Monday, October 15, 2007

Can I hate Tom Brady?

Chuck, this post is for you.

I remember seeing both Drew Henson and Tom Brady play quarterback for the University of Michigan.
Brady played pretty well as a senior, but Henson had this rocket arm that was tantilizing. Unfortunately, Henson tried to play baseball for the Yankees but didn't get much of anywhere. He then tried to play for various football teams, including the Cowboys, but never really got his shot. One wonders what might have happened if he had skipped baseball and gone into the NFL as the number one pick in the draft, as he had been predicted to be.

At this point, it doesn't really matter. Brady was picked in the sixth round by the Patriots--an afterthought almost. And yet, shockingly, he has now won three Super Bowls. Yes, he has played on some great teams, and I at first discounted his success. But I have to say that he is now a truly great quarterback. Last night he shredded the Cowboys, throwing for 5 touchdowns, and having another touchdown called back. He absolutely sliced the Cowboys defense up one side and another. The only quarterback better right now is Peyton Manning. Romo may get to Brady's level in a couple of seasons, but right now, as great as he has been to watch, he is not there.

The unexpected success of Brady, with his 3 Super Bowl rings, his good looks, his dating of superstars, reminds me of that Oh, God, You Devil movie with George Burns, where a struggling musician signs a pact with the devil to become a huge rock star.

As I watched Brady, I had the thought flash through my mind, "I hate Tom Brady." I of course mean this in the most loving, Christian way, like when Jesus said that to follow him is to hate one's family. That meant in comparison to our love for Jesus, all else looks like hate. And in comparison to my "love" for the Cowboys, my view of Tom Brady is hate :) Brady just seems too calm, too cool on the sideline, as if he knew that even when the Cowboys took a lead in the 3rd quarter of 24-21, that he had it all in hand. And he did.

Seriously, though, there are people that God seems to bless above us, and that can fill us with jealousy or envy. We may think, I'm smarter than him. I'm a better person than her. I've worked harder than him. Why is God blessing this jerk rather than me? Perhaps this is why one of the ten commandments is, do not covet what belongs to your neighbor--not his wife, his male servant, his female servant, his donkey, or "anything else that belongs to your neighbor" (Ex. 20:1-17). (I can testify today with absolute truthfulness that I have never coveted my neighbor's donkey.)

We must remember all the ways that God has blessed us, rather than the ways that he has not. Otherwise, we are like that spoiled kid in the toy store who throws a fit because his parents will not buy him one more toy--despite the fact that he has a closet full of toys at home. Let's remember that this week.

And no, I can't really hate Tom Brady. Good for him. Man, that is hard to say.