Reporters who covered Tom Brady in New England for two decades rarely expected anything informative or entertaining to emerge from the quarterback’s mouth. Keep it straight and narrow, don’t reveal anything about yourself or your team, and just win.
So when Brady began to crack wisely as a Tampa Bay quarterback and, once again, as Super Bowl MVP, people took notice. One media member even said: “Hey, that’s funny.”
And then Brady, perhaps a little drunk, hauled the Lombardi Trophy from boat to boat to Cameron Brett during a celebration of the Buccaneers’ victory. Well, that video almost broke social media.
As Brady returns to Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, this is not the same guy his coach counts as his, who left after the 2019 season. Make no mistake, he’s still the quarterback that no opposing team wants to face. But now, more relaxed, more charming and, yes, more relatable than ever, Brady could be a more dangerous rival than ever.
“I think it changed with him moving to Tampa and growing up,” said former teammate Teddy Bruschi, a standout linebacker in New England. “I don’t think it was possible for Tom to be in New England the first five or 10 years. He was so engrossed in becoming what he is now.
“He sees a different perspective about the other things that are important in your life. He’s married, his kids are growing up, he’s developed his personality both outside the facility and outside the stadium, and in all the meetings. Having fun, focusing more on his life.”
While it’s hard to imagine Sunday night’s game to be particularly comfortable for Brady—a journey like this is gut-wrenching for the stars; Just ask Brett Favre or Peyton Manning—he’s unlikely to be worried about it. Why? All because of what he has learned and processed during his more than two decades in pro football.
And because it has shaped the current Tom Brady. Always the perfectionist on the field, often cold-hearted, he is now presenting himself as more accessible, more communicative, more, yes, human.
“I think that new side will emerge only when they win another championship,” Bruschi said. “I say that’s the only way he’ll really believe there’s more than one way to do something – do it again – in a different way.
“The success he had last year validated his view that there is more than one way to do things and it doesn’t have to be this way all the time.”
Brady has also become a major proponent of nine companies, Pitchman: Subway Restaurants; T Mobile; fundamentalists; Under Armour; Christopher Kloss sunglasses; IWC watches; religion of sport; Autograph, an NFT platform; and FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange for which he and his wife, Gisele, have advertised.
Plus, he has a weekly SiriusXM radio program that he hosts with Larry Fitzgerald, on which Brady talks about everything from touchdown passes and Super Bowls, to NFTs and crypto.
His sense of humor and willingness to poke fun at himself—his longtime rival Peyton Manning has excelled publicly for decades—has shed a new light on Brady’s personality. Fear not, he’s also a little goofy, especially in his commercials for Subway and T-Mobile.
“It’s a sandwich. I ate a lot of Subway in college. I lived on Subway sandwiches in college,” he said. “We used to have these little chip cards that coaches used to give us when we didn’t have training tables It was nice when my friends used to work there because we got a little extra meat there and it was great. It was part of my past and part of my future. Hope people like that ad.”
Bill Belichick Probably not.
When asked whether his emerging personality is due to a change in the environment from “Patriots Way” to a more open “Arian Way” than “Patriots Way,” Brady admitted, “I think all of the above.”
“It’s good that I have found my voice more,” he said. “I really enjoy being around my teammates, my coaches. It’s been a different atmosphere. I am really enjoying the experience of playing football with this group of people.”
Including, of course, Rob Gronkowski. The Happy-Go-Lucky, Do-Anything Tight End was the very rare player to have starred himself in New England. If Gronk rubbed on Brady in there, it was barely detectable.
Now? Gronk is still the comedian of the two, but Brady shows some humorous touches—far more than a patriot.
So much so that Bruschi has a suggestion that no one would have submitted in 2019.
“It’s as if Tom is saying, ‘Hey Peyton, I can do this better than you,'” Bruschi laughs, referring to Manning’s constant presence on the airwaves. “He’ll get his own when Tom Brady retires.”
by Barry Wilner
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times