“ Did someone take my jersey? I absolutely, a hundred percent, put it in my bag,” said a flustered Tom Brady as he raided his locker seeking his jersey moments after the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
What a year! Tom Brady has been on a roller coaster since last April when Deflategate started and Patriots fans didn’t think it couldn’t get any worse, right? Wrong. It turns out that Brady had his game jersey stolen right out of his bag in the Patriots’ locker room that was, supposedly, protected by NFL security. Goodell strikes again.
Such a bold move to steal the NFL’s Ark of the Covenant from the greatest player in football history. I don’t blame the guy. Who wouldn’t want to have the GOAT’s jersey hanging above their mantle in their man cave (if it was that easy to mosey right into the locker room, I might have stolen it myself)?
Now that Brady has been enmeshed in Jerseygate, Texas needed to call in the big guns: the Texas Rangers. No, not the lamentable Major League Baseball team, but the special division within the Texas Law Enforcement division. Thank God, because the baseball team can’t even handle playing the Minnesota Twins.
Weeks passed and these guys who, when I hear their name, makes me think of Chuck Norris in Walker Texas Ranger tearing apart Texas to find Brady’s gem. Unfortunately, their trail led them to believe that the jersey was outside of the United States and in Mexico (great, another reason for 45 to build the wall).
Now that the FBI was involved, this guy was as nervous as playing against Texas A&M at home. Who wouldn’t be? You’ve stolen the jersey (valued at $500,000) of the quarterback who just led his team to the greatest Super Bowl comeback in NFL history, which places a hefty target on your back.
After their pertinacious search, the FBI tracked down their culprit: Martin Mauricio Ortega who was posing as a member of the international media. Ortega was spotted on several security cameras walking into the locker room as he successfully blended in with Bill Belichick’s entourage. That blows my mind. How do NFL and Patriot security personnel allow a member of the media just slip in line like the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow in the Wizard of OZ? We’ll just blame Goodell for that one.
Turns out, Ortega not only met Brady several years before, but he also took a selfie with Brady. Such a bonehead move as a “professional” in the media. And as if Ortega’s situation couldn’t possibly get worse, it did. The FBI also discovered he also stole Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX jersey too. Ortega has some cojones for the two-peat in snagging jerseys, but his reign is over.
This quintessential saga of a movie plot (which is very likely in the works) for Brady came to a close when both of his jerseys were returned to the Patriots on Thursday. Brady released a statement thanking everyone involved in tracking down his jerseys and hopes to have something good come out of this situation.
To be honest, I hope that this is a recurring issue for Brady to keep him human. Think about this: Tom Brady has obviously achieved everything under the sun from having an impeccable family to being the greatest quarterback of all time, but yet, he consistently has to overcome obstacles, such as Goodell handing down the four game suspension in the beginning of the season, players around the league always saying how Brady is a “crybaby,” and international crooks stealing his jersey. The guy cannot catch a break. Maybe Brady needs to be involved in a controversy every year to keep a chip on his shoulder to motivate him to play to the best of his ability.
Stay tuned to see what other sports memorabilia the FBI recovers from Ortega’s stronghold, as well as what Brady decided to do with his stolen jerseys.