OK, seriously — does Tom Brady have dirt on someone at ESPN? Does ESPN have a large chunk of its investments tied up in Brady? Wait — actually, yeah, they do. That should explain the PR puff piece they just put out on the Bucs QB a week after the news broke that Brady had planned to become a part-owner of the Dolphins and negotiate a trade deal to Miami, a plan that was foiled by his former coach’s ill-timed text to Brian Flores, kicking off an enormous lawsuit against the Dolphins and the NFL. Do we get any mention of that? No, of course not.
But I’m sure you’ll be interested to note that Brady’s performance apparel brand is launching a golf collection. To be honest, that’s the biggest takeaway we’re getting here, as the rest of his interview is filled with predictable quotes including, “I wanted to give myself and my teammates and our organization another incredible opportunity to accomplish something that we’d all be very proud of,” and “At the end of the day, I just love the competition on the field,” and, of course, “I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do and obviously I have a love for the game, I think I’ll always have a love for the game.”
Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah. No hard feelings against Brady or anything, but this piece from last night was followed up by what was essentially a press release from ESPN on Brady’s new golf apparel collection and NIL sponsorships. Nothing on the Dolphins, nothing on Flores or Stephen Ross or Bill Belichick or even Bruce Arians’ retirement. Not a Brady comment, not a mention from the author. So, all in all, nothing.
Brady’s father, Tom Sr., has placed some blame on ESPN’s reporting as pushing the veteran QB toward his initial retirement announcement, as Adam Schefter broke the news in a timeline that has become very hazy, particularly with the revelation that Brady had never truly planned to retire. So maybe ESPN is trying to gain back some ground or make amends?
But really, they have a vested interest in Brady’s product. His docuseries, Man in the Arena, aired on ESPN+ exclusively — and if they made that before his career was over, imagine what Brady content they have planned to shove down our throats for the next half-century. Earlier this month, ESPN announced its first-ever NFT deal with Brady’s company Autograph. They’ve got some money tied up in the dude, no doubt about it, and with that name recognition, they’re not looking to get out anytime soon.
God knows how long we’ll have to suffer through puff pieces on his new ventures or whatever he feels like talking about on a given day. To be fair to ESPN, he probably wouldn’t agree to talk to anyone who insisted on asking any real questions.