Super models have feelings too, as was on display when Gisele Bundchen sounded off in defense of her husband Tom Brady's performance in Super Bowl XLVI, which left his team, the New England Patriots, on the losing side. Bundchen spoke out after the game, saying of the Patriots' receivers, "You [have] to catch the ball when you're supposed to catch the ball." Yikes!
Bundchen was understandably upset after watching her husband lose the fourth of the last six NFL postseason games, and the second Super Bowl in a row to the New York Giants, led by quarterback Eli Manning. Gisele was really fired up after the loss, continuing to say, "My husband cannot f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."
While the supermodel is factually correct, that it would indeed be very difficult for Tom Brady to hurl a pass forty yards down field to himself, she may want to be careful in making public declarations that throw Brady's teammates under the proverbial bus. Maybe coming from the super-competitive world of modeling where it's truly every person for themselves, the idea of team play is really just not one that she fully grasps, and so she didn't know what the effect of her words would be.
The world of professional sports, unlike the world of modeling, is one where individual glory and achievement is set aside in pursuit of success for the whole team. It's one in which any blame that gets placed on players is done behind closed doors, in the locker room or clubhouse. Executives, players and coaches are all very careful to make sure their criticisms do not single out players or groups of players, out of a mutual respect for each other and the game.
What Gisele did with her commentary was to break this unspoken rule, and the heat for her comments will likely circle back around onto her husband, who she was trying to defend in the first place. Nothing is more important than loyalty and team unity on a sports team, and Bundchen may have just driven a big wedge between her husband and his teammates. In the wake of a tough loss on the world's biggest stage in front of a huge international audience, it could not have sat well with the Patriots receivers, seeing the video of the model essentially blaming them for the Patriots loss. It looks like it's going to be a long off season for both the Patriots and Tom Brady.
The better route for Bundchen to have taken would have been to praise the efforts of not just her husband, but of the entire team while also expressing disappointment in the loss. That's the wrote formula that athletes and those associated with them have traditionally taken. If she had chosen instead to couch her frustrations with respect for the effort her husband's teammates gave during the game, her remarks would have seemed understandable instead of sounding like so many sour grapes.
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- Tom Brady