You’re a hard worker, you’ve risen to the top of your field, won countless awards and yet outside perceptions can differ wildly depending on whether you are “liked” – especially when rumors begin to surface.
Case in point is the two different tales of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Respectively, they entered the 2015 and 2016 Super Bowls with a scandal lurking in their immediate backgrounds. One received heavy media coverage about his alleged actions that immediately became fodder for every show, interview and opinion piece leading up to (and beyond) the big game. The other went through about one and half news cycles and the story has mostly drifted away for the moment, even though it is unresolved.
Mr. Brady, hoping to enjoy glory in the wake of last year’s Super Bowl win, instead was hounded by charges that he was part of a complicated scheme to deflate footballs to obtain a competitive advantage. Many predicted that his championship would appear with an “asterisk” because of the allegations. Mind you, he was accused of taking this massive risk despite winning every recognition, bowl and accolade and considered one of the top quarterbacks of his generation. Prior to this, he didn’t have any noteworthy blemishes on his record.
Just the hint that Brady was potentially involved in something unsavory had media outlets, not to mention fans of most of the other 31 NFL teams, salivating at the thought that the quarterback was about to go down in a 1920’s Black Sox blaze of glory. In essence, he was assumed to be guilty by many because, hey, he’s Tom Brady of the Patriots!
Oh wait, he’s eventually found not guilty? Well, he must have found some way to scramble out of yet another bind because, hey, he’s Tom Brady of the Patriots.