Tampa Bay Tom is already off to a fresh new start.
When Tom Brady left the Patriots last month the sports world was in disbelief. While it may have been something we reasonably saw coming, the idea that Brady could ever suit up in a jersey that wasn’t donning ole Pat seemed like blasphemous conjecture.
After all, 20 years is no short-term relationship, and in those 20 years with the Patriots, Brady put together a historic career worthy of being recognized as the greatest of all time. A title that Brady doesn’t seem too keen on explicitly giving himself, as we have come to learn.
Having now settled into his new home, which he is renting from Derek Jeter (yes, that Derek Jeter), and having nothing else to do, Brady sat down for a quick quarantine chat with the legendary Howard Stern. And by quick, we mean over two hours of in-depth conversation.
The infamously reserved Brady apparently not only shed his uniform when he left New England, but also his witty reluctance to actual answer interview questions. Seemingly starting a brand new chapter in his life and career, Brady unloaded his heap of baggage for all of our sports-parched ears to devour.
From family trouble to the fateful moment when he officially ended his professional relationship with Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick, Brady reveals all.
Fortunately for you, due to the unfortunate circumstances of the coronavirus quarantines, Sirius XM has opened up their exclusive airwaves for everyone to hear free of charge, till May 15. The full interview can be listened to here, on Howard Sterns Sirius XM channel.
However, there’s still the matter of actually committing the 2-plus hours to the entire interview. After all, time is money and well, not all of us having anything better to do at the moment but for those of us that do, here is a quick recap of the most scintillating parts of Howard Sterns interview with Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
Not Better Than Joe Montana
A record-setting six Super Bowl wins, four Super Bowl MVP’s, three league MVP’s and a plethora of shattered regular and post-season records still isn’t enough for Brady to confidently proclaim himself as the superior quarterback over Joe Montana.
Brady remarked, “I can’t say that, I would never say that. That’s not how I think about myself. The only thing I care about is, am I the best I can be?”
One must wonder, if Brady still feels he can be better than he’s been, just what should we be expecting this upcoming season? shiver
Knew It Was His Last Season
Coming into the season, Brady already had a feeling this may very well be his final season with the Patriots. Even though his contract ran for another two years, a player option to void the contract after the first year meant the $62 million the Patriots would have owed him wasn’t enough to keep the eventual Hall of Famer.
“I don’t think there was a final, final decision until it happened, but I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year, and I knew that it was just — our time was coming to an end,” Brady said.
Doesn't Care About Legacy
While he doesn’t deny the magnitude of his accomplishments and what the team was able to do over the past two decades, he does stop short of letting a thus far successful career be the end-all to his on-going career.
“I never once, when I was in high school, said, ‘Man, I can’t wait for what my football legacy looks like.’ It’s just not me, that’s not my personality,” Brady shared.
It seems that same fire he had for the sport back in his younger days continues to burn strong. Brady continued, “So why would I choose a different place? It’s because it’s just time. I don’t know what to say other than that. I had done everything–I accomplished everything I could in two decades with an incredible organization, incredible group of people– and that will never change.”
Leaving The Patriots Was An Emotional Affair
The Patriots Way may be a cut-throat approach to building the ultimate sports team, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t any love left to share. Robert Kraft and Brady shared a close relationship, as did Belichick, contrary to popular belief.
Brady still holds immense respect for both men and even drove to Kraft’s home to tell him in person, his decision to part ways with the team. This turned out to be an emotional moment for Tom as he said himself, “I’m a very emotional person. I have a deep caring for the people I work with and I wish nothing but the best for them.”
Speaking Of Wishing For The Best
Brady admitted he was very particular on who he would pass the ball to during a game. If he didn’t trust one of his receivers to successfully carry the ball, he told Belichick he wasn’t going to pass that player the ball.
“I definitely expressed my opinion to say ‘If you put him out there, I’m not going to throw him the ball.’ The whole team is trusting me to do what’s right by the team, so you can’t put someone out there that I don’t believe in.”
Made Each Other Better
It’s no secret that Bill Belichick is a stern man, touted as one of the greatest coaches of all time, and with the accolades to back it up. Many like to argue, however, that Belichick was just fortunate enough to have landed a diamond-in-the- rough quarterback out of the sixth round of the draft. The same criticism goes the other way as well, with many convinced that Brady’s legendary career was the prosperous product of a perfect system.
Brady rejects both of these notions, stating “…I can’t do his job and he can’t do mine. The fact you could say, ‘Would I be successful without him, the same level of success?’ I don’t believe that would have been. But I feel the same vice versa, as well. To have him allowed me to be the best I can be, so I’m grateful for that. I very much believe that he feels the same way about me, because we’ve expressed that to each other.”
Relationships Off The Field (i.e. Trump)
It’s been very well documented by now that Brady and Donald Trump shared a friendly relationship. The two have known each other since the early 2000’s and even play the occasional round of golf together. But that’s as far as Brady is willing to take the relationship. No politics, just friends.
“I didn’t get into all the political–there’s zero win n anything in regards to that–it’s politics,” Brady stated. “I feel like in an outward sense, when you start talking about politics, it;s about how do you not bring people together? Which is the opposite of what politics should have always been in our country.”
Amen to that.
Skipped Off-Season Training For The Family
An NFL career is taxing, let alone time-consuming. Between a grueling regular season, perennial post-season success (when you’re Tom Brady), and necessary off-season training, there isn’t much time left for the things that matter in life; family.
While we hate to dive into the personal lives of athletes, it’s worthwhile to note the exemplary sacrifice Brady made during the off-season for the good of this family. As noted earlier, an NFL career is taxing, but on more than just the player himself. While the players are away, hurling their bodies about, the one’s back home continue to hold down to the fort.
Reasonably, one would expect a little help once the players main obligations were over, i.e. the regular season. It so happens that at one point in the last few years, Gisele was unhappy with the status-quo and asked Brady to check himself. This turned out to be the reason Brady skipped some voluntary training camp days, not a feud with Belichick.
Ending Career On His Own Terms
“For me, it’s doing what I love to do. You don’t tell a musician to stop singing at age 42. You don’t tell a great painter, stop painting at 42. If you want to stop, stop, go ahead. But for me, because I feel like I can still play doesn’t mean I should stop playing because that’s what everyone tells me I should do.”
Play on Brady, play on.