Tom Brady’s weird cartoon after the AFC Championship game just makes me mad


There was a moment in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game, as Blake Bortles was successfully Bortling and the Patriots were down by 10 points, that I allowed myself to wonder what would happen to the TB Times — Tom Brady’s fake newspaper — if the Patriots lost. The thought wasn’t serious. I almost feel more confident in Brady and Bill Belichick when they’re down than I do when they’re up. But for a moment, I considered the possibility that the Jaguars could win.

I’ve spent the better part of a season tracking the evolution of the TB Times, and Brady only posts these trippy comics after New England wins. He’s also said that the stories of the comics will become clear in due time.

“If New England loses,” I wondered, as I stress-ate french fries on the floor, “will we have to wait until next season to discover the narrative? Or will the newspaper simply fold, a casualty of the volatile media industry like so many papers before it?”

I shouldn’t have wasted brain space. The Pats beat the Jags, and they’re onto their *checks clipboard* 13,000th Super Bowl in two years.

I was, however, right to worry about where this whole thing is going. Perhaps I’ve put too much weight on Brady’s one quote about how he’ll eventually reveal the comics’ meaning, but I’ve been waiting to find out what the hell is going on in Cartoon Foxboro for months. I’ve also been fixated on finding out who or what the reappearing Crocodile represents. I’ve been monitoring in case the “coming soon” banner has morphed into something else.

It hasn’t. And for the past few comics, Croc hasn’t even appeared. Check out the post that went up after the Patriots became AFC champions:


A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Jan 21, 2018 at 3:28pm PST

It took me a second, but then I got it: They all have bowl cuts. Or, as the hashtag suggests, #superbowlcuts.

Some thoughts:

  • Whose arm is holding the trophy? Anyone else confused by the anatomy there?
  • Why is Gronk the one cutting people’s hair?
  • You really want Gronk to be the one cutting your hair?
  • I’ve always pictured Gronk as the kind of guy who’d use one of those vacuum hair-cutters called The Flowbee.
  • Is Gronk the barber because he figured out how to use Tide Pods as hair gel?
  • As my Editor-in-Chief Elena Bergeron pointed out, did Gronk straighten his teammates’ hair to administer these mushroom cuts?
  • This explains the Falcon’s bowl cut in the TB Times after New England beat Atlanta in the highly anticipated rematch of Super Bowl LI. You might remember that game — it turned into a foggy disaster where you literally couldn’t see the field unless you were directly on it. Although it did give us more SkyCam shots for the rest of the season.

  • Brady is sitting in an office chair. This is significant because Brady has an office chair at his locker. In fact, Boston columnist Tom E. Curran wrote a long defense of Brady, and his argument largely centered on how Brady can’t be a diva because the only special thing about him is that he has an office chair at his locker.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady’s Social Media Guy (S.M.G.) and the artist who goes by D.K. read that.
  • Perhaps that’s too in the weeds. Maybe they just know that Brady has a desk chair at his locker.
  • Where the hell is Croc? Why would you spend an entire season putting together intricate comics with bizarre storylines that made us feel like we were on some serious psychedelics and then just abandon it?
  • Seriously! D.K. and S.M.G. took us down this messed up rabbit hole that somehow involved Bill Hader, Billy Crystal, a crocodile, a punk rock puffer fish, and that game where you get to punch your friends if you got them to look at your hand.
  • But for the past few weeks, they’ve been posting boring, one-panel images that only relate to the topic at hand. We haven’t gone back to the lair underneath the sea in Miami for months now. The artist, D.K. — who I have tracked down and who will not talk to me — even put his buddy, this random guy Jeff, into one of the pictures.
  • You think the Patriots have a chance to win their sixth ring because they gave up and started drawing pictures of their friends, as opposed to staying on message and continuing the narrative?
  • NO!
  • You think Belichick became a football robot genius by deciding he didn’t want to follow through?
  • NO!
  • You think Brady has such a strict diet because he has an intense fear of death, and not because he’s thinking about the good of the team?
  • YES!
  • OK, so that last one didn’t compute, but listen: If you’re associated with an organization that prides itself on being thorough and basically perfect, I’m going to need you to stop letting me down, D.K. and S.M.G.
  • Bring back Croc.
  • I think that the thing on top of the mountain last week, which I initially thought was the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, was actually just the AFC Championship trophy.

Anyway, here’s the good news: I will be at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. So will the Patriots. If you think I am not going to do everything in my power to track some people down and find out what is going on here, you’re sorely mistaken. Those media night press conferences have no idea what’s about to hit them.

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