise wore thin a long time ago.
4. The Patriots machine
The Patriots have dominated the 21st century with a revolving cast of characters and a technocrat's approach to the game. The only two constants have been head coach Bill Belichick and Brady. If you are not from New England, the hatred comes naturally since the Patriots probably cost your team a shot at greatness at some point. This season, if you were a New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, or Kansas City Chiefs fan, you probably were not able to rationally appreciate what Brady was able to accomplish with a new team.
3. Privileged life
Many theologians have said that the worst pain we can imagine is our own. That is true. It is hard to understand and feel suffering throughout the world that we have never experienced. It's also hard to empathize with a dude who has seven Super Bowl rings and is married to a supermodel when he gets verklempt about being drafted in the sixth round. But when Brady broke down discussing it during "The Brady 6" documentary in 2011, it came across as tone-deaf and made many fans roll their eyes every time they heard how he overcame adversity.
One strategy for coaches and players is to complain to referees during the game with the hope that it sways future calls in your favor. However, when you seem to do it after almost every play as Brady does, it becomes exhausting for the refs and the viewers at home.
Countless articles, at least 10 books, and one documentary have been produced on Deflategate so I'm not going to dig into the case because I think we can all agree that Brady handled it in a manner that rhymes with sushi. In addition, it brought up all the bad memories of the Patriots and their success, i.e. Spygate and the Tuck Rule. If you asked fans if all of it should truly mar Brady's success, their honest answer would, "Probably not, but why does he have to be so smug about it?"
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.