I’ve seen a lot of takes given and stories written about Tom Brady’s interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday. Most are lauding Brady for his candor and humility, describing the QB as “opening up.”
Well, here’s my take on the whole thing:
Fuck Tom Brady.
The interview, for the most part, was fine, sometimes even entertaining — which had more to do with Stern than Brady. But there were a few topics where Brady told on himself, yet — not surprisingly — got a pass from most of those who cover him.
First, were his comments on race in sports. “I never saw race. I think sports transcends race,” he told Stern.
Dissecting the privilege and lack of awareness in this statement would fill an entire column. SB Nation did just that here, but were among the very few who even made note of Brady’s bullshit.
As offensive as Brady’s obtuseness is on race, his take on the media and coronavirus reveals just how much of an asshole is hiding behind that “aw, shucks” facade of his.
“I think if you sit inside and eat a bunch of shitty food, watch these crazy, nasty, fearful media reports,” he said. “I don’t think that’s doing anything other than make us feel worse.”
Crazy, nasty, fearful media reports.
What part of nearly half a million cases of a virus that has no vaccine or cure and is killing people at more than a 3% rate — a wildly higher pace than that of the usual flu — is not “crazy”? And what part of that scenario should we not be “fearful” of, you MAGA-loving, overrated, whiny, dickheaded cheater?
And, of course, by “nasty,” he undoubtedly means the coverage rightfully blaming his orange buddy’s administration and its failure to react quickly enough to the virus’ spread.
But this is why he’s such a dick. In Brady’s world of delusional privilege, if it isn’t happening to Tom Brady, then it isn’t happening. And more importantly, that makes anyone who points out something terrible that is actually happening in the world, but isn’t happening to Tom Brady, “crazy, fearful and nasty.”
According to Tom Brady.
You know, Brady has quite few things going for him. And I’m not here to begrudge him any of them. But his jadedness toward the press, in the face of how disproportionately well he’s been treated by them, is appalling.
He’s won six Super Bowls. He’s married to a supermodel. He’s movie-star handsome. He’s made gobs and gobs of money. He is also a guy, who, for 20 years, has leaned back, hands locked behind his head, and enjoyed an endless parade of pundits and writers taking turns blowing him.
Where were all the unfair shots taken at him?
Where were the invasions of the home life he keeps highly guarded, unless he decides a glimpse of it might suit either his or his wife’s brand?
To that point, in 2008 at the Super Bowl as the Giants and Patriots got set to square off, I asked Brady, toward the end of his first press conference that week, if Gisele Bundchen was going to be joining him in Phoenix before game day. His courtship with Bundchen was relatively new, but covered extensively by many outlets — including ESPN — as he had been recently photographed coming and going from her NYC apartment with flowers. Rather innocent, fun supermodel-dates-Super-Bowl-champ stuff.
Brady’s response was neither surprising nor offensive: He quickly dismissed my inquiry with a “Next question.” Fine. That’s his prerogative. What happened next on the ESPN telecast of the event was all you needed to know about how the sports media protects its messiahs. The two anchors quickly rushed to their hero’s defense, bristling at the thought of anyone asking The Holy One a question that didn’t pertain to how well he threw a football. “Well, it was only a matter of time before that question came up,” they said in disgust. “That’s what we have to end on?”
Yes, that’s what we had to end on: Two supposed “journalists” aghast that someone asked Tom Brady a question that he — mildly — didn’t like.
Yet, here we are, all these years later, and Brady, after all the coddling and post-coital, journalistic cuddling he’s received, somehow thinks he is justified in pissing on the media and its coverage of a pandemic that threatens everyone.
Maybe some people like being pissed on. Who am I to judge what goes on metaphorically between a star athlete and those who cover him? But the silence on Brady’s ignorance and arrogance is tiresome to watch.
So, I’ll say it one last time: Fuck Tom Brady.
He’s not nearly as good, smart or noble as he’s been told he is.
But fine. He’s still really handsome.
I guess, if we wanted to be petty, we could hate him for that, too.