In a move that I’m sure most Steelers fans wish would have happened a decade sooner, six-time Super Bowl-winning Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took to social media on Tuesday to announce he won’t be a Patriot in 2020 and beyond.
That’s right, Brady, whose contract granted him the power to test the free agent market after the 2019 season, closed the doors on returning to New England much faster than I really anticipated.
When I saw Brady’s post, I gotta tell ya’, I was overjoyed—like I had just witnessed a Steelers victory over him or something.
Maybe the reason I was so happy was because Pittsburgh didn’t actually score many victories over Brady during his 20-year career with the Patriots.
How many victories did the Steelers earn while facing Brady? Three. That’s right, three. And I can tell you where I was during every single one of them.
I was over my mom’s house to witness the first win, which occurred at Heinz Field on Halloween Day during the 2004 season. I was handing out candy, while Pittsburgh was handing the Patriots their first loss in 21 games.
I was at a bowling alley for the Steelers second win over Brady, which was a 25-17 victory on October 30, 2011 (maybe Halloween was a good time to face Brady).
I was at my apartment in Crafton for the third and final time Pittsburgh defeated the Patriots with Brady as their starting quarterback, a 17-10 victory in December of 2018.
That game, like the first two, was at Heinz Field. When it came to the Steelers taking on Brady at Gillette Stadium, let’s just say the game was always a laugher and almost always over before it even began.
Not only did the Steelers go winless against Brady at Foxborough, their defense failed to intercept him in six total games.
Actually, you don’t have to. If your memory is as good as mine, you’d probably like to wipe out all 360 minutes of that total ineptitude.
The most depressing part of Brady’s dominance over the Steelers was that they never defeated him when it truly mattered. The Steelers were 0 for 3 against Brady in the postseason, with all three losses occurring in the AFC title game. And even when Pittsburgh managed to defeat Brady in the regular season, he rebounded to guide the Patriots to either a conference championship or a Super Bowl title.
As of this writing, Brady is expected to sign with the Buccaneers, a team the soon-to-be 43-year old will surely finish out his career with. Now Brady gets to join Johnny Unitas (Chargers), Joe Namath (Rams), Joe Montana (Chiefs), Brett Favre (Jets and Vikings) and Peyton Manning (Broncos) in ending his career in a weird jersey.
And with that signing, Brady will officially move out of the Steelers heads, a place he’s been staying rent-free for the past two decades.
The legendary Magic Johnson once said he feared no man, except for the equally legendary Larry Bird.
As a Steelers fan, I can tell you there haven’t been many opposing players that I’ve truly feared, but Brady is definitely at the top of the list.
This might be a backhanded compliment, but I will leave you with the following:
Back in September of 2008, I was at a bar with some friends watching the Steelers dismantle the Texans in a Week 1 match-up at Heinz Field. Some time during that game, it was discovered that Brady had suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Chiefs.
Everyone in the bar began to cheer wildly. Yes, some of those cheers came from pure hatred of the man. But I truly believe most of them came from a place of relief.
The fans knew what that meant. The Steelers not only defeated the Patriots at Gillette Stadium later that year, they went on to win the Super Bowl.
I doubt it.