It could not have been a better pick. Based on stats and last season’s Super Bowl victory, this quarterback was primed to deliver another winning season. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to have Tom Brady on his Fantasy Football team? Most gamers would be ecstatic with an almost guaranteed victory — except, that is, for one 6th grader named Noah.
I first learned of his dilemma from his mother, Krista, in our Bible study. As an avid football fan, Noah has a competitive spirit and loves to win, but drawing Tom Brady caused him to pause and seek counsel on his next move. “I don’t know if I can keep him, Mom. He’s a cheater,” Noah said. His young mind continued to stir as he reviewed his options, “Well, I really don’t want anyone else to have him either. He doesn’t even deserve to play!”
After much deliberation of the pros and cons of trading or keeping Brady, Noah made an unexpected decision. He sought justice over victory with the only power an 11-year old possessed — “I’m just gonna bench him,” he declared with assurance. With that, the Super Bowl MVP was sidelined.
Unfortunately, Fantasy Football is not reality — for weeks Brady played and prevailed. As the losses piled up for Noah, his sister’s teasing increased — she was actually beating him. Could it be any worse? Noah stood up for what he believed, even as he was challenged by family members. Where was the justice?
Then one early Monday morning, a sweet unexpected victory arrived when Noah awoke and immediately checked scores from the previous late-night game. Victory had finally arrived in week 12 with a Patriots’ defeat. The cheater had been conquered — the winning streak had been stopped! Noah jumped with excitement and a renewed confidence. A second Patriots’ defeat followed the next weekend. Would this losing streak continue?
With the Patriots’ record now 12-3, the season continues, and we don’t know if benching Brady will ultimately result in a Fantasy Football victory for Noah. But I smile when I think of how at his young age Noah believed in something so strongly that he took action. He did something no one else would have likely done and stood firm with resolve despite the weeks of disappointing results.
Would I have done the same or have allowed my focus on winning to blind me? I do not know. But I, too, would love to see Tom Brady benched — for real!