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Brady’s perceived slap against insurance salesmen makes waves

Divisional Playoffs - New York Jets v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots stands on the field during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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As pointed out in today’ One-Liners, Peter King’s Tuesday edition of MMQB addresses the comment that Tom Brady made during The Brady 6 regarding the relief he felt once he was taken in round 6, pick No. 199, of the 2000 draft.

“I don’t have to be an insurance salesman!” Brady told Steve Sabol through tears regarding the moment he learned he was heading to the NFL. (It was the last interview Sabol did before suffering a seizure that resulted in the discovery of a cancerous brain tumor.)

One of King’s readers suggested that Brady owes insurance salesmen an apology. King disagrees.

“If you’re Brady, and you got drafted by the Montreal Expos out of high school, and you had college teams chasing you to be a major-college quarterback, and you play at a high level for a Big 10 team, you’re going to be pretty disappointed if you end up selling insurance and not playing a sport professionally,” King said. “Maybe he owes all insurance salesmen an apology, but I’m sure you can see where the guy was coming from.”

Making Brady’s comments even more understandable is the fact that his father was -- and still is, for 43 years and counting -- an insurance salesman. Tom Jr. would have been entering the family business. (Trust me, I’m not trying to find a way to give Brady the benefit of the doubt here; I’m still pissed that he said during the show that former West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger, one of the successful members of the “Brady 6,” went to a “small school.”)

But if insurance salesmen are upset, they shouldn’t be. Do kids aspire to grow up one day and sell insurance? Sure, it can be lucrative, especially for those at the top of the pyramid-style commission structure that plenty of insurance companies use. But I’ve never met a single insurance agent who viewed selling insurance as the realization of a lifelong dream.

For former athletes who wanted to get paid to play sports, it’s a fallback job, a way to take advantage of name recognition and fan loyalty to steer in their direction money that is destined to be spent. By saying that he didn’t have to be an insurance salesman, Brady was essentially saying he didn’t want to pursue his fallback option.

Considering the manner in which his first choice has worked out, it’s obvious why he didn’t want to sell insurance.

For those of you who missed The Brady 6, it’ll be shown on ESPN2 this Sunday, April 17, at 4:00 p.m.