Tom Brady and I have something in common. If you guessed, “Enough Super Bowl rings for all but three fingers?” I’m sorry, but that’s the wrong answer. (Not to sell myself short, I have been to four Super Bowls, and I have the souvenir seat pads to prove it!)
What the Golden Boy and yours truly have in common I’ll get to presently. First, as if you haven’t heard enough about His Otherworldliness in the past few days, let’s take stock of this rara avis, sui generis, and any other Latin phrase you can conjure that roughly translates to “Where the heck did this freak of nature come from?”
After Super Bowl LV, the drily acerbic Tony Kornheiser of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption”—who’s not given to overstatement—couldn’t contain his jaw-dropping awe, anointing the 43-year-old prince of pigskin as not merely the greatest of all time in his chosen sport, but in all of sports.
THREE SUPER DECADES
Gushed Kornheiser, after pointing out that Gisele Bundchen’s spouse has won Super Bowls in three different decades, “I don’t know that there’s another athlete in the history of any team sport who has been this good [for so long].”
Scoff if you will, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed that No. 12 from New England and Tampa Bay now has more championships than No. 23 from Chicago.
Kornheiser’s broadcast partner, Michael Wilbon, waxed positively cosmic in his genuflection of the gridiron god, declaring that “Brady is out there with Saturn’s rings compared to anybody else.”
Even staid, conservative business bible, the Wall Street Journal, got in on the accolades act, with sports analyst Jason Gay writing, “There’s never been anyone in sports quite like him; we don’t really have the language for what he’s doing. Let’s stick to ‘absurd.’”
Now, you have to ask yourself, what can the unathletic nerd who’s writing what you’re reading possibly have in common with somebody who exhausts superlatives just as he exhausts defensive lines of overgrown gladiators trying to disarm him.
The answer is simple… we both like hummus! Amazing, huh? But that’s not all. You see, TB (that’s he) and BA (that’s me) also share a sweet tooth for fruit, and go nuts over nuts. I know; quite a coincidence.
Our diets also converge when it comes to eggs, chicken, and hydration. I can’t compete with him on sheer water volume, though, since he is known to gulp up to 25 glasses a day of H20. That’s close to a glass every half-hour he’s awake, from 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. He’s also huge on veggies, which are 80 percent of his diet, but not my go-to food group, I’m afraid.
It’s what we don’t see Brady doing off the field that explains the unprecedented success of his exploits on the field. The clutch third-down conversions, completion percentage, last-minute winning drives, and decimation of world-class defenses are not what make him great. They are the result of his hidden greatness, which resides in his exacting preparation, his unwavering, science-based health and wellness regimen, his laser focus, his whole life that is never betrayed.
Being TB12—like a space android—he doesn’t have a trainer; he has a body engineer. He doesn’t sleep in underwear; he sleeps in $200 bioceramic-infused jammies from Under Armour—don’t we all?—which are designed to energize the body and enhance performance. Apparently, they work.
The least surprising part of Saint Super Bowl’s holistic health program is how he flexes his most important muscle, the brain, because he understands that you can’t just out-play the opponent, you need to out-think them, too.
He puts his grey matter through its paces with mind-game apps, as well as performing a slightly older form of self-awareness—transcendental meditation—which his fitness guru says keeps Brady “emotionally stable and spiritually nourished.”
His religiously practicing the ancient discipline of consciousness-raising helps explain why the celebrated field general, whose next campaign will be in search of victory medal number 8, commands a legacy that is not so much of this earth as it is extra-terrestrial.
Bruce Apar is a writer, actor, consultant, and community volunteer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 914-275-6887.