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Tom Brady’s moody blues on display in ‘Tom vs Time’
I think it’s safe to say that with the conclusion of Gotham Chopra’s Tom Brady documentary, “Tom vs Time,” a lot of us feel that we know the real Brady a lot more than we did previously.
The film, which was divided into six approximately 15-minute chapters, had its final episode released on the site Facebook Watch earlier this week – delayed a few weeks because, according to some reports, the producers were caught off-guard by the prospect of Brady and his Patriots actually losing the Super Bowl to the Eagles.
Of course, the Tom Brady that Pats fans have come to know over his 18 seasons in New England has also been revealed to us in various other platforms over the past year or so, including his TB12 Training Method and the eponymous book that he wrote outlining the program’s principles and including workout regimens and recipes that occasionally border on the bizarre.
The first “Tom vs Time” episode aired in early January, and the next four episodes followed on roughly a weekly basis, although the final chapter, as mentioned, didn’t drop until almost a month after episode 5.
I chose to avoid watching any of the episodes until they were all out, so that I could watch them in succession over a 90-minute period. That way, I could compare and contrast each chapter and attempt to discern what the 40-year-old Brady’s attitude is as he looks back on what many feel was one of the most provocative and emotional seasons of his lengthy career in New England.
While I’m still not sure why Brady agreed to do the film in the first place, the director — the 43-year-old son of New Age medicine guru Deepak Chopra — says that he approached Brady years before about the idea, and the Pats’ QB eventually came around to realizing that documenting what it takes for a 40-year-old athlete to continue to excel in his craft was a worthwhile venture to pursue.
I happen to believe that part of Brady’s wanting to do the film was to humanize him in the eyes of many of his detractors outside of New England who might view him as a pretty boy, a whiner, and perhaps a cheater. My guess is that he also wants to sell books (although the book itself is not mentioned in the film and is only briefly visible on his desk in a scene in chapter 2).
I think it’s helpful to offer a synopsis of each chapter before making a grand evaluation.
“Chapter 1 — The Physical Game:” We hear Brady in voiceover, “There’s a warrior spirit about me. I’m always in competition with myself”; we see highlights from Super Bowl LI against the Falcons, and later see him pull from his safe his five Super Bowl rings; we see film from his 2000 workout at the NFL Combine, where he runs sprints in shorts and a tucked-in T-shirt; we see the first of many workouts, including throwing in his backyard with the legendary Brookline golf course The Country Club in the background, and we see Brady aggressively massaged by his trainer, the much-in-the-news Alex Guerrero.
“Chapter 2 — The Mental Game:” We see more workouts, including one on a beach, and another on a California high school field with teammate Julian Edelman and his throwing coach, Tom House; we get a glimpse of his legendary game-week preparation, as he takes us into his study to look at game film (while drinking a purplish healthy shake) and informs us that he watches film all day Mondays and Tuesdays, practices with the team the next three days, and watches more film over the weekend before a game. He later watches film of his first Super Bowl, XXXVI, and then the 2007 loss to the Giants that ended the Patriots’ undefeated season — “I never let go of those losses.“
“Chapter 3 — The Social Game:” The bulk of this episode takes place at Brady’s Montana summer home, and he engages in intense workouts with Edelman and fellow receiver Danny Amendola, who have flown in for hours of running routes and preparing for the season. The trio also golfs and rides ATVs and mountain bikes. Once the film returns to New England, we see Edelman’s season-ending knee injury, the first footage of Bill Belichick (he will only be shown twice in the entire film), and frequent appearances by Brady’s children.
“Chapter 4 — The Emotional Game:” We see Brady visiting China with his oldest son, Jack, and there is real joy in his face as he spends time with his son; we get the first introduction to Brady’s admitting his regret that he is missing out on so many things in his kids’ lives because of his devotion to football; Brady also visits his parents’ California home, where he is still called Tommy, and the family gets an emotional call from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who announces that he had a separate Super Bowl champion’s ring made for Brady’s mother, Galynn, who battled cancer during her son’s 2016 NFL season.
