Tom Brady is the epitome of cool.
And his relaxed exterior goes beyond the flowing brown mane and relaxed façade he projects for his countless commercial endorsements.
Brady, by nature, refrains from giving the opponent any added incentive, even when provoked and particularly when the goal of his enemies is putting a dent in his chiseled jawline with a toss to the unforgiving turf.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP allows his play to do the squawking, and to this point, the tactic of avoiding engagement in a little mouthy sparring has been a fruitful one.
But wouldn’t it be nice to see Brady ditch the strong, silent act just this once?
It’s not like any of us would mind the retaliation.
Once again playing the “It’s personal” card, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan on Monday made his team’s divisional round game against New England this Sunday all about the cerebral chess match between him and the Patriots’ Bill Belichick.
But he also made time for some head games with Brady, whom Ryan chided for his in-game antics after New England’s penultimate score in a 45-3 drubbing of the Jets on Dec. 6.
"Just Brady being Brady," Ryan said, referring to when the quarterback made an animated gesture toward the Jets’ sideline after the Patriots went up 38-3. "I don't like seeing that. Nobody does. No Jet fan likes to see that. I know he can't wait to do it. He's not going to say anything publicly, but he does it. It's what it is. My job is to keep him out of the end zone."
But Ryan wasn’t done.
He jumped at the chance to illustrate a perceived difference in work ethic between Brady and fellow MVP Peyton Manning, after learning that Brady had spent much of Saturday evening taking in a Broadway show with wife Gisele Bundchen instead of studying the Jets’ first-round victory over the Colts.
“Peyton Manning would have been watching our game,” Ryan sneered.
Brady responded, only not in the fashion many of us would have appreciated. Rather than reiterate his disdain for the Jets, or cite his perfect record against Ryan at Gillette Stadium, Brady again passed up the route less traveled and opted for the high road.
"Maybe he’s [Ryan] right,” Brady said during his weekly appearance on Boston’s WEEI radio on Monday. "He's a good coach, so I'll just keep getting ready like we've done all year and get ready for Sunday night."
C’mon, Tom. Give us all something to work with. Accuse Ryan of being a blowhard. If necessary, throw in a fat joke or two. We’re in desperate need of some competitive trash-talking.
The hatred for the Jets you speak of amounts to nothing but popsicles and unicorns when you don’t return the punches that are thrown at you.
Alas, when asked to respond to Ryan’s insinuation that he is merely the product of the Patriots’ offensive system, Brady laughed, admitted his heavy reliance on the New England staff, and perhaps predictably discarded the comments as irrelevant to what will actually take place on the field with a berth in the AFC Championship on the line.
"We're going to let our play do the talking as we always do," Brady said. "There's going to be a lot of hype and buildup and people saying things. The reality is, none of it matters. What matters is that whistle is going to blow at 4:30 on Sunday night and the team that executes the best and is the most prepared is the team that's going to win."
Maybe one of these times he'll amuse us and take the bait.
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