I expressed my thoughts about the Brady - Belichick "split" at the beginning of the season. Here's what I think now.

I had hoped Tom Brady would stay a Patriot until the end, help bring another Super Bowl ring or two to New England, and then retire.

Nope.

He and Bill Belichick parted ways and the big question was finally going to be answered. Who needed who? Or, were they symbiotic ... one equally dependent on the other?

Final score; New England get an "A" and the Buccaneers get a "D-". It was only the first game though, there's still an entire season ahead and it's way too soon to make any assumptions about anybody.

Fast forward to yesterday and the debate over who needed who seems settled. Brady and his new, initially untried 'Bucs teammates are a safe bet for the playoffs while Bill and the Patriots are ... well, I'd rather not talk about it. 2020 has done enough to me already without this.

The Patriots have been my team for 20 years and they will continue to be. I'm no fair-weather fan but ... while the team was plagued by injuries, fielded many inexperienced players, and, (on top of all the other pandemic related issues), were dealing with a new QB for the first time since 2001 ... I must admit that something is wrong in New England.

For now, as I said before, I feel no guilt in cheering for the greatest quarterback the game has ever seen.

My disclaimer was that, since the Buccaneers never faced my Patriots, I saw no "conflict of interest". The 'Pats are my team and always will be but, throughout the playoffs anyway, don't be surprised to see me sporting some 'Bucs gear.

Belichick is a genius and Brady is ... well, Brady. That zillion to one Bucs/Patriots Super Bowl I semi-joked about before, has a year to manifest itself and I'm not completely ruling it out. I'll damn sure be flying my Patriots colors when they get to Super Bowl 56 no matter who they play.

Even if it's you, Tom, sorry.

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