zach bacharContributor IOctober 17, 2023
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Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady isn’t excited about the direction of the NFL in terms of how the game is called by officials.
In a recent episode of the “Lets Go!” podcast that he hosts with Jim Gray and Larry Fitzgerald, Brady discussed the controversial ending to the New York Giants’ 14-9 loss against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReportShould this have been a flag or nah? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Kwfpa7Zm4l
“It’s definitely a penalty,” he said (starts at 5:43). “There was obviously a holding, they just didn’t call it.”
However, Brady was less excited about the abundance of flags thrown in games throughout the 2023 season.
“Football is a physical sport, there’s a physical element to all of this,” he said (4:35). “You throw a 15-yard flag for something that, you know, 20 years ago maybe wouldn’t have had a flag. That affects the game in a big way.”
The 15-time Pro Bowler likened today’s NFL landscape to the sport of flag football, where collisions between players are discouraged and thus much more infrequent.
“There’s so many people that want it less and less physical, it’s more like flag football, which is going to be in the Olympics in 2028,” Brady said (8:30). “Maybe football goes to flag football over a period of time.”
As arguably the greatest signal-caller in the history of the NFL, Brady’s opinion holds weight. While it may not be enough to single-handedly change policy-maker’s minds, it could open the door for a larger conversation regarding officiating league-wide.