At one point in his Hall of Fame career, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s standard response regarding the intended remaining duration of his career was 10 more years.
Several years later, he has a new goal: Forever.
An excellent article from Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated details Brady’s complex efforts to keep his body and brain operating at a high level and resisting, if not reversing, the aging process. Brady, now 37, has made clear his desire to play well beyond his 40th birthday. The “F” word (not the one he repeatedly shouts during games) has become Brady’s standard response for teammates.
The item contains plenty of interesting nuggets and anecdotes, including details of a sports hernia during the 2005 season (and never disclosed on the injury report) that cause his testicles to swell to thrice their normal size. Bishop also includes the following tale from Brady’s time with a hard-hitting safety turned NBC analyst: “When Rodney Harrison played with Brady, the safety showed up at 6:40 a.m. to lift weights. ‘Good afternoon,’' Brady said to him. So the next day Harrison showed up at 6:30. ‘Good afternoon.’ Then 6:20. Then 6:10. Then 6. “Good afternoon” each time, until Harrison finally said, ‘Screw you, Tom. I’m not coming in any earlier.’”
The feature that peels back the curtain on Brady’s methods could be a “screw you” to those who doubted him earlier in the season. Surely, Brady had some specific motivation for allowing this information to be publicized in an industry that at its core is as competitive as any on the planet. Though the easy answer could be that Brady hopes to lay the foundation for a post-football effort to become a pro football Ponce de León, there will be plenty of time as Brady gets closer to 45 or 48 or “forever” to lay the foundation for selling the secret sauce to others who hope to do the same thing.
There’s always a story behind the story. While the story is compelling and worthy of being read in full, I’m far more intrigued by the story of how Brady came to decide to reveal so much about what he’s doing to play football for so long.