“Chapter 5 — The Spiritual Game:” We see the Bradys in Costa Rica, where they surf. Brady calls it “a metaphor for life” (huh?) and “the hardest sport I’ve ever done.” Brady also ponders the deeper questions: “I do want to know the whys of life. Where we’re going — the deeper purpose.” Brady and Gisele are later interviewed together, and Brady says, “But there’ll be a time when (football) ends.” He is asked, when? Nervous laughter ensues, although Gisele wryly adds, “It’s about priorities.” Hmmm.
“Chapter 6 — The End Game:” This is the big one. It opens with Brady on his couch, seemingly just out of bed, his wardrobe and his hair disheveled, being asked weeks after the Super Bowl, “How you feelin’, man?,” and him answering, “Um, it’s a loaded question”; we later see more massages, a glimpse at the gruesome cut that almost cut short his season prior to the AFC title game, and the Super Bowl, along with philosophical mumbo-jumbo: “What are we doing this for?,” “You kind of have to go all in,” “There’s more to think about than just me,” and the capper: “When you lose your conviction, then you probably should be doing something else.” I just wish the director, who occasionally asked Brady questions throughout the film, had asked the logical follow-up: “Have you lost your conviction?” Instead, we fade to black.
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To me, it’s obvious that Brady and, even more so, Gisele, feel like Tom is missing out on too much of his family’s lives, and it’s evident that even when he’s home, he’s usually working out or watching film between June and February. He readily admits that he’s cognizant of the fact that family is paramount to anyone’s life, but he’s not ready to give up the game of football yet – certainly not as a 40-year-old MVP.
It’s also clear that this season has taken an emotional toll on him, what with the reported friction with Belichick and Brady’s desire to have Guerrero a much more hands-on — if that’s possible — factor at the stadium.
And yet, on Monday, Brady appeared on “Late Night with Stephen Colbert,” and often with a painted-on smile on his face Brady engaged in banter like “Nothing’s good when I’m holding my ball, so I’ve got to throw it as fast I can,” and “I’m not here to talk about retirement. I’m here to talk about how we can prolong playing” (while pushing his book).
He was goofy and maybe even a little more “hydrated” than usual. He even applied lotion to, and massaged, Colbert’s forearm, joking, “Do you want me to blow in your ear?” while the house band played Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Brady even ate his first-ever strawberry (which he claims to hate) and impressively chugged a beer with the host.
So while Brady may be nearing the end, and his family’s pleas get louder, it’s unlikely that he can easily give up the life of an elite NFL quarterback, and he probably feels he’s still got a lot of living (and playing) to do. Even for a soon-to-be 41-year-old, the job’s not done yet.
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Tom Brady on Dressing for Wife Gisele Bündchen: ‘If She Doesn’t Like It, What Good Is It’
Tom Brady‘s an expert on the football field, but when it comes to his red carpet wardrobe, the four-time Super Bowl MVP award winner lets his wife of nine years, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, take the reins.
“I always love her opinion on things, and if she doesn’t like it, what good is it?,” Brady tells PEOPLE exclusively while promoting his book, The TB12 Method. “I try to wear what I can and hopefully she likes it and if she doesn’t she usually tells me.”
When the New England Patriots quarterback, 40, isn’t sporting his #12 jersey, he has Bündchen, 37, sift through the items in his closet to ensure he’s always looking super-stylish.
“She’ll look at things and definitely has an opinion, which I love,” Brady says. “I think she has always been right on whenever she’s chosen things [for me] that she likes.”
Bündchen is most likely the person behind one of Brady’s buzziest outfits. When the football star was spotted heading through security at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis before Super Bowl LII in February, his stylish gray trench coat had Twitter exploding with hilarious theories of his potential double life as a spy.
“Brady looks like the overconfident European assassin who dies in the last twenty minutes of an action movie,” one Twitter user said.
Although Brady loves a good designer suit or coat when he’s not throwing a touchdown-winning pass, when it comes to his beauty routine, he keeps things very simple.
“I would say I’m pretty natural,” he tells us. “I use Aloe Vera from time to time for some moisturizing and I drink a lot of water.”
These steps, he says, are key for a healthy complexion. “At the end of the day I feel like I’m really hydrated,” Brady continues. “I feel like so many people want to take care of their skin from the outside in and I think you really need to take care of it from the inside out.”