The final installment of Tom vs. Time was released Monday and the final two scenes carried with it a heavy sense of foreboding.
Given the editorial control Tom Brady had over the project, there’s no confusing the point. He’s just about had it.
The final words spoken by Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, allude to a sense of disenchantment for Brady with the atmosphere in Foxboro.
“These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways,” she said. “And he tells me, ‘I love it so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.’ ”
After Bundchen speaks, the final scene cuts to a philosophic Brady who is plainly asking if it’s all still worth it. “It’s a big commitment, laying here three days after the game and getting my Achilles worked on and my thumb,” Brady said. “You go, ‘What are we doing this for?’ You know? ‘What are we doing this for, who are we doing this for, why are we doing this?’ You gotta have answers to those questions. And they have to be with a lot of conviction. You know, when you lose your conviction then you probably should be doing something else.”
Even with the qualifier that all this introspection is coming with the wound from the Super Bowl loss still fresh, the tone is a 180-degree turn from what we’ve become accustomed to from Brady.
The question of why he did the things he did always seemed easy to answer. Quarterback wasn’t just what he did, it was who he was.
But the fact his children are quickly growing up – Brady notes that this Super Bowl loss was the first one that affected them – and the fleeting nature of parenting malleable little people who are fast becoming bigger people seems to be dawning on him.
Brady is openly wondering if his conviction to continue competing the way he always has remains. And if the answer is “no,” should he “be doing something else?”
How would this episode have been different if the Patriots beat Philadelphia? How much introspection would there be, how much would the desire to be “appreciated and have fun” be on his family’s mind if the payoff was more than a painful loss? We won’t know. Because that’s not the way that story ended.
Now that Brady’s given voice to the idea his conviction is waning, we have to wonder how close we are to this story ending, too.