In an offseason filled with drama, real or fake, there’s no denying the New England Patriots and their super stars have been in the spotlight. For those keeping score, first it was Malcolm Butler, then the Rob Gronkowski saga, Danny Amendola talking about life as a Patriot, and now Tom Brady.
Monday, Brady was in Beverly Hills at the Milken Institute Global Conference where he sit down with Jim Gray to discuss his life and career.
First and foremost, the answer to the question everyone has been asking, yes Brady is playing this coming season and still plans to play until he sucks. After the fact, Gray asked Brady about his relationship with owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. This lead up to the question that is sending people into a frenzy: “Do you feel appreciated by them and do they have the appropriate gratitude for what you have achieved?”
*Leans closer to the television waiting for an answer*
In a seemingly light hearted and joking manner, Brady replied with, “I plead the fifth!”
Instant panic. If he felt appreciated by the other pieces of the triumvirate he would simply say yes, right? Not necessarily. What Brady said after, which isn’t being showed when the talking heads on TV discuss this, is more positive than it’s being made out to be:
“I think everybody in general wants to be appreciated more at work in their professional life. But there’s a lot of people that appreciate me way more than I ever thought was possible as a part of my life. You have different influences in your life and the people that I work with are trying to get the best out of me.”
As a sports fan, something like this is exactly what I would want from my franchise star and current leader. While I won’t argue a definitive “yes” would have been nice when you take all the drama into consideration, this response is more Brady-esque. Not only that, but shades of Bill Belichick and the Patriot way shine through.
What I will say is this: Kraft, Belichick and Brady have been a well oiled machine for the better part of the last two decades. They know how to work together in a professional and extremely successful manner. Football is a business and Belichick and Kraft above all are bosses of their business. As a worker (which in this example is Brady), would you rather your bosses show their appreciation by marveling over your accomplishments so your performance plateaus? I wouldn’t. I’d rather have a boss who shows their appreciation by saying “what you’ve done is great, but I know you and I know you can continue to do better.”
That’s exactly what Bob, Bill, the rest of the Patriots organization and everyone in Brady’s camp is doing. Name me another athlete who is as psychotic about his work ethic like 40-year-old Tom Brady? He doesn’t want all the praise and none of the criticism like some of these other quarterbacks who I won’t name but I’m sure you can guess… He wants to be motivated to be better than he’s been, even if it seems impossible.
Had Brady said no, you all already know what would have happened; I’m not even going to get into it. Had he just said yes, people would have overanalyzed what he meant. No matter how he went about it truthfully, we would be sitting here picking it apart like buzzards. But what he said should be taken with a more positive connotation. This isn’t the end of the world so can everyone relax, please?