By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- When does a late-afternoon quest for caffeine turn into something more?
It happens when there, sitting on the news rack at the local coffee shop, a headline jumps off the front page of the newspaper:
Brady vs. Bond
Like 007, people don't care if he did or did not cheat in pursuit of ultimate glory
The headline served its purpose, leading me to seek out the story upon returning to my desk. (I'm sorry, USA Today, for not purchasing a paper, but $2 just seems steep.)
And after reading just three paragraphs ... I knew that I had just stumbled on arguably the worst "sports column" ever written.
Behold, the open:
Unless you count battling bad guys and charming beautiful women, the latest James Bond movie doesn't include any sports action, perhaps because our cinematic hero can't compare to a rather handsome chap who quarterbacks the New England Patriots.
It is a bit disappointing, given that long before Daniel Craig proved blonde Bonds have more fun, the MVP of the spy world often used his wits to sneak an advantage on an unsuspecting villain.
In this matchup, you can have Bond. I'll take Agent 007-and-0 and counting.
I have read these three paragraphs 500 times. I'm still not sure what's going on.
The next paragraph was even better:
Not only does Tom Brady cut a dash in a tux, he has reached that rare level of hero status Bond enjoys – people don't care whether he did or did not cheat in the pursuit of ultimate glory.
Even if we can get past the idea that looking good in a tuxedo warrants a column comparing a football player to a fictional spy, can we address this "people don't care" about cheating line? If people didn't care, I'm quite sure the country wouldn't have been thrown into a massive fit of hysteria from January through September over the most ridiculous "cheating scandal" in the history of cheating and scandals. The anchors on the major networks' national news programs would not have rolled out their hushed tones to talk about cheating back in January. A damn federal judge wouldn't have had to waste a month of his life hearing the convoluted argument from the NFL about schemes and sorcery and whatever the hell else was brought up in the robing room.
And also ... are we comparing deflated footballs to ... tactics employed amid espionage? Is that what's happening? I really am struggling to figure it out.
At this point, I had to do some recon about the author. His name is Martin Rogers. He seems like a nice fellow. When I checked his archive, I learned that he has written a lot about Lamar Odom. I mean, a lot about Lamar Odom.
The research ended there, because I had to get back to the column. Rogers began to lay out all of the "dirty tricks" performed by Bond to win certain battles.
In The Man With The Golden Gun, Roger Moore tried to catch a karate expert by kicking him in the face during the ceremonial bow, before being on the wrong end of a beating from which he was eventually rescued by a pair of teenage girls, something that surely offended Bond's somewhat misogynistic tendencies.
Again ... what?
The story then ... well, I don't know, really. There's a joke that intertwines "DeflateGate" with a James Bond shot below the belt. There's talk about how James Bond's actions never ... prompted an investigation by Ted Wells? There's an ... Idris Elba-Jimmy Garoppolo comparison? I think.
I really don't know. But it ends like this:
Maybe it was just nonsense to begin with. Or maybe people are more willing to forgive when it's Brady.
Charm, good looks, talent and a tendency to win big will get you far. Just ask the globe-trotting man of mystery who regularly has a beautiful woman at his side. Or ask James Bond.
I'm not sure why this video wasn't embedded at the end of the column, but it should have been.
If I were to sum up the column in one sentence, it would be: People don't care about cheating, and maybe that cheating didn't take place, but maybe it did, and if it did, people forgive, and Tom Brady is cooler than James Bond.
Seems like maybe they could have gone back to the drawing board with that one.
You know, just when you think "DeflateGate" might finally be over after 10-and-a-half months of nonsense, something like this smacks you upside the head and leaves you feeling dazed.
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