The GOAT has put his hoof in his mouth with the military community, all for a comment that doesn't really make sense. NFL quarterback Tom Brady co-hosts "Let's Go!" with sportscaster Jim Gray and another future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald. It's a biweekly podcast that breaks down the latest in the world of sports.
On the Oct. 17 episode, Brady was joined by NBA forward Kevin Durant. During the conversation, Brady compared the typical NFL season to deploying as a member of the military.
"I almost look at a football season like you're going away on deployment in the military, and it's like, 'Man, here I go again,'" Brady said.
"Yeah. Yeah," Durant said, echoing the sentiment.
Along with breaking down week six of NFL football, the topics of conversation included work-life balance and dealing with social media criticism. Both athletes were referring to the balance of time between accomplishing what it takes to be called "the greatest player" in a sport while getting older, versus spending more time doing other things.
Brady may have picked up this analogy while talking to deployed troops during his two USO trips or from his father, a Marine who joined the military only to be discharged during the Vietnam War due to a knee injury.
It's easy (and fun) to dump on Brady. He gets roughing-the-passer calls that other quarterbacks don't seem to. Brady served a four-week suspension in 2016 for illegally deflating footballs in a scandal that made it all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals. It also feels like the 45 year old has retired more times than Michael Jordan, despite having only retired once. He's low-hanging fruit for critics.
Yet, likening four months of NFL football to a military deployment doesn't really make sense for a guy like Brady. Most troops being deployed for a few months are only making a few hundred bucks more per month, depending on where they are and what they're doing, a far cry from Brady's $30 million in cash and bonuses from his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Also unlike most deployed troops, Brady is free to leave football whenever he wants. There might be some legal wranglings, but he has Foxtrot Uniform Money, which can make the impossible a reality. Your average mid-career F-35 crew chief can't just deploy to Diego Garcia and announce his retirement to the media after two months.
We can say what we want about Brady (again: it's fun) because his comparison to military life wasn't great, but it's unlikely he sees himself as a soldier fighting in a trench somewhere. Brady is just not having a great season. Along with the Bucs' 3-3 record, he may be in the early stages of a high-profile divorce with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
If the divorce rumors are true, then it would be just one more marriage wrecked by too many deployments. Of course, Brady has the luxury of consoling himself in one of his mansions, sleeping atop a pile of money and maybe soon with even more beautiful women. This is something only achievable by military members when they work with Navy contractors.
-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.
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