New England Patriots haters had an absolute field day at the conclusion of Super Bowl LII.
The vaunted football franchise from Foxborough couldn’t get a stop when it mattered as backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles stormed to a 41-33 win against the favored Patriots.
Eagles fans were obviously thrilled to witness the team winning its first Super Bowl.
But fans of virtually every other team seemed to take a gleeful pleasure in the Super Bowl results as well.
Some probably took their dislike of the Patriots a bit far.
Case in point, one of the more contrived “controversies” to emerge from the post-Super Bowl narrative involves whether or not Tom Brady shook Nick Foles’ hand following the game.
Some fans were quick to label Brady as classless and a poor sport — not because Brady definitively didn’t shake hands or offer congratulations to Foles, but because there is no photographic evidence of it.
With that strain of logic, it’s surprising that nobody is suggesting that Bill Belichick is a vampire because there’s no photographic evidence that he doesn’t suck blood from people.
The closest evidence provided that Brady snubbed Foles in the traditional postgame handshake was during Foles’ Super Bowl MVP press conference.
“I didn’t get to see Tom [after the game.] I was looking for Tom. It got pretty crazy really fast,” Foles said.
Patriots detractors seemed to focus on that little sound bite more than what Foles said afterward.
“[Tom Brady is] one of the greatest of all time. The guy does it right. He’s been unbelievable. He was unbelievable tonight. Can’t say enough about him,” Foles said.
Even the allegedly snubbed Foles admitted that Brady “does it right.” Not that that matters for Patriots haters.
It also wouldn’t be unprecedented for a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback who is a class act by virtually any measure to not shake hands with the underdog quarterback who wears the number 9 after a tough Super Bowl loss.
It’s been well-chronicled that Peyton Manning skipped the post-game handshake with Drew Brees after the New Orleans Saints stunned the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Manning still called Brees and offered him congratulations after the fact, there just was no handshake immediately following the game.
Brady and Manning are two of the most maniacally competitive quarterbacks of all time. Would it really be a stretch to say that they’re not in the business of offering empty platitudes following a gut-wrenching loss?
And while there’s no photographic evidence that Brady shook Foles’ hand, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Brady isn’t a poor sport.
Just witnessed this encounter in walkway after #SuperBowl: @Patriots QB Tom Brady congratulating former @Vol_Football and @baeagles star @dbarnett25, who had a big day for @Eagles. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/BbXyt6gdsj
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 5, 2018
That’s tangible photographic evidence of Brady shaking hands with Eagles rookie Derek Barnett after the game. Barnett consistently got pressure on Brady all game, and also recovered the key fumble in the fourth quarter that helped seal the Eagles win.
Brady is certainly not above criticism. His dubious athletic trainer, his pseudo-scientific beliefs and diet, as well as his role in “Deflategate” and “Spygate,” are all fair grounds to criticize Brady.
But to impugn his sportsmanship because there’s no picture of him shaking hands with Foles following the Super Bowl is just asinine.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.