The Shady Side Of Tom Brady

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Saying Tom Brady is the NFL GOAT feels like a gross understatement. The man has ten Super Bowl appearances. No one even touches that. The next closest player, a kicker, has six, according to Yardbarker, and only because he played for Brady's New England Patriots.

Tom Brady just isn't like other humans, and he's spent his entire life proving it. Where mere mortals crumble when everything is on the line, Brady cooly winds up and delivers, time and time again. His work ethic is legendary. His is appetite to win is insatiable, and in those rare instances he doesn't, you can spot him pacing the sideline giving everybody a piece of his mind. 

Everything about Brady is unusual. He wasn't even a hot prospect coming out of college. His unimpressive build and glacially slow 40-yard dash had NFL scouts overlooking a then 22-year old kid from San Mateo, Calif., according to the Boston Globe. Never mind he's 6'4" and has a rocket for an arm, he just didn't look like an athlete — on paper. But that's because Brady's outlier ability is inside. He's the kind of guy who gets you down on the scoreboard, and then cooly steps on your throat to finish you off. So don't let the skinny-fat physique or megawatt smile fool you, this man is ruthless, and if he wasn't, he wouldn't be so damn good. Shady Tom Brady for the win. Set, hut, hike!

Who is the shady man behind Tom Brady's health regimen?

Tom Brady clearly made some sort of pact with dark forces, but this is no ordinary deal with the devil. Brady's underworld fountain of youth is actually his business partner, Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is a long-time health-industry huckster with questionable credentials, who has lied under oath and even allegedly posed as a doctor to hock fake cures to AIDS patients, according to Boston.

Brady is big into holistic healing and has come "under Guerrero's spell," again says Boston. As a result, Guerrero runs the quarterback's questionable TB12 Sports Therapy Center, according to the Boston Globe. Guerrero's various schemes are well documented. Perhaps the worst: he was sued by the Federal Trade Commission in 2004 for selling a fraudulent cancer treatment complete with fabricated research detailing miraculous recoveries that reportedly never happened.

Although it seems like scamming terminal cancer patients would be enough to get Brady to drop-step and pivot away from Guerrero, the QB instead vociferously defended this alleged con man during an interview with WEEI Sports Radio Network (via Forbes) "I mean, that's part of his life and that's something that happened 13 years ago ... Nutritional supplements and FTC regulation, and all those types of things, there are a lot of gray areas." To the reported dismay of Pats coach Bill Belichick, Brady even reportedly forced The New England Patriots to employ Guerrero, despite what Forbes described as "his disgusting history of deception." 

Tom Brady's TB12 got a COVID-19 bailout

Tom Brady will have made some $350 million dollars, minimum, when he's done with NFL glory, according to Forbes. Taxes do take a bite, so Yahoo! estimates his net worth around $200 million. That tidy sum is somehow dwarfed by wife Gisele Bundchen's own estimated net worth of $400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. This power couple is well on its way to billionaire status, and yet, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Brady, instead of buoying his TB12 business with his own bountiful liquidity, took $960,000 from taxpayers, according to CNBC.

The cash was a PPE loan, the Paycheck Protection Program, run by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which released this information on Brady's company. The program was designed to allow companies struggling with pandemic disruptions to keep employees on the payroll, but, "It's unclear how TB12 was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and how many jobs it retained with the loan," per CNBC

Other successful sports businesses, like the NBA's most cash-rich franchise, The Los Angeles Lakers, took similar loans — $4.6 million in their case — but paid it back when the PPP went broke. Nearly 100,000 small businesses of all types shut their doors for good during the first seven months of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, according to data released by Yelp. Not all of them could access these publicly funded, low-interest loan programs that were so quickly snapped up by Brady and others with questionable need.

You can eat like Tom Brady for $200

Speaking of egregious Tom Brady business practices, if you're not interested in saving time or money, well QB 12 and the TB12 brand has just the $200 cookbook for you, The TB12 Method: How to Do What You Love, Better and for Longer. That "absurd" cost for this "nutritional manual" is fully justified, jokes CBS Sports, "if you hate sugar, white flour, olive oil, iodized salt, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplants, all caffeine and dairy products."

TB12 describes this book as a "living document" that can be continually amended — in other words, it contains paper. It's also made in the U.S. and, according to Brady's website (via CBS Sports), is "printed on thick 100-pound text paper. The covers are made from natural wood with a laser-etched TB12 logo and title." In other words, it's a book. 

Brady's own diet is famously fastidious. His personal chef told Boston.com the quarterback eats 80% vegetables, but because reasons, he shuns two very commonly used pieces of produce: mushrooms and tomatoes. Every second blue moon, however, Brady goes wild and enjoys some ice cream — but not actual ice cream, obviously — TB12 avocado ice cream, which he even shared with reporters on his 40th birthday, according to NFL.com. You can save yourself the $200 and nab the recipe from Boston.com, who re-printed it, pointing out how TB12 blurred out the details when promoting it on Facebook. With those savings, you could invest in wife Gisele's Bundchen's $700 coffee table book.

