Tom Brady turned 41 in August. This is not headline news, but because it’s Tom Brady, it takes on a much bigger significance, especially as speculation continues to swirl about his retirement.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in June, Brady remarked, “I’m seeing there’s definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later. As long as I’m still loving it, as long as I’m loving the preparation, the training, I’m willing to make the commitment. There’s other things happening in my life, too. I do have kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there, driving my kids to their games.”
Using that quote as fuel, the NFL gossip machine cranked up to 11. Brady’s quote appeared on an ESPN Instagram post and there, amid the hundreds of comments was one from Brady himself that read, “cuarenta y cinco,” which is the number 45 in Spanish, accompanied by three monkey emojis. Brady has two years remaining on his Patriots contract and has the experience to squeeze more time out of his career by playing clever football that lessens the toll on his body – even if there aren’t many places to hide on an NFL field.
The kids he talks about are his son Benjamin and daughter Vivian with his wife Gisele Bündchen, and his son John from his relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.
When he was a youngster, Brady dreamed of one thing and one thing only. “It was always professional sports for me, which is crazy when you think about it as the odds for it happening to anyone are so small,” he tells EDGAR. “It was almost naïve, but I never really thought about anything else. Maybe necessity is the mother of invention in that regard. In some ways it was good not to have a Plan B as it meant I wasn’t distracted by anything.”
Sitting here today as a TAG Heuer ambassador on a luxury yacht in Monaco with five Super Bowls, Brady can afford to smile. “I could never have imagined this is how it would have worked out,” he adds. “I am very blessed. Professional sports has brought me so much and been so rewarding to my life.”
James Harrison is a now-retired linebacker who won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent six weeks of the 2017 season with the Patriots. A year younger than Brady, Harrison had already made up his mind on Brady when he walked in the Patriots locker room. “To be honest with you, I wanted to hate this dude,” he admits. “But as soon as I get there, who is the first person I see, with this smiling, happy face? I thought he was faking but you watch how he moves in the locker room, how he communicates with guys – he’s the ultimate teammate.”
It sounds like Brady would make an ideal NFL coach. “I don’t know about coaching in particular but, for sure, I believe the experiences I have had can be used to help younger players,” says Brady. “I have so many young players who come up to me and ask, ‘How do I maximise my potential?’. You have to give to other guys, that’s certainly something I value in my position, as a mentor in a way. If you’ve made it through as far as I have, I see it as a responsibility to pass on that knowledge and information to other people.”
But for now, starting on September 9 in the first game of the new NFL season, Brady will use all the street smarts he’s learned over a storied career to help his beloved Patriots land Super Bowl number six and – to use a phrase Brady is fond of saying – “just get it done.”