Tuesday morning word got out that Tom Brady will not be returning to the New England Patriots. He does plan on continuing his NFL career in another team’s uniform.
That’s going to be a very strange site. Regardless of whether he becomes a Raider, a Buccaneer, or lands on another team, seeing Brady play for someone other than the Patriots will be like looking at a pictured edited in Photoshop and what will be equally as weird will be seeing someone other than No.12 line up under center in New England.
As strange as all that will be though, we’ve been down this road before, and it’s strange and weird every time. Something just doesn’t look right. In fact, it looks so wrong.
My earliest memory of this was seeing Joe Montana in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform. Even as a young kid, I knew that was weird but didn’t realize the magnitude of just how weird that was. Montana still played in red but dropped the gold and changed his number from 16 to 19.
I have a clearer memory of it happening to Montana’s favorite receiver, and the best receiver to ever play the game, Jerry Rice. Rice stuck around with the 49ers and caught passes from Steve Young before deciding to stick around the Bay Area and playing for the Oakland Raiders. Rice stayed on the West Coast and made one final stop to Seattle, and that too, seemed very weird.
OK, let me just get this one out – the worst one that I remember was seeing Emmitt Smith in an Arizona Cardinals uniform. I hate admitting it ever happened and going from blue, silver and white to red and white just looked so wrong. When the NFL’s all-time leading rusher became a Cardinal, it made you want to adjust the color settings on the TV.
Like any kid growing up in the 90s, I wanted to be like Mike (Michael Jordan). After retiring a couple times, Jordan unretired to play for the Washington Wizards. That was probably the strangest of them all. Jordan in a Wizards uniform look like something he might wear in a Bugs Bunny movie.
Other examples of athletes wearing a different team uniform that just didn’t look right include Karl Malone on the Lakers, Gary Payton on the Lakers, Hakeem Olajuwon on the Raptors, Brett Favre on the Jets, then Vikings, LaDanian Tomlinson as a Jet and Peyton Manning playing for the Broncos.
There are also several that I’m too young to remember, like Earl Campbell on the Saints, O.J. Simpson on the 49ers, Joe Namath as a Ram, Michael Young on the Dodgers, Yogi Berra on the Mets, Babe Ruth on the Boston Braves and several others.
Which is the weirdest one you remember seeing? Will Tom Brady with his new team become the weirdest yet?