​Federal Government helps Classless Tom Brady steal generic nickname from Tom Seaver

Published: 6/5/2019 4:31:23 PM
Modified: 6/5/2019 4:28:52 PM
IMG_5428.jpeg Nickname thief Tom Brady is seen here in his skulking clothes.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Thanks to a bizarre 180 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Tom Seaver shall no longer be referred to as “Tom Terrific.” Instead, the Federal Government has arbitrarily and capriciously decided that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the real and only Tom Terrific, much to the dismay of people who derive feelings from nicknames.
This is definitely a power the Federal Government has, so no one should bother thinking this through for more time than it takes to become outraged on behalf of Tom Seaver. Feel free to believe that a real and exigent controversy is happening here. Of the many places one could invest their anger these days, this is certainly a wise place to invest yours.
Prior to this week, the Federal Government had never taken a stand on what Americans called their sports heroes, and various humans and media were allowed to call just about any individual named Thomas, “Tom Terrific.” But that was under a system of trademark registration that had been in place for more than 70 years, under which a person could only register a name or logo that was used to identify the source of goods and services sold in interstate commerce. Like Google, Nike or Mr. Pibb. But now, the U.S. Federal Government is deeply concerned with who “The Real Tom Terrific” is, which is no way a comical waste of public resources or a gross violation of the First Amendment.
Coincidentally, Brady is also planning to sell products in interstate commerce using the brand name, “Tom Terrific” (including clothing, trading cards and photos). Until last month when Brady filed his intent to use application, literally anyone in the world could have successfully trademarked the name Tom Terrific for those types of goods. Even Tom Seaver, whose secret four-decades-old plan to sell similar merchandise was suddenly dashed without warning. Instead, Brady filed that menacing application (almost certainly with malicious intent), so he is obviously a classless nickname thief and not a savvy business person who wants to discourage knock-off manufactures from piggy-backing off his brand’s goodwill.
Unfortunately, the government is not holding Brady accountable for his complicity in stealing the name that originally belonged to Seaver and no one else. If it is not Brady’s fault that  uninventive sports scribes and announcers have spent the last 18 years calling Brady “Tom Terrific” when many of those same people had already spent 30 years calling Seaver the same name, then whose fault could it possibly be? Classless.
What’s most important to understand here is that this collusion between Brady and a domestic government robs Tom Seaver of his nickname, his stats, his Hall of Fame accomplishments, his essence and the Mets of their 1969 World Series title. And that’s just a start as the implications of someone else having the same nickname as you are difficult to fully quantify.
The Mets and their fans are naturally furious. After all, this is a franchise that refused to allow Mariano Rivera, a closer of inferior stature to their own Billy … something, to have exclusive rights to “Enter Sandman” as an entrance song. As one would expect, righteous Mets carried out a protest in which throw Brady memorabilia into “garbage bags filled with beans.”
As we all know, Mets fans are notorious collectors of Tom Brady memorabilia, so the whole thing amounted to a spectacular hill of beans.
Dave Brown is a freelance correspondent who covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.

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