MAlsolow’s “hierarchy of needs” is so elegant. The more we solve, the more we can solve and the more we will realize ourselves. Solve the need problem, and people will move on to need problems, then to why problems.
But Maslow’s approach misses something very critical in the hunt for self-actualization: it is never finished. For the ultimate proof, we turn, as we often do, to our nation’s biggest pile of pathologies made flesh: former New England Patriots and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
For those unaware, Brady, a 44-year-old traveling medicine show and seven-time Super Bowl winner, finally retired from football last month, apparently. Sports networks aired their tribute packages, people on Twitter reluctantly acknowledged his greatness, I wrote about his enigmatic character. We all dusted our hands, looked away and said: thank god it’s over.
But our imagination was weak. We couldn’t put ourselves in Brady’s shoes. We couldn’t understand what it would be like to be so successful that finding your supermodel wife and smiling kids and being incredibly wealthy for the rest of your life might be unacceptable. And so, he announced that he would not retire and would return to the Buccaneers for the 22-23 season. I don’t think anyone was very surprised.
But it turns out that comeback wasn’t the product of a fit of insanity – a consequence of staring down the barrel of a lifetime of wealth and respect. In fact, Brady was trying to execute a wild scheme to get out of Tampa Bay and into the driver’s seat of the Miami Dolphins’ front office. You see, when he said he was “not going to engage in competition anymore”, he didn’t mean the competitive commitment to play football, as a normal person would have meant. He meant he had some other shit he wanted to do that would still involve him throwing soccer balls for money.
OK, here’s what happened during Brady’s 40 days in the desert, according to a revealing report from boston globe writer Ben Volin: Brady chatted with fellow Michigan Man Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, as well as a mondo Trump donor and vicious NYC real estate developer who funded a super PAC specifically designed to target progressive board members of NYC who deigned to interfere in his molding of the city into his vision – and the two concocted a plan: Ross would hire Brady to be the team’s president of football operations and minority franchise owner. Then Brady would announce he would return to the gridiron, the Dolphins would arrange draft compensation with Tampa Bay, and Brady would serve as the team’s de facto quarterback/offensive coordinator/overlord, a man controlling as much of the football product as possible with his moderate charisma and aging arm.
Imagine: everyone on the team is forced to submit to Alex Guerrero’s gospel of flexibility, forced to donate their spare blood to keep Brady blowing week after week, kissing the mouth of a statue in Brady’s granite set up in the locker room so they can all play the Great Game of Football in his honor. basically brady fake retirement so he can rack up more power and receive more credit than he does in Tampa Bay, where he’s currently getting a shitload of credit as is. He would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for a completely independent lawsuit that’s about to show all the NFL ass. Brian Flores, a former Dolphins coach who is black, says NFL teams view interviews with black candidates as a mere formality conducted to erase the Rooney Rule, and that while working for the Dolphins, Ross tried to pay him $100,000 a year. game to tank and improve the draft position of the team.
Brady’s plan also reportedly involved hiring “a coach he trusted,” former Saints head coach Sean Payton, to fill the head coaching role as a partner. But with the Dolphins’ hiring practices under civilian scrutiny, Ross decided it might be frowned upon to hire an inexperienced white president of football operations and a white coach he personally requested all at once. , and abandoned the plan. Brady, left to retire from football and submit to the hell of spending time with his beautiful wife and young children, reneged and returned to the Bucs, after getting the team to hire a new coach because that Bruce Arians was spending too much time messing around with his precious offensive plans.
“Brady basically faked his retirement so he could rack up more power and receive more credit than he does in Tampa Bay, where he currently gets a shitload of credit as is. He would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for a completely independent lawsuit that’s about to show all the NFL ass.”
Tom Brady, again, is a 44-year-old playing a sport that tears most guys down before they’re over twenty. Its seven Super Bowl victories are more than any franchise in NFL history. He has hundreds of millions of dollars to his name, MVP awards, Super Bowl MVPs, a beautiful family. He had a falling out with the Patriots, where he won six titles with coach Bill Belichick, left that team in the dust because he felt like he didn’t have enough of a say in what happened with the team and then won another Super Bowl with a different franchise where he had more clout to call the shots, seemingly out of spite. Even his most ardent enemies (me) have been forced to admit that he is the greatest NFL quarterback who has ever lived.
This man’s only failures in his entire life were being drafted lower than he had hoped, never beating Eli Manning in a Super Bowl, being lit by Big Dick Nick that time , and that’s all. The man has lived a life full of victories and yet here we are, reading about him trying to organize a messed up one-team so he can manage to get even more emotional validation than he does. would have gotten just by going back to Tampa Bay and being successful like a normal person. Tom Brady’s thirst for validation is so insatiable that he tries to arrange several multidisciplinary jobs to be able, I suppose, to land a eighth Super Bowl.
Brady is a particularly sick man in this regard, of course. A monster among monsters. Weirdest guy in pro sports – weirder than Michael Jordan, who honestly talks shit. At least Tiger Woods plays a sport that is the province of older men, and exorcises the demons of a childhood whose terrors are well known by this point. Brady was a normal, middle-class kid who was invaded by brain spiders that drove him to a craze for credit that reaches into space. But he’s not the only big player seeking control and prestige even after already having too much. LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers is widely recognized as the greatest NBA player since Jordan, is rich as hell, has won four titles for three different franchises and four MVPs.
And that’s still not enough. It’s never enough. Since leaving Miami, James has imposed his will on every team he’s played on, arranging the roster according to his whims and those of his agent and business partner, Rich Paul. Most years it’s been… fine, I guess. But this year, his pursuit of the title he created with his bare hands threw LeBron down the stairs and shoved him into a basement of his own building handcuffed to Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s top midfielder producer. hip. range jumpers, a player he insisted the Lakers acquire despite their games having no natural synchronicity even in Russell’s good times, which have been over for a few years now.
Listen, man: I love player power. I really do. I think stars should have a say in roster building. Do they have value? But at some point, you can’t do two jobs at once, and scouting and talent acquisition is a hell of a job in addition to playing. Brady can keep his opinions on who should play left guard for the Dolphins, but, really, he’s not equipped to have a good answer to that question that works within the NFL’s murky salary cap. LeBron may know that Westbrook is good at basketball in an abstract sense, but the knowledge of fit and salary and all that? He doesn’t live in the right context to see the big picture.
But LeBron and Brady are just guys on the eternal karmic wheel. Having got everything they could ever want, they’re thirsty After, like everyone else, and they inevitably go above and beyond to get there. It is the eternal condition of man. Heck, look at Stephen Ross. Why should someone worth $8 billion spend their ass sniping left-wing city councilors? Because they threaten his desire to After. Not even just money – more power, more credit, more buildings at the University of Michigan with his name plastered on them. In LeBron and Brady, the impulse is grotesque; in Ross and the other billionaires who dominate the planet, it is tragic.