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I Learned It By Watching You, Tom Brady

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 22: Tom Brady seen arriving at Palacio De Cibeles on April 22, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alberto Gardin/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Alberto Gardin/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Every pro athlete either washes out young or lives long enough to become the neighborhood crank. So it is with seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who took time out from being divorced to go on the DeepCut podcast and dish out this bit of never-heard-before wisdom:

Is this the same Tom Brady who has his own namesake brand, TB12? Is this the same Tom Brady who co-produced a 10-part documentary series about Tom Brady, plus a movie about old ladies who worship Tom Brady? Is this the same Tom Brady who will, next month, subject himself to a contrived Netflix roast hosted by Kevin Hart?

So, Tom Brady, where the fuck do you think I learned that self-branding was a worthwhile racket? I’ll tell you: from your Ugg boot-wearing ass.

But it’s not just you, is it? Where else could I have learned that it’s always best for young athletes to look out for themselves first? Maybe it was from a host of shoe companies that introduce vanity sub-brands for specific players on an annual basis. Maybe it was from a collegiate athletic system where the only way athletes can make money is by selling their name off the field, a practice which only became legal this decade. Maybe it was from athlete contracts that pay out extra money for achieving certain individual benchmarks. Maybe it was from high-profile athletes trading in their notoriety to become some of our worst politicians. Maybe it’s from high-profile athletes, like you, who start up their own business ventures after retirement in order to further enrich themselves. Maybe it’s because Michael Jordan is both a billionaire and an unrepentant prick.

And maybe it wasn’t just the sports world that taught me this shit! Maybe I learned self-involvement from the social media platforms that you apparently assume were founded by Gen Zers and not rich assholes looking to milk people's personal data for profit. These technologies—which, again, I did not create—encourage users to create an outsized online personality. They probably had something to do with the crisis you’re so worried about. And maybe it’s the fact that we live in a gig economy, where peddling yourself as an influencer on Instagram is one of the few ways that a young person can hope to eke out some cash. Maybe I learned it from a megalomaniacal e-car magnate who bought one of those social media networks in order to bend it around his own personal brand, and then turned it into a Pepe The Frog pond.

Or maybe it was from a former President, one you’ve golfed with, who made his own last name into a brand and then rode that brand all the way to the Oval Office. Maybe it was from that same man’s political party, which has long believed that people who need help are a horrible burden on all of the noble job creators. Maybe it’s the million of churches—CHURCHES!—that have rallied around that same party. Maybe it’s a country that has come to define the word “freedom” as, “fuck you and your feelings.” Maybe it’s people who drive $80,000 pickups because they wanna look rugged while dropping the kids off at preschool. Maybe it’s David Zaslav. Maybe it’s Taylor Swift. Maybe it’s every last motherfucker out there, hustling every other hustler and acting like they’re the only team player who ever lived.

Maybe it’s that, Tom. Nice haircut though, you smarmy dipshit.

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