However else you feel about Tom Brady going to the White House with the Buccaneers after skipping out on his last two Patriots visits (and yesterday I erroneously said he blew off the Trump White House twice in a row, forgetting that the team never scheduled a visit after 2018. And I feel awful about the factual inaccuracy), you have to cut him some slack about one thing. Comedy is not easy. And it's even tougher to be part of a comedy team. It takes more hours of hard work and practice to get the timing down than even between a quarterback and his receiver. Which makes it particularly hard when the Key to your Peele is a guy you just met and a career politician who's had people laughing at his jokes like their jobs depend on making him look good. So we can cut him some slack if this obvious joke didn't land.
It's what Brady said after the visit, on his semi-regular radio appearance/tongue bath with Jim Gray that was way more worth everybody's time. (Note: I know I'm not fooling anyone. If that was me on the mic, I'd be fanboying so hard he'd have to keep a spray bottle of water to spritz me in the face every time I started dry humping his mighty, surgically repaired knee. Compared to me, Gray is like Mike Wallace interviewing a tobacco company exec.) Beginning with his team's visit to Foxboro in Week 4. Which could be nothing less than the most anticipated regular season game in NFL history. I'll still make a case for Week 17 of 2007, with the Pats going for 16-0 at the Giants, a game which was scheduled for NFL Network but ended up on every cable outlet, from local affiliates to Animal Planet and QVC. But a good argument could be made this will be huger. (A buddy of mine is has his four season tickets for this one on the secondary market and is asking 6,400 bucks for the bunch. And will likely get it.) Brady appreciates the magnitude of the moment.
Via the Boston Herald - Brady ... began by saying he’d be going back to Foxboro for “the last time probably in my career.”
“There’s a lot to happen between now and then, and obviously I know the challenge of beating a great team like that, a great organization, great players, so many friends that are still on the team that still are my brothers,” he said. ...
"I’m sure it’ll be a great opportunity for me to go back to a place I know as well as anyone. It’ll be a great day for football.” ...
“I’m not naive to the fact there’s some marquee games you always look at over the course of the season, a matchup of places guys have been versus where they’re at now,” said Brady. “You know, brothers playing one another, or former Super Bowl teams going — when we played the Giants in the regular season, it always felt like it was a little more when I was with the Patriots. So, naturally, there’s just more buildup, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be a game where we’re going to prepare like we’ve been preparing.“
Our team at the Bucs has done some really cool things over the course of last season, that I really want to see, how committed we are to improving those processes. I thought we got really good toward the latter end of the season, and I thought we were still an ascending football team.”
Now, if you've only taken Intro to Bradyspeak and only mildly conversant in the language, you might think this is pretty mild. Just athletetalk for "It should be a good game and we'll have to give our best effort." That there's no red meat here. But let me assure you, as someone with a scholarly level of fluency in the GOAT tongue, that there is enough salt here to cure 10 pounds of beef jerky. Allow me to translate:
"You know that bullshit I was forced to spew by my control freak coach in New England about "One game at a time," and "We're not looking ahead," and "We're onto Wherever"? Well fuck that. I've had this date circled in my calendar since long before I shot my way out of town. I'm sitting here in July talking about early October because I have no fucks to give. I proved my point last year, and the Patriots proved ALL my points by going 7-9 without me. And the longer we played, the better we got. And that is on me. Not anyone else. Not Coach Scally Cap McFriendly. He works for me. He's a figure head. My useful idiot. And my old coach's polar opposite. And I aim to show Coach Surly McGruff Face that I was the boss of him for about the last 15 years. I know every blade of Field Turf in that place. Every air current. Every shadow from the stadium lights. The last time I was there I turned a 5-11 Kent State quarterback into a lethal weapon. Wait to see what I do with the athletes who are now at my disposal. The storm drains of Foxboro will run red with the blood of those who treated me so shabbily. I'm coming in Week 4. And Hell's coming with me."
At least that's my takeaway. Maybe I'm still just a little sensitive about this topic. And dreading the emotional Chernobyl coming to town October 3rd, But tell me where I'm wrong.
Next, Brady was asked about the mysterious "motherfucker" NFL quarterback he talked about getting passed over for on LeBron James' show:
Here held back even less.
“There’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me,” he said. “They know who they are … it’s fine. Everyone has a choice to choose. I think what you realize is, there’s not as many smart people as you think. That’s just the reality. I think it’d be a no-brainer if you said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to get Wayne Gretzky on your team, or you got a chance to have Michael Jordan on your team.’ … ‘Oh, we don’t need him, no thanks. We’re good.’
“In my mind, I’m kind of thinking, ‘OK, let me go show those teams what they’re missing.’ At the same time, let me go prove to the team that did bet on me, and the team that really showed they really wanted me, and committed to me, that I’m not going to let them down.”
Again, as a someone with his PhD in Brady Studies, allow your pal Dr. Old Balls to put these comments into proper context. Simply put, he's feeling it. Here's a guy who has played the False Modesty card every chance he's been given for two decades. He's never once allowed anyone to suggest in his presence that he's the GOAT, even while running circles around the career accomplishments of your Joe Montanas and Peyton Mannings. Now he's comparing himself to Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, the unquestioned Best There Ever Was in This Game. And so it doesn't matter who the motherfucker is or how reasonable the slight from the mystery team might have been, it's his new rage fuel. His Brady 6. His Deflategate. Just the latest in an endless series of disrespects he's used a rocket propellant to shoot him into interstellar space and beyond.
And at the risk of maybe reading too much into it (which of course I haven't done to this point), that bit about "there's not as many smart people as you think" sounds suspiciously aimed in the direction of the GM's office at One Patriots Place. The bottom line is, Brady does have a "choice to choose." And he's talking like he's made it.
I might not survive to October 4th. Pray for me.