Have you ever been so focused on seemingly unrelated things that you create a connection between the two? This is exactly what’s happening to me as I now think the New England Patriots are intricately linked with the TV show “Rick and Morty”.
Let me explain.
The real world is less than ideal right now (have you heard?). Like many people I have resorted to immersing myself in my favorite teams (the Patriots being the only one still playing) and re-watching some of my favorite shows (“Rick and Morty” being my current go-to).
This has reached a fervor as the Patriots losing three games in a row for the first time in what seems like forever is dominating my social media feeds. And I am trying to finish my re-watch of the first three season of “R&M” so I am caught up for when Season 4 premieres on HBO Max this Sunday.
With these two things filling my head on a constant basis, my brain performed a fun exercise of convincing me they are intertwined.
In fact, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former star quarterback Tom Brady are the Rick and Morty of football.
I know that might sound silly but give me a chance here.
HOW BELICHICK IS RICK
Rick Sanchez is referred to as the smartest man in the universe throughout the show. He’s someone who clearly has the strategical upper hand in almost every interaction he has. He doesn’t suffer fools well and enjoys answering stupid questions even less.
Belichick is frequently called a genius and the best coach/football strategist of all-time. Also, his feelings on answering media questions are fairly clear…
Other areas where these two wild cards resemble each other are:
Won’t follow the herd
In “R&M” there is a Council of Ricks which includes all the Ricks from the Universe. The main Rick in “R&M” bucks that trend as he sees it as being below him and does not join the group.
The NFL Coaches Association is as close to a Council of Ricks as there could be in the NFL. And guess who is not a part of it? Exactly.
Surrounds himself with family
To repeat, Rick is the smartest man in the universe. Where does he live? In a spare room in his daughter’s modest home. He also chooses to take his grandson on all his adventures, and sometimes includes his daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law (and goes to musicals with them).
Belichick has two sons, and both are coaches on the Patriots.
Not the easiest to get along with
Here’s how Rick might typically react to someone he doesn’t respect.
And here’s some examples of Belichick having a discussion with his opponents.
Rick also can be fairly surly with his family, like when he told Morty he’s “as dumb as they come”.
While Belichick can be that way with his players, as he frequently tells them there is superior talent on the Foxborough High School team.
Challenges himself by creating higher degrees of difficulty
Rick once created a serum that turned him into a pickle to get out of family therapy, and then had to find a way to turn himself back.
Belichick has put as little resources into the Tight End position as possible since 2010. This must be because he finds getting quality TEs the typical way is too easy.
This must be it…right?
HOW BRADY IS MORTY
Ok, so this one is a little less clear but there are still similarities:
6th Round Picks are the Dorky Freshmen of the NFL
When Morty begins his adventures with Rick he’s a 14-year-old high schooler with very few positives in his scouting report. He likely would have been picked after 200 other kids in his class on a variety of measures.
I realize comparing a professional athlete to an under-sized High School Freshmen is silly but hear me out.
When the Patriots draft Tom Brady after 198 other players (including six other quarterbacks) and he begins his “adventure” with Belichick, he looks like this:
I’m not trying to disparage anyone’s appearance here, but this is the caterpillar phase before turning into the super-cool mega-superstar athlete butterfly (science!).
They must deal with the other guy’s weird friends
At one-point Rick throws a party and invites all his friends from other universes. Eventually Rick makes Morty talk to his friend Gearhead and it becomes quickly clear Morty would like to be any other place in any universe.
This is likely the same feeling any time Brady saw this guy walking towards him to talk about some “special play” for next Sunday.
They became better under the other’s tutelage
I covered how Morty isn’t the coolest kid in school when his adventures with Rick begins, but after a few seasons he really grows into his own. He no longer desires a selfie with the President because he’s above it. He’s survived countless excessively violent interactions. He even has gone on a date with his dream girl.
Now, being with Rick has not been easy, and Morty sustained a massive amount of verbal abuse during this time. But he’s also much more confident and has learned a lot.
Brady went from being a 4th stringer to the best quarterback of all-time. A lot of this is due to Brady’s talent and work ethic, but Belichick’s stewardship and game plan strategies deserve a lot of credit too.
So, it was likely worth it all the times Belichick failed to shower Brady with praise and love.
Also, while it’s potentially (almost definitely) unrelated, Brady did achieve what the kids call a “glow up” during his tenure under Belichick.
HOW DOES 2020 PLAY INTO THIS
Belichick and Brady are no longer together, while Rick and Morty still remain a “team”.
If you look closely though, the 2020 NFL season is playing out similarly to what could be expected for Rick and Morty if they ever did split.
Rick would likely find a replacement Morty (there is an almost infinite amount in the universe). But Rick has also said that his Morty is the “Morty-iest Morty” so whatever new Morty he finds won’t be as good. Whatever new partnership he begins would also not be as good as the one he had with the original Morty.
And Rick might spend his time wishing he’d treated his Morty a bit better.
For Morty, he’d likely find a more benevolent Rick. One who is more caring and open to collaboration. Maybe one who even lets Morty bring his problematic friend (let’s call him “Tony”) on adventures.
But Morty might soon miss having the “Rick-est Rick” as his leader when his lesser Rick can’t get them out of certain jams. Morty might see the grass isn’t always greener.
Or maybe the Patriots struggling without Brady while he flourishes with an assortment of talented skill position players is normal.
And maybe it’s also just a TV show.