Tom Brady's departure and the Five Stages of Grief

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot. It's sad. It hurts. You're allowed to feel that way.

Patriots fans, or any other fan base for that matter, has really never had to deal with a loss like this. For many, the hurt isn't going to go away quickly.

Not sure how you or those close to you will take the news? In cases of 'shock events' psychologists use the Kübler-Ross model, otherwise known as the five (now seven) stages of grief, to assess behavior.

Where are you in handling Brady's departure? Here are some Patriots-specific guides:

Shock

Everybody should have heard the news by now. If this is the first time you're seeing it, first off you're taking quarantine a little too extremely, and second here are some things you might be thinking/saying:

"Wow."

"Oh my..."

"[jumbled expletives]"

 Denial

It's been 20 years since anybody besides Brady was the Patriots' primary quarterback. Brady himself has never worn another uniform. It's easy to see why this is so hard to picture. If these thoughts cross your mind, you're probably still in this stage:

"This can't be happening!"

"I can't imagine the Patriots with another quarterback."

"There's no way these reports are true."

Anger

It feels like this is where most Patriots fans are right now. Angry at Brady, Belichick, Kraft, the whole organization, pretty much whatever they can find. If you go on Twitter, you don't have to look hard to find things like:

"Bill Belichick has lost my trust!"

"Robert Kraft should have stepped in!"

"Tom Brady betrayed us!"

"I'm no longer a Patriots fan!"

"I'm not even going to watch football this season!"

Bargaining

This one is sort of like denial-lite. If you're currently in this stage, here are some of your thoughts:

"It's not official yet, maybe the deal will fall through in Tampa."

"There's still time for Robert Kraft to step in."

"I'd give my left nut to have Tom Brady back with the Patriots."

Depression

Pretty self-explanatory here. Especially for those like me who have gone our whole lives without a quarterback change, the concept of entering an unknown territory is, for lack of a better word, a bummer. This stage includes statements like:

"This sucks"

"This really sucks"

"This is the worst"

"I don't know how I'm going to watch football/the Patriots this year."

Testing

Maybe you've moved on to thinking about what's next. After all there is more football to be played. Some thoughts during this stage might include:

"Jarrett Stidham had a good preseason last year."

"I want nothing to do with Cam Newton or Andy Dalton."

"Tank for Trevor Lawrence?"

Acceptance

This stage feels a long way away. For some people it may not kick in until training camp, the beginning of the season, Brady's eventual retirement, or ever. How do you know when you've reached it? You find yourself saying this:

"Tom Brady is the GOAT, and he and the Patriots are six-time Super Bowl Champions, the greatest run the NFL will ever see."

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].