New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was seen shouting at offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on the sideline during the Buffalo Bills game and it was understandably waved away as being “in the heat of the moment,” or a sign of Brady being “a competitor” showing “intensity,” or, the worst take of all, that McDaniels should be the one negatively affected by Brady’s tirade.
Tom Brady getting into sorts with Josh McDaniels. pic.twitter.com/HCZuhKevTC— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) December 3, 2017
But the consensus reaction was clear. Brady was simply showing a large burst of emotion and that his long-term relationship with McDaniels meant that the moment ended as soon as the two were separated- and then it was back to football.
When someone tweeted at New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., saying that Brady’s actions and interaction with a coach would be considered “passion,” implying that if Beckham did the same thing he would be scrutinized, the Giants receiver gave a surprising response.
“Listen when I say this is the craziest thing someone ever has tweeted or posted to me because I LITERALLY had this same conversation today about the EXACT thing [you’re talking] about it,” Beckham wrote. “‘There’s rules..and then there’s rules..’ Or ....[‘immaturity’], or ‘needs to grow up,’ or ‘selfish’ or... umm what else is it exactly that ‘they’ say.... or [‘uncomposed’]. No bro , I’ve watched that man do that exact same thing for years. Beat every [team] I cheered for in the super bowls...I learned from him. This is the [goat emoji]. So I’m following his lead, I just may not know how to express it the same way. But don’t get it confused , how 12 [Brady] feels about the game, I would have a hard time [saying] that’s not EXACTLY how I feel. #GoatChasin”
Now it’s clear that Beckham’s sideline tirades are more frequent than Brady’s, but Beckham does have a point from his perception. When Beckham does it, he’s called “a distraction,” or “immature,” or “selfish,” and his coaches consider benching him.
But a big difference is that Brady doesn’t go around pretending to pee like a dog after scoring a touchdown or starting a relationship with a kicking net in between his bursts of emotion on the sideline. Beckham has a history of drawing attention to himself during non-football plays and off the field that inevitably draws greater scrutiny to when he’s passionate about a football play.
Beckham is watching Brady and trying to learn how to express and channel his passion for winning in the same way as the greatest quarterback of all time. It’s okay to have fun and to be passionate about the sport and to want to be the best- but it’s the actions outside of the outbursts that lay the foundation for how people react to the emotional explosion. And that makes the difference.