It’s interesting you write this the same week the Harvard Business Review posted “Why Sports Are a Terrible Metaphor for Business” https://hbr.org/2017/02/why-sports-are-a-terrible-metaphor-for-business
Everyone likes to bring up Tom Brady and how the “system doesn’t work” but I’d argue that they’re drawing the wrong conclusions. Look at the Patriot’s record WITHOUT Tom Brady. In particular, go back to the 2008 season when Tom Brady torn his ACL in the first game of the season and missed the rest of the year. OH NOES!!
And then the Patriots started a SEVENTH round pick out of USC (Fight On!) named Matt Cassel. Everyone predicted doom. No way the Patriots could win with this guy.
Then they went 11–5. Most NFL teams would love to go 11–5. Most years, it gets you in the playoffs. This was one of the few years an 11–5 team DIDN’T make the playoffs (Keep in mind, a couple of years ago, the Panthers made the playoffs with a record of 7–8–1). But even without making the playoffs, the Patriots still had a successful season by most teams’ standards.
As a USC alumni (Fight on!), I was ecstatic. Matt Cassel had shown the world the even backup quarterbacks at USC can kick ass. Tom Brady rehabbed and returned, so the Patriots franchise tagged Matt, then traded him to the Chiefs, where he would sign a big contract (good for him) and lead the mighty Chiefs to:
1 playoff appearance. A game in which the Chiefs would get shelacked 30–7.
So whenever anyone breaks out these stories about Tom Brady and fourth round and “no one believed in him,” I’m always reminded of that one season that Tom Brady went down, Matt Cassel replaced him and looked for all intents and purposes to be another Tom Brady, then left the Patriots and promptly turned into a pumpkin.