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September 18, 2019
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Tom Brady Is No ‘Tom Terrific.’ Any New Yorker Can Tell You That.

Tom Brady Is No ‘Tom Terrific.’ Any New Yorker Can Tell You That.
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Jesse McKinley

Tom Brady is very, very good at his job.

But, according to New Yorkers, Boston-haters and one crucial federal agency, he is decidedly not terrific.

Indeed, on Thursday, no less an adversary than the United States Patent and Trademark Office pinned a big L on Mr. Brady, the superstar quarterback of the New England Patriots, when it declined his application to trademark the term “Tom Terrific” — a moniker long associated with Tom Seaver, the beloved New York Mets right-hander who helped pitch the team to a World Series championship in 1969.

The decision was blunt in its assessment of Mr. Brady’s case for the nickname, saying it could “falsely suggest a connection” with Mr. Seaver, who the office stressed was “uniquely and unmistakably” the only person associated with the nickname.

“Tom Seaver is so well known that consumers would presume a connection,” the office wrote.

Mr. Brady has been a mainstay in Boston for two decades, and his six Super Bowl wins have left some rabid Patriots fans calling him “Tom Terrific” as well, a nickname he has said he doesn’t like. Both he and his representatives insisted that their attempt to trademark the moniker was to prevent third parties from capitalizing on the unprotected nickname, both to his and Mr. Seaver’s detriment.

The defeat at the hands of the patent office comes even as many New York sports fans have been gleefully watching the struggles of various Boston franchises: the Boston Bruins losing the Stanley Cup, the Celtics crashing out of the second round of the N.B.A. playoffs and — of course — the world champion Red Sox, who are 15 games behind the Yankees and unlikely to make the playoffs.

At the same time, Mr. Seaver’s own Mets have been surging, causing a spike of pride in Queens and dreams of a Subway Series, an intracity championship showdown last experienced in 2000.

Of course, considering Mr. Brady’s dominance in the N.F.L., the joy was hardly confined to the tristate area. Matt Talansky, an exiled Mets fan living in Los Angeles, practically cackled at Mr. Brady’s legal fumble. Mr. Talansky recalled how Mr. Brady was suspended following a 2015 championship game for his role in a scandal involving deflating footballs in a playoff game.

“Has anyone ever even called him ‘Tom Terrific’?” Mr. Talansky said. “Was ‘Vainglorious Cheater’ already trademarked?”

It was also being shared by fans of such long suffering franchises as the Cleveland Browns, a team that has never appeared in the Super Bowl. “Even the government knows that Tom Seaver is the true ‘Tom Terrific,’” wrote one such Ohioan, in all capital letters, on Twitter.

Mr. Brady’s actions were also seen as insensitive by some considering Mr. Seaver’s declining health; in March, his family announced that the Hall of Famer, now 74, was suffering from dementia and was retiring from public life.



https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/nyregion/tom-brady-seaver-terrific.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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