I hesitate to broach this subject because there is already far too much ink spilled over Tom Brady’s personal life as it is. But this is a subject that could carry over onto the field and produce some unnecessary belly-aching from the knuckle-dragging segment of the New England Patriots fan base, so it’s best to try to nip it in the bud.

As we all know too well, Brady is now a father. Despite the prying of the media, whether it’s sports scribes and tabloid gossip-mongers, Brady has managed to keep the details private to date. We didn’t know when ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan was due. The media really didn’t have a clue until Brady was noticeably absent at the start of Patriots practice Wednesday.

This week, Brady made his wishes to take some time off for the blessed event public. Both he and coach Bill Belichick were vague about whether his wish has been granted and, if so, how long of a leave of absence the quarterback would have and whether he’d be allowed to miss any game time.

And right there, a certain segment of Patriot Nation just spit out its coffee. “Game time? Brady? How could he do that?”

Believe it or not, there are those who would resent Brady if he misses a game to witness the birth of his child.

And, yeah, that includes missing a meaningless exhibition game. The Patriots are slated to play the Carolina Panthers Friday night. It’s the third preseason game, the one where the starters usually see the most playing time. So you know there are probably a bunch of nuts out there worrying about Brady missing valuable reps with his new receivers. If Brady doesn’t ditch the kid and take the first flight back East today, the Patriots’ Super Bowl destiny could be compromised.

Just be thankful this didn’t threaten to carry over into the season-opener against the Jets on Sept. 9. Panic would have begun to set in. There would have been chants of “In-duce Brid-get (clap, clap, clapclapclap)” at Gillette Stadium during their final preseason game against the New York Giants. And if you think I’m kidding, you either haven’t been to Gillette Stadium or have had cotton stuffed in your ears when you have.

These Neandrathals, probably decked out in Tedy Bruschi jerseys and driving to the games in SUVs with a “Yankees Suck” bumper sticker, think A) Brady’s first obligation is to their beloved football team and B) the birth of a child isn’t a big deal and certainly no place for a father to be. Some of them, disturbingly, are even fathers themselves, whose rationale is “My boss didn’t give me the day off when Junior was born 20 years ago. Why should Tom Brady get to miss a game when he they pay him millions of dollars to play?”

Twenty years ago, that was the prevailing rationale. Professional athletes missed out on their children’s births, birthdays, first words, first steps, graduations, and even kept playing if their child was suffering from a serious illness. They still miss out on a lot of those things, but the culture of professional sports has changed that they are allowed to be at the really big events. And their birth is about as big as it gets.

Yes, bigger than playing an exhibition game against the Carolina Panthers.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.