He spent nearly two decades as one of the original Stepford Patriots, saying only things that would not be met with disapproval from coach Bill Belichick. In the final years of Tom Brady‘s time in New England, the robot started to become self-aware.
Now, there’s a chance that the robot could end up running amok.
On Wednesday’s PFT Live, Simms and I raised the question of whether Tom Brady runs the risk of doing too much as he spreads his wings and diversifies professional pursuits that put him more and more in the public eye.
On one hand, he’s the greatest football player of all time and one of the greatest athletes of all time in any sport. On the other hand, there’s a saturation point for anyone and everyone. Human beings can get to the point where they’ve had enough of any other human being and/or self-aware robot.
During the first decade of his NFL career, Brady was far more selective about endorsements than Peyton Manning, who at one point was bordering on ubiquitous in his sponsorships. In the second decade for Brady, he started to do more and more. After he escaped Belichick, Brady began doing more and more and more.
And there will be more and more and more, presumably. Brady launched a weekly podcast in 2021. After the season, Brady pulled a surprise 40-day Favre, something that ultimately left football fans feeling confused and dismayed and some a little irritated. Those in the know realize just how close he came to engineering a path to Miami and the Dolphins. Those in the know also realize that the replacement of Bruce Arians of coach of the Bucs only 17 days after Brady’s 40-day retirement ended was not a boating accident.
Away from football, Brady is executive producing a movie in which he stars. He’s executive producing a series of TV roasts for which he’ll be the first subject. As we said on PFT Live, if he could sing, he’d record an album — like the original TB12 once did. (Then again, not being able to sing didn’t stop Terry Bradshaw.)
Brady also has his hand in cryptocurrency and NFTs and memorabilia and anything else to which he can attach his name and expand his holdings. More recently, he launched a clothing brand that he surely hopes will someday be as big as Michael Jordan‘s Nike products.
Throw in his cool-uncle social-media habits, and it’s obvious that Brady is currently everywhere.
I had this specific item on my list of stories to copy-paste-snarky-comment into existence on Wednesday, but I didn’t get around to it. Then I saw the latest example of what could be #TooMuchTommy, a Hertz commercial in which his epiphany to keep playing arrives while he is working as the director of a Hertz commercial. (Things never go wrong for a football player who does a Hertz commercial.)
Comedy is subjective. Some will think Brady’s Hertz commercial is funny or cute or whatever. Others will think it’s cringeworthy. Ultimately, it’s another instance of more and more and more Tom Brady.
And this is all happening before Brady steps from the field into the booth, where his shadow already looms over the entire broadcasting industry thanks to his 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox.
The overriding point is this. For anyone in the public eye, there’s a risk of being in the public eye too much. For everyone who ever becomes as cool as Fonzie, there’s a chance that at some point they’ll jump the shark.
For some, Brady is already there. For others, he could be getting there eventually, especially if he keeps looking for more and more and more ways to become more and more and more involved.
He may not realize it. He may not have anyone telling him there’s a risk of doing too much. He may simply be thinking that he’s making up for 20 years of lost time, when he hardly did anything close to what he could have done while operating under the watchful glare of Bill Belichick.