The 5 Biggest Takeaways From Tom Brady’s “Players’ Tribune” Essay

Brady published "The Only Way Is Through" on the site on Monday

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady
Tom Brady during Super Bowl Opening Night for the New England Patriots in 2019.
Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / April 7, 2020 2:17 pm

When Tom Brady announced he would be leaving the New England Patriots on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, he did so with a short essay entitled “Forever a Patriot.”

Now a confirmed member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady went back to the well again yesterday and released another essay, this time on The Players’ Tribune website that is owned by Derek Jeter.

To complement “The Only Way Is Through,” Brady also released a companion video via his social media accounts that begins with a thank you message for fans of the team he left to go join the Bucs.

After watching the video and going through the more than 2,500-word essay with a fine-tooth comb, these are the five biggest takeaways from what 42-year-old Brady had to say.

  1. The rent at Jeter’s house in Tampa must be too damn high: Brady must be paying the former Yankee a pretty penny to rent his home in “St. Jetersburg.” Why else would Brady’s piece on The Players’ Tribute need to be labeled as being “presented by” Under Armour in multiple places? Once known for being willing to take less, Brady is clearly open to taking advantage of every revenue stream he can at this point.
  2. The beef with Bill Belichick is real: Though Brady didn’t say anything negative about his former coach, he also didn’t say anything complimentary about him and actually only mentioned Belichick to subtly complain the coach never called him after he was drafted. “By the way, in the sixth round it’s not like Coach Belichick himself was on the other end of the line — I think it was his assistant, Berj,” Brady writes. So, in more than 2,500 words, Brady’s only mention of the coach he won six Super Bowls with was a shot. Subtle, yes, but a shot nonetheless.
  3. It is important for Brady to be seen — and heard: “Playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a change, a challenge, an opportunity to lead and collaborate, and also to be seen and heard,” Brady writes. Reading into that, the implication would seem to be Brady did not have the opportunity to be seen and heard, or lead and collaborate in New England to the degree that he would have liked. It’s possible showing up for OTAs and not pouting during press conferences even when the Patriots were winning games in bunches last season may have helped in that regard.
  4. After 20 years, Brady needed something fresh: Like someone explaining to their ex why they needed to break up, Brady hints that, even though he loved being with the Patriots and felt safe in New England, things had grown stagnant. “Doing the same thing year after year brings its own challenges,” Brady writes. “A familiar rhythm can be comforting and great. But it can also make you lose sight of other rhythms, newer ones that remind you of everything that hasn’t been done yet. One isn’t necessarily better than another — they’re different, is all.” Sounds like something a guy going through a mid-life crisis might say to his wife after a fling in Florida with his secretary.
  5. Brady is still great at saying nothing: His play may have slipped last season, but Brady’s ability to use a lot of words without actually communicating very much useful or interesting information — a talent he perfected in Foxboro — is still firing on all cylinders. “Wanting to do something is different from actually doing it,” Brady writes. “If I stood at the bottom of a mountain, and told myself I could scale the highest peak, but then didn’t do anything about it, what’s the point of that?” One could probably ask the same thing about reading that sentence and, really, the majority of the piece.

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