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Tom Brady is more than perhaps the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He’s more than the old guy who is giving the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers a shot to win another Super Bowl. And he’s more than the entire focus of every opposing defense.
He also knows how to play the referee game.
“I’m always complaining to the referees,” Brady admitted to reporters, apologizing for nothing.
The Buccaneers (6-2) are coming off a loss to the New Orleans Saints, but remain in first place in the NFC South … barely. They’re now just a half-game ahead of the Saints. As an interesting aside, Brady has yet to beat the Saints as a member of the Buccaneers.
Anyway, it’s not only when he plays the Saints that the officiating crew for a game rolls their eyes. It’s safe to say he’s not on any of their wish lists, per Brady himself. He even went so far as to say refs “lose sleep” when they learn they’ve been assigned to a Brady game.
“Most of the time they basically ignore me, because everyone’s yelling for calls,” Brady said, via the New York Post. “… There’s holding for every play in the NFL, it’s just whether you’re going to call them or not. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. They basically even out over the course of the season.”
Of course, penalties weren’t the only culprit in the Buccaneers’ latest loss. Brady is also to blame, as he threw two interceptions, including a pick-six with 1:24 to go that sealed things for the Saints.
As coach Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said, “You’re not going to beat those guys with the number of penalties and turnovers. That’s all we talked about all week going into the game.”
Win, lose or draw, Brady fully intends to remain in the ears of the referees.
“They realize I’m a pain in the ass,” he said. “That’s just kind of the way it goes.”