Tom Brady already wasn’t popular among New York sports fans. But attempting to trademark his nickname has given those detractors further reason to dislike the New England Patriots quarterback.
According to Gerben Law Firm’s Josh Gerben, Brady has filed a trademark for the nickname “Tom Terrific.” Gerben explains that two trademarks were actually filed. One is for collectibles, such as trading cards, posters and photos. The other for t-shirts and apparel. Gerben draws the conclusion that Brady’s TB12 company intends to launch a clothing line with the “Tom Terrific” brand, along with the aforementioned collectible trading cards.
To further clarify the point, Gerben says that for a trademark to register, it must be in use for commerce. Thus, Brady intends to cash in on the nickname and brand.
But New York Mets fans believe the “Tom Terrific” nickname belongs to one of their legendary players, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver.
(If you’re curious, the @uspto Twitter handle is for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.)
Seaver pitched 12 seasons for the Mets, compiling a career 198-124 record and 2.57 ERA and 2,541 strikeouts in 3,046 innings. He also played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox during his 20-year MLB career. Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. (And yes, he wears a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.)
Long before Brady was even born, Seaver had earned the “Tom Terrific” nickname, notching five 20-win seasons, winning the National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards, and earning 10 All-Star appearances. So you can understand why Mets fans feel possessive of the nickname.
The timing of Brady’s trademark filing also may cause some ill feelings. Earlier this year, Seaver was diagnosed with dementia and his condition will prevent him from participating in the Mets’ 50-year reunion of the 1969 World Series champions. That prompted WFAN sports talk radio host Boomer Esiason to say he was “disgusted” and that Brady’s decision “felt sleazy.”
Business is business, however, and sentiment likely isn’t going to sway Brady from expanding his brand and making a considerable amount of money. That may come off as unseemly and insensitive, especially to Seaver fans. But Mets fans will always consider Seaver to be “Tom Terrific” and no trademark filing or branded t-shirts are going to change that.