Since becoming the Patriots starting quarterback, Tom Brady has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated 21 times. The latest coming this past week. The issue is entitled “The Patriot Problem.” The photo featuring a giant Brady with a bunch of NFL stars/lilliputians hanging off his body or at his feet. During Tuesday morning’s weekly interview with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI, Gerry Callahan wondered about Brady’s thoughts on that, and also on what it means to be a repeat cover boy. Turns out little Tommy Brady in San Mateo, California, was just like most of us, only his athletic dreams actually have come true.
“I saw it on social media,” he said. “I didn’t get a real copy. As a kid I did. I collected all of those and would actually tear out the covers and put them on the walls. That was the wallpaper for my bedroom for about five years of my life , , ,
“I never thought any of this would ever happen. I’d never thought I'd be in the situation I’m in. It’s pretty incredible, really. I’m very grateful, and still grateful I get a chance to do something I love to do, which is to keep playing and keep competing. It’s been such a part of my life for so many years. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
Back then, Brady read those magazines cover to cover. Now, when it comes to football previews and game write-ups, what’s the point? He knows more than the writers do.
“In a way, I feel like I’m more - I’ve been watching pro football for 18 years - I’m an expert analyst,” he said.
Plus Brady understands a tea can look one way on paper, but once the season starts to play out, many times you can just throw all that hoopla right out the window.
“A lot of things change over the course of a season,” he noted. “I mean how many teams are hopeful now? 32. Two months from now they’ll probably be half as many. There are a lot of reasons why so you just have to go out and earn it. It’s not about predictions, or projections. It’s just about doing it.”
At 40 years of age, with a wealth of knowledge and experience that has allowed Brady, in his own words, to “have all the answers to the test,” he’s also wise enough to know that even his team, with it’s past history and current roster, has done absolutely nothing when it comes to the 2017-18 season.
“I’ve been on some great teams and you don’t really realize they are great until they have done it,” he said. “Even when I think of some of the great teams early in my career, I didn’t realize how many good players we had until you reflect on that year and go, ‘Man, those were incredible players I played with.’ At the time you are just in competition, so we’ll be competing hard. We have guys that have been working hard and buying into what coach is teaching us in the practices and so forth. The thing about football is you have to earn it and you have to earn it every day. It’s not roll your helmets out there and expect to win. We have to go do it. You have to put the work in, you have to put the effort, the commitment, the discipline, and all those things it takes that we talk about you need to do in order to achieve your goals. We’re not there yet. Hopefully it is good enough this week.”