MINNEAPOLIS – The first episode of Tom Brady’s docuseries, “Tom vs. Time,” features a scene where Brady is at home and on the phone. His 5-year-old daughter Vivian sort of interrupts him. She wants her father to know she was going to play soccer in the backyard and she was hoping for a sleepover with a friend.
Vivian was acting like a 5-year-old.
When discussing the show, which details Brady’s off-field life, focusing on his diet and health regimen, WEEI sports radio host Alex Reimer described the scene as “staged” and Vivian as an “annoying little pissant.”
Again, Vivian is 5.
Brady appears each Monday during the New England Patriots’ season on WEEI’s morning show, “Kirk & Callahan.” (Reimer is on a different show on the Boston sports radio station.) This Monday morning, Brady cut his interview short because of Reimer’s comments.
“I’ve tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect,” Brady said. “I’ve always tried [to] come on and do a good job for you guys. It’s very disappointing when you hear [the comments]. My daughter, or any child, certainly doesn’t deserve that.
“I really don’t have much to say this morning,” Brady said. “Maybe I’ll speak to you guys some other time.”
And with that the interview was over. WEEI later noted that Reimer had been suspended. Running afoul with the most popular athlete in Boston may forever crush his career.
Anyone who knows anything about Brady could have predicted such a reaction. While it’s worth noting Brady has a contract to appear on the show, he certainly doesn’t need the publicity or the money. The WEEI interview has often been the most revealing and interesting of Brady’s interactions with the media. He’s generally a low-profile guy. Many of his media answers are boring. He seems to try harder for this one, where he has a good relationship with the hosts.
Brady is, however, first and foremost, a father and a family man. He is someone who isn’t going to allow his 5-year-old girl to get disparaged by anyone.
He may be seeking a record sixth Super Bowl this week when the New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He may be rich and famous. His wife, Gisele Bundchen, may be a Brazilian supermodel who is even richer and more famous.
To Brady and Bundchen though, they are simply regular people with very interesting jobs. They are parents. They have a family. Maybe that is hard for outsiders to see, but that’s how they attempt to live their lives.
You’ll find as many paparazzi pictures of Brady and his kids at a local park than you will at a society function. His locker in Foxborough is often draped in pictures of he and his family at the beach or drawings from the kids or anything else that could just as easily be found adorning cubicles or work spaces anywhere in America.
Yes, it is a glorious life he leads, but this is no absentee father. He still tries to emulate his own parents who built their lives around raising four children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tom Sr. always found time after work to play catch and cherished rounds of golf with his son. His mother Galynn remained a great athlete into middle age and pushed Tom and his sisters in baseball/softball, tennis and soccer, often participating in backyard games. Sundays in the fall were spent with the entire clan attending San Francisco 49er games, where the Bradys had season tickets.
And summers for Tom and the kids meant weeks here in Minnesota, working his maternal grandfather’s farm. Tom didn’t even play football until he was a high school freshman (and didn’t actually see the field until his sophomore year).
So, yeah, this wasn’t going to stand.
There was more though. Brady didn’t blow his stack on the air. He didn’t head over to the station to confront Reimer or beat him to a pulp. There were no threatened lawsuits or bullying.
He simply ended the interview. The disappointment in his voice said enough. His action came with deliberation, calm language and a lack of outward emotion. He didn’t dignify Reimer by mentioning his name. When you play quarterback in the NFL, or have reality shows made about your life, you are fair game for criticism. Brady has received plenty of it. He has not been one to battle with fans or media over those subjects.
This was different. Kids are kids.
If you were trying to teach your children about how to properly handle someone insulting and disrespecting your family, how to be a man, this might be how you’d draw it up.
No violence. No malice. No anger.
Yet no doubt about where Tom Brady stands. On the side of his kids. On the side of decency.
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