Boston is a notoriously tough town for athletes to play in, and the media plays a huge part in that. Some athletes thrive under the proverbial microscope, while others are driven to the brink of insanity.
Mostly, the obsessive media coverage stems from the fans’ own obsessions with their hometown players and teams. But with so many outlets covering every team’s every move, it can be tough for any one writer to stick out. And so occasionally we get things like Bill Burt’s column in today’s Eagle-Tribune, the provocatively — and obnoxiously — titled “Brady Who?”
Sure, Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel is exceeding everyone’s expectations as he fills in for Tom Brady. He gets better every week, he’s putting up ridiculous numbers, and his teammates are looking to him for leadership. And the fact that, before this season, he hadn’t started a game since high school, makes his feats even more impressive.
But the fact is the Patriots are still 7-4 and in second place. Will they make the playoffs? Likely. Will they win the Super Bowl? Highly doubtful. And will Cassell start dating a Brazilian supermodel? Nuh uh. So to call his emergence “one of the greatest stories in NFL history,” as Burt does, is pure hyperbole.
Brady came off the bench seven years ago to lead the Pats to three Super Bowl wins. Now THAT is one of the greatest stories in NFL history. Cassell’s just the latest in a long line of athletes who have taken advantage of special opportunities.
And “Brady Who?” is just the latest in a long line of columns that give the Boston sports media such a bad image.