Why did Tom Brady shade Nick Foles?

Something weird happened in week five after Tom Brady's new team in 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost a nail-biter to Nick Foles' new team, the Chicago Bears, 19-20. Brady, who is usually gracious and shakes hands after games, says Bleacher Report, ran off the field without the customary dabs between rival QB's, leaving a sad-looking Foles sort of wandering around the field, looking for his vanquished foe.

"I don't think it's anything in particular except I have great admiration for Nick and he's off to a helluva start," Brady told NFL reporters including Rick Stroud after the game. So maybe it was just a Covid precaution? asked Kyle Brandt on Good Morning Football. Well, not so fast. Brandt pointed out that Brady gave plenty of love after games that season to guys like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees — and even Justin Herbert, who Brandt points out "was five seconds old when Brady won his first Super Bowl."

So what gives? "Is it because he beats you every time, Tom?" Brandt further speculated. And maybe there's something there. Foles' former team, The Philadelphia Eagles, upset Brady and his New England Patriots at Super Bowl LIII in 2018. Foles, a backup playing behind Carson Wentz for most of the season, replaced the injured starter, led the Eagles through the playoffs, and beat Brady out for Super Bowl MVP. QB 12 is an insatiable competitor and this most recent loss might still sting.

The shadow of Deflategate looms over Tom Brady

Any football player will admit that funny-shaped oblong ball is easier to grip when it's a teensy bit flat. Tom Brady obviously agrees, but his love of slightly softer balls created a scandal so big that in 2019, a 10-year-old boy received national attention for his science fair project called "Is Tom Brady a cheater?," which demonstrated flat balls are indeed more accurate, according to NBC News.

The scandal was dubbed "Deflategate." The NFL's investigation found that Brady was "at least generally aware" of team staff's efforts to use balls with lower PSI levels than the league mandated during the 2015 season. Brady earned a four-game suspension for this grievous crime and his team was fined $1,000,000, and lost several draft picks. 

Brady has made four Super Bowl appearances since he got caught in this supposed scheme. Deflategate has just plain "aged poorly," according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, who wrote, "At best, it was a relatively minor rules violation that no rational person would link to the Patriots' victory two weeks later in Super Bowl XLIX." A 2021 documentary Four Games in Fall further dogged the NFL, suggesting (via Yahoo!) that the league ignored science and "used biased investigators, manipulated evidence and an effective, if pathetic, misinformation campaign to railroad Brady." The air has come out of this story, but as we'll see, whatever the merits, it was devastating to Brady personally.

Did Deflategate have Tom Brady's marriage on the rocks?

As much of a nothing burger as "Deflategate" may seem in retrospect, it was devastating to Tom Brady at the time, not just as an athlete, but as a husband. Brady had been married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen for six years in 2015 when the pseudo-scandal broke, and it pushed the relationship into "dangerous territory" when Bundchen "threatened" Brady with divorce, claimed US Weekly.

The mag said the couple was having "intense fights" following the announcement of Brady's four-game suspension for his alleged minor role in deflating footballs for competitive advantage. "Tom's become very nasty and irritable and started acting out on her," a source claimed. Things got so bad Bundchen allegedly visited a divorce attorney. "Tom thinks it's only a threat," claimed a family insider, "But this is definitely a rough patch ... This could be the end for them."

Another report described Brady as "moody" and "nasty and cold," supposedly succumbing to the stress of the scandal. "Tom is singularly focused on his career and sometimes Gisele feels left out. There have been arguments," a source told People. The couple then declined to spend their summer birthdays together that year, per custom — even while Gisele was signaling all was well from afar with this throwback photo of the two kissing on a beach, via Instagram. But whatever transpired, they got through it, and no actual divorce proceedings ensued.

Tom Brady is so good it's unfair

Tom Brady's great contemporary rival was undoubtedly Peyton Manning. Manning may be the most elite passer the NFL has ever seen, and still holds the record for most yards in a single season, two slots above Tom Brady's single-season mark, according to Pro Football Reference. Manning went to four Super Bowls and won two, compared to Brady's six wins, so far. But with Manning's affable southern drawl and all those cheeky insurance jingles, the former Indianapolis Colt is undoubtedly the more beloved figure.

But why? Well, Brady's compulsive winning might have a downside: "Tom Brady is eminently hateable because he's so damned good," writes Adrienne LaFrance for The Atlantic. LaFrance points out that research shows this might just be a psychological fact, citing a 1991 paper in the Sociology of Sport Journal that conducted an experiment in which observers picked their rooting interest with knowledge of who was ahead. Participants consistently preferred those who were behind. The same research also shows our perception of who or what constitutes an underdog is "fluid." 

So is 6'5" all-time NFL great Peyton Manning actually an underdog? Heck no. But next to Brady, with his perfect hairline, perfect jawline, supermodel wife, and his six Super Bowl rings and counting, yeah, folks prefer Manning. Brady might've edged the pair's head to head matchup games 11-6, according to IndyStar, but the people have spoken.

