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Tom Brady Denies the Rumor He's Been Doing 'The Masked Singer,' but the Mystery Surrounding His Whole Situation Grows Deeper by the Day

Chris O'Meara. Shutterstock Images.

You know what I would love more than anything else right now? (I mean, besides the obvious: Kate Beckinsale bringing me a Lagavulin 16 while I sit poolside on my superyacht texting with Bill Belichick about my assessment of his offense.) To be able to drop this entire story about Tom Brady's whereabouts the last two weeks. Just drop it like it's a hot pan. And all that would require would be for him to walk over to the few dozen media people that are no doubt at every Buccaneers practice and tell them the truth. 

Not even the whole truth or nothing but the truth. Just some of it. Enough to make this story go away. Instead of keeping his distance like Her Royal Majesty making Her Royal Arrival at some steeplechase or whatever. So that I don't have to waste any more time on this particular issue like I have here and here. So I can turn my attention to more pressing matters (while drinking my cheap offbrand equivalent of Lagavulin 16 next to my white trash above ground pool). But so far he hasn't. 

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All we've gotten is him shooting down the rumor he's been pre-earning his Fox money by singing in Furry cosplay. With a jokey Tweet that is, not coincidentally, a quote Tweet of an ad for his own brand:

And that's the thing about Tampa Tom. Everything with post-New England Tom is, above all else, calculated. To the extreme. In Foxboro his public communication was most definitely controlled by Belichick. But with the Bucs, it's controlled by his brand. Which is fine. It's his God-given right to market himself as he sees fit. And I'll die to defend it. After all, those $20 boxer briefs won't sell themselves. But nowhere in anything he's done over the last couple of weeks gives you the impression he feels accountable to anyone. Not his fans, for sure. Unless they're spending 20 bucks on a pair of underpants.

So the less that gets said, the more confusing it is. Subsequently, the more you hear from everyone else, the more confusing it is. Depending on who you're listening to, since he's come back to camp, he's either throwing footballs to absolute perfection:

Or he's looking "miserable":

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So what gives? Is there anyone available to peel back the shroud of mystery surrounding the greatest competitor the game has ever seen, a guy who's spent more than two decades being the most diligent, hyper-prepared, and (in his own words) laser focused team leader ever, suddenly leaving his post in the middle of camp? Not the people who cover the team. That much we do know. 

I have no beef whatsoever with this Rick Stroud fella. He seems to know, but is not at liberty to tell us. So what we get is Bilbo and Gollum exchanging Riddles in the Dark:

I am 11 days off. 

I am very personal, but I am not health related. 

I am not issues with my children, nor my mom and dad.

I invite speculation, but I am not a vacation. 

No one knows where I am, but I am not Tampa.

What am I?

All we're supposed to do is accept that a franchise player took the unprecedented step of taking a lengthy sabbatical from camp after having 5 1/2 months off, and not ask any more questions. Just take it on faith that if we knew the reason for the excused absence, we'd be perfectly fine with it. And call me old fashioned, but that is a big ask. Especially when a thousand miles away, you've got Aaron Rodgers coming off an MVP season answering questions about whether he did damage to his young receivers by skipping OTAs. 

For all any of us knows, Brady going over the wire was 100% justifiable. Maybe he and Gisele went on some mission of mercy. Maybe they dug wells in some poverty-stricken village as part of Gorgeous Celebrity Couples Without Borders. Or tried to negotiate peace in Ukraine. Perhaps he astral projected back to the homeworld he was rocketed here from, and now his people are coming here to bring us clean, renewable energy. All I ask is that we get some shred of the truth so we can understand, rather than just be told to accept it as face value. 

And just to bring it back where every story goes - the Patriots - I for one am glad to have a franchise quarterback who's still laser focused on his work, not creating mysteries. 

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