Jock Talk: An open letter from Tom Brady

  • by Roger Brigham
  • Wednesday May 13, 2015
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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

Dear Members of Tom Brady Nation,

I was texting with my agent Don Yee the other day and he suggested I write all of my loyal fans a letter explaining everything I did and why I did it " and then tear up the letter and burn it.

"Get off chest," he texted. "EZier keep smiling/lying." Told him I wasn't sure I should take time doing that now because I think I will win my appeal and need to get ready for the start of the season and he texted, "Only check U get in fall is from reality."

Still, I've got the most beautiful hands since George Costanza and I use them all the time at quarterback, checking to make sure the footballs have been deflated to my liking, so my supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen got me this Dragon-thingy program and this headset and said I could just speak my letter and the phone and printer would do all the rest.

"It's like going into a huddle, Tom, or telling the guys how you like the air pressure of your balls," she said. "What you say, others do for you. You know " like your whole life."

When she talks like that, I just stare into her eyes and think of how privileged I am to have found such a gorgeous woman who is almost as attractive as I am to help me get through these troubles that are the kind only quarterbacks and fighter pilots have to face. So I have this headset on (I can fix my hair later with more product) and since no one will ever read this letter, I can try being honest with you and with myself. I guess Don's right: I might feel better if I try telling the truth for once in my life. It's just been so long! Oh well, here goes:

But, first " let me take this stick of butter out of my mouth. Hmmm, still solid. Don told me to put it in there before a press conference a few weeks back and tell him how long it took to melt. Guess I'll have to text him to tell him he was wrong?

Where were we? Oh, yeah: let's begin. I swear, honest to goodness, cross my heart, I don't know what air pressure locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski had the balls at in the AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts. I mean, John told me the "Deflator" had just two minutes inside the bathroom to stick the needle in a dozen balls and let an itty bit out. Which, although we've done it tons of times over the years, still would be a little tricky " like lining up Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco butt naked next to each other and trying to get them all properly injected before anyone comes in. That's the kind of rush us quarterbacks and fighter pilots just hate.

Those nosy security people " who the hell do they think they are, the NFL police or something? Anyway, they were trying to get me to tell them how long we've been doing this, but really " who can remember that far back? So many years ...

They asked me if I was aware of NFL Rule 2, Section 2 governing game ball preparation procedures. I said I wasn't, but heck yeah I know 'em! Who the heck did they think worked with Eli Manning to push that rule through back in 2006? Shucks, if they'd only put in everything I asked for back then, we wouldn't be in this mess now. But isn't life just like that? Us fighter pilots and quarterbacks never get what we want.

I'm not bothered that the people in the entire eastern seaboard I haven't lied to haven't been born yet, but I did feel a little bad in particular for lying to owner Bob Kraft and my main man, Bill Belichick. Bob looks so cute and feisty when he stands there thumping the table like Nikita Khrushchev and tells the entire world that I would never, ever, ever cheat and demands an apology. But that's the great thing about this whole thing " seeing how people line up behind me and believe everything I say is true. I tell you, being a quarterback or a fighter pilot is humbling, but rewarding.

But man, my rear end would have been so fried if I'd ever told Bill about any of this. You know what a frigging control freak he is. He likes to be in charge of every little thing, especially when we are "interpreting" the rules, so I couldn't tell him a thing. Heck, I remember how he yelled at me when I tried to give him lighting tips from Gisele when we were doing all that Spygate videotaping. Oh well, just doing this with John and Deflator kept everything on a need-to-know-basis. "Ix-nay on the all-bay eflation-day alk-tay," I had to tell Jim the other day when he almost spilled the beans in front of Bill.

I think the one thing I have been happiest about in all of this is seeing the support of all of my teammates I have been lying to. When Rob Gronkowski was asked about whether my legacy was tainted, he said, "What about the kids? What about all that he's given them?" Love that man! And he's right: people should remember about the example I make for all those impressionable minds out there to help them make those tough moral and ethical decisions later in life. Remember " I'm a role model and these kids need to look up to me. And haven't I shown them that cheating doesn't pay?

Hold on a second, something is digging into my rear end. Let me ... there, I got it out. I have the Boston media industry in my back pocket and sometimes it is uncomfortable when I sit. I actually thought it had caused a sore on my cheek the other day but my doctor told me those were just pucker smudges.

Anyway, I was actually kinda glad when the league decided to fine the team a million bucks and take away a couple of wannabe draft picks. After all, they are the ones who hired me and put me in this fighter-pilot position, so ultimately aren't they the ones responsible for my behavior? Take responsibility, man!

Gisele and I were chatting the other day while we put our makeup on and she told me that if I were in a criminal trial I might be OK because you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and there would be at least one fan there who would think all of those flurries of text messages and phone calls for the first time ever, sworn testimony, the scientific evidence, and suspicious actions like calling Jimmy into my office for the first time in my career to talk about this wasn't a "smoking gun."

She said in either a criminal trial or a civil trial, however, a lot of the "holes in the report" Don keeps telling the media lapdogs about might have been filled in because subpoenas and discovery motions would have made it necessary for me to turn over my smartphone (oops!) and the Deflator might have had to go back to answer questions once those NFL Nazis actually had evidence (yikes!), and that in a civil case, which would be more appropriate for something like this, the standard for "burden of proof" isn't "beyond a reasonable doubt" decided unanimously, but rather a "preponderance of evidence" decided by a majority.

"And that's what the investigation showed up, Honeycakes," she said. "Your ass be grass."

Goodness she's smart. Can you imagine what kind of fighter pilot or quarterback she would have made?

Anyway " million bucks, couple of draft picks " yeah, I can see that.

But a four-game suspension? For what? Just because we've been taking air out of the footballs against their itty bitty rules for the past few years? Just because I wouldn't let them see my text messages about the ball preparation or the cover-up or how ticked off I was earlier this year when the balls were actually inflated legally? Just because I am 10 times better looking than any of them? Who the heavens do they think they are? They're not the boss of me. I'm a quarterback " the rules are supposed to protect me! They want me on that ball " they need me on that ball!

OK, I guess I did have a little tension built up and Don was right, I needed to blow off the steam in this letter that no one will ever read instead of in front of all of you and the reporters. That felt good. Got it out.

Well, time to wrap this up and hit delete. I've got to get ready for another press conference and some wiseacre will probably want to know if I read the Wells report yet. Cheese! The thing is more than a hundred pages long! Don't they know I'm a working stiff without a lot of free time on my hands? I can't be bothered by more than a hundred pages about stuff I already know. And one thing I learned from watching Clarence Thomas being asked about Anita Hill's testimony when I was in high school: don't admit you read or listened to anything the day before about the most important issue in your life. That way they can't ask you to respond to any piece of it.

So time to put on some eyeblack to prevent being blinded by the camera lights glaring off my pearly whites and face the press. I'm just going to have to come clean and tell them that I honestly believe I have never done anything wrong and that everything I did " if I did it " was as honorable as when I left my former pregnant girlfriend and traded up for Gisele. It was the kind of life-or-death decision me and the fighter pilots make thousands of times a day.

Not sure how this delete button works. Guess I'll wait until after the presser and ask Gisele to do it for me.

So, wish me luck " as though I need it! Life is hard, but at least I can count on your support to get me through.