The big 'whoops—wake-up call' for Gisele Bundchen

We can all relate to that awkward situation when you start dating the world's most famous supermodel — but then your movie star ex calls up with some news: Tommy, I'm preggers!

"Two months into our relationship, Tom told me that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant. The very next day the news was everywhere, and I felt my world had been turned upside down," Gisele Bundchen wrote in her memoir (via the New York Post). That ex-girlfriend was I, Robot star Bridget Moynahan. She and Brady met in 2004 and split in late 2006. The quarterback had so quickly moved on, a blissful Bundchen has repeatedly described being blindsided: "This can't be true, it's so good!' And then, Whoops — wake-up call!” the model told Vanity Fair.

Moynahan gave birth in 2007 to a healthy baby boy with a lot of names: John "Jack" Edward Thomas Moynahan. "I'm not sure anyone — and I could be wrong in this — grows up thinking, 'I want to be a single mom,'" the actor told Harper's Bazaar. But if both women struggled with this unexpected familial triangle initially, Bundchen told People she has no regrets about her blended family. "I'm so grateful for [Bridget], I know this was hard, but I couldn't imagine my life without [Jack]. I call him my bonus child." Bonus child is, shocker, growing up to be a very handsome young lad who loves football, according to People.

Has Tom Brady been cagey about his concussions?

In 2012, former All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau took his own life but shot himself in the chest to save his brain for science. An autopsy confirmed his suspicions: he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. According ESPN, CTE, which has been linked to "dozens of deceased former players," is "a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression."

The sport has gotten serious about head injuries since this tragedy. In 2018, helmet-to-helmet contact was banned. New protocols were also instituted that prevent players — once euphemistically described as "shaken up" — from re-entering games after suffering concussions. 

These changes may have saved the league, while also creating an incentive for players to hide brain trauma to stay on the field. "He had a concussion last year. I mean, he has concussions pretty much every — I mean, we don't talk about them. But he has concussions," Gisele Bundchen let slip on CBS This Morning in 2017. This was big news, because the NFL had no official record of these concussions, according to USA Today. But Brady may have actually believed he was safe. He and his shady business partner, Alex Guerrero, had been peddling an unproven product called "Neurosafe," which purported to safeguard players "from the consequences of sports-related traumatic brain injury," according to Boston. In 2012, the FTC was prepared to take action against Guerrero for the sham treatment, but let him skate when he agreed to stop selling it.

Tom Brady's dubious relationship with Donald Trump

Tom Brady got pulled into politics in 2020 when a supposed quote attributed to him about Donald Trump started circulating, "The guy is doing his best to help the country. I'd like to see his critics try to do better in his position," Brady allegedly said, according to the New York Post. In reality, a parody account on Twitter had fabricated the whole thing, according to Forbes.

Brady was dragged anyway, partly because a "Make America Great Again" hat was spotted in his locker in 2015. Brady said it was a gift from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Trump donor. The two are indeed buddies and have shared the links together. "He just doesn't lose," Brady said in 2015 of Trump's surprisingly good golf game to GQ. But as the presidential campaign heated up that year, the QB became decidedly non-partisan, "I'm not talking politics anymore," he declared (via the Boston Globe).  

Still, the drag Tom Brady party continued. "Funny how people can separate Tom Brady's politics from his game, but struggle to do the same when it comes to Kaepernick," read a viral tweet in 2021, which got cited in Newsweek. But, what politics? Brady even distanced himself from his POTUS pal in 2017 when he notably skipped the Patriots' post-Super Bowl trip to the White House. Brady had a solid excuse, telling Extra he was with his ailing mother, who was being treated for cancer. 

Is Tom Brady an anti-masker?

The Super Bowl is not only one of the most-watched events on the planet, but it is also physically attended by tens of thousands of people. In the year 2021 aka Pandemic: Year Two, that made it a perfect opportunity to showcase how a massive sporting event could be an object lesson in COVID-19 safety precautions for large gatherings. In fact, ahead of the game, CNBC reported, "NFL executive Jeff Miller said mask-wearing will be mandatory for fans, players and team staff, and the league will enforce social-distancing measures." It would seem, however, rules don't apply to the GOAT.

Not only was Tom Brady caught walking into Raymond James Stadium maskless ahead of Super Bowl LV, he clearly did not wear a mask during the post-game celebration of his historic seventh win of the big game. Granted, Brady was far from the only player or spectator caught maskless during the event, which Yahoo! Sport reported has "health authorities already worried" that it was a "super-spreader event" in the making.

Brady hasn't commented on the controversy, as of this writing, however, his father, who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 in late 2020, shed a tiny bit of light on his son's apparent aversion to mask-wearing. Speaking with NFL Network's Andrea Kremer (via 4WBZ CBS Boston), the elder Brady said, "Frankly, he thinks his body, with ... he probably takes 45 pills a day. ... But the answer is yes, we do [tell him to wear a mask]."