Brady's Knee Is Not Funny

Bryan Healey@Bryan_HealeyCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2008

Stop laughing, Indianapolis! We can hear you, you know! You may think we can't, since you're all the way over there, in whatever state where Indianapolis is in, but we can! We can feel it.

Interestingly, Tom Brady probably cannot feel it, since I imagine he is probably so stuffed with painkillers at the moment that he is probably flirting with his male nurses and calling his bedpan "Steve."

No matter how courageous a man is when he is in front of millions of fans, I am confident that he started screaming for drugs the moment the cameras were off him.

The drug-induced haze is only temporary, however; in just a few short hours he will emerge from his room to the startling revelation that, in one swift motion, one of the nurses has slipped his phone number in his wallet.

Worse still, he will likely be done for the season. In keeping with longstanding traditions, the Patriots have steadfastly denied that they know anything, or whether Brady will play next week, or ever again, or is even alive. I believe that they would have stuck with their usual mantra even if he had been decapitated right on the field for everyone to see.

The fans know better, however. We saw it.

Brady was Superman, only with a better jawline. He had not missed a single game for years despite taking many beatings over that span. We all just operated under the assumption that he was going to live forever, throwing touchdown passes long after Armageddon, like some kind of mutant cockroach.

But yesterday, when Brady's knee buckled, he was instantly human to us. With his gasping and screaming, we suddenly realized, with tremendous angst: "Matt Cassel is our backup."

I mean no disrespect to Cassel here. He is clearly my superior in the department of athletics, and I have faith that he will make an adequate replacement. But you have to remember: He's replacing Tom Brady. The reigning MVP, who threw 50 touchdown passes last year and led the Patriots to a perfect regular season, not to mention appearing in several top-quality clothing advertisements.

Matt Cassel hasn't started a football game since high school, and hasn't even appeared in so much as a KMart ad.

You can see why we would be worried. To put forth a terrible analogy, imagine you had some Hershey chocolate handed to you. Yes, it is still chocolate, and still tasty, but imagine you were eating Godiva truffles just a few seconds before and had it ripped forcibly from your mouth.

So, Patriots fans are all waking up today with the knowledge that, unless some kind of divine intervention takes place in the next few days, Cassel will be our starting quarterback come next Sunday.

As I said, we're not panicking yet. Cassel is still a professional quarterback, and he did an adequate job filling in for Brady yesterday. But we are still a little uneasy, and that is a position we Patriots fans are not used to. Usually we know that we have, at the very least, a great shot at winning come Sunday.

We may not win them all (*cough*Giants*cough*), but the confidence was still always there. And the Patriots rarely disappointed.

That confidence is now on shaky ground, along with Brady's knee...

Stop laughing, Indy! Seriously, it's not funny! Well, for us, anyway...

And Brady: Don't be rude. Be sure to call that nurse and let him down gently.