New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stepped out of a black sedan. Wearing stylish sunglasses, a black suite and black tie, he looked dressed for a funeral. Brady hustled past the media and into a lower Manhattan courtroom.
Unlike almost every other starting NFL quarterback, Brady is spending his days between Patriots camp and courtroom hearings, where he is fighting tooth-and-nail to salvage his credibility and legacy that includes four Super Bowl championships and three Super Bowl MVP awards.
As if the claim that Brady acted in concert with team employees to deflate footballs for competitive advantage isn’t bizarre enough, consider the courtroom photo of Brady sketched by Jane Rosenberg. The image hardly resembles that of what many believe is the most recognizable face in the National Football League. Everyone know Brady expect Rosenberg who claims she’s never heard of him, nor knew who he was when she sat down to sketch his likeness in New York last week.
But New York doesn’t need Brady jetting in and out of the city to create TMZ-like headlines. The Giants, Jets and Bills are more than capable of producing their fair share of offbeat headlines.
Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan stole the headlines when he stood at the press podium and proceeded to gobble down a dog biscuit for charity. Ryan enjoyed the biscuit (or the attention) enough that he chowed down a second one. The media chuckled, the SPCA picked up some well-deserved press and everyone moved on with a smile.
If someone were to have told you last spring that the New York Jets would make camp headlines over a QB controversy, surely you wouldn’t have blinked. Seriously, when was the last season the Jets didn’t have quarterback drama? But last week’s headlines, oh, no one saw this coming not even Geno Smith who took a right hook to the jaw from his own teammate during a locker room scuffle. The punch broke Smiths jaw and will sideline him for 8-10 games of the regular season.
Then there’s the New York Giants, the saving grace; the example of consistency and steadiness; the pride of the Big Apple. The Giants have always been the team that rises above the chaos and distraction, winning four Super Bowls since 1986, including two miraculous victories over Brady’s Patriots. When in doubt, New York football fans can count of the Giants, right?
Not so fast.
The New York football Giants may have snatched the most embarrassing headline of them all when Jason Pierre-Paul blew off one of his fingers with fireworks on July 4. Since then, Pierre-Paul has fallen off the radar. The mishap, the failure to communicate and the extent of the injury has left Giants co-owner John Mara, confused:
We don’t know how extensive the damage is. That’s the problem. I don’t know how many fingers he has.
I don’t know how many fingers he has? Players are missing fingers, fractured jaws, head coaches eating dog food, cheating scandals, is this the NFL or a Friedrich Nietzsche tale? The botched and bungled, wrote Nietzsche, suggesting humanity is a worthless rabble wretched people of no real significance.
And to think, the first regular season snap is still four weeks away.