By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answered ten questions and spoke 721 words before he smiled, told the gathered media he was out, and exited stage right following Saturday’s training camp session behind Gillette Stadium.
Before Brady called it a day, the questions he fielded over the course of a near five-minute presser ranged from his reportedly strained relationship with Bill Belichick, his desire for time away from football this past offseason, and his role in keeping offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in New England. This already wasn’t your typical, ‘Yay, Brady is back! How was dressing like a John Wick villain this summer?’ tickle-fight between Brady and the Patriot media.
So, it’s not a stretch to suggest that the end of this meeting was coming around the same time Been Trollin’ decided to ask about the conspiracy theory that links Alex Guerrero to Julian Edelman’s four-game ban for a PED violation. The question, as expected and as you obviously know by now, went over as well as a bench press at the TB12 Center.
“I have no comments,” Brady offered. “Just ridiculous.”
That answer sparked everybody’s dormant faux-rage, and has served as the opening line to a new chapter of Patriot Unrest.
But Brady deciding to end the press conference after that question — one loaded with assumptions and largely based around what should be considered an unfounded accusation — was without a doubt his best (and only necessary) course of action.
First: Was the question fair? Given the nature of the relationship between Brady and Guerrero, perhaps. They’re business partners and Brady attributes a ton of his late-career success to Guerrero and the once considered unorthodox methods they’ve developed to extend Brady’s window as the game’s top talent. In most instances, it’s a perfectly fair question. And even with the ‘walkout,’ I think you can say that Brady gave a real answer. He thinks it’s a ridiculous connection to make.
But the setting — Brady’s first in-season media availability of the year and days (and in one case, weeks) after statements from both Edelman and Guerrero on the topic — was off. The timing — after a two-hour practice in sweltering heat, with Brady clearly still trying to get to know exactly what he has in some of the new weapons on his offense and at the end of an already pushy presser — was off, too. And the phrasing of the question itself was a downright disaster. It was like when somebody says to you, “I’m not trying to start anything,” and immediately says something with the obvious intention of starting something.
This was that. This was Dan Shaughnessy asking Belichick about Malcolm Butler, but with the subtlety of a baboon. There was no possible answer Brady could have given besides the one he did and still come out looking good to those that care.
So instead of Brady stepping on the landmine Volin threw at his feet, he gave the question as much time as one should when someone tries to sneakily accuse your good friend of dealing ‘roids, and walked away. Faulting Brady for this is like getting mad at The Road Runner for being smarter than Wile E. Coyote and moving out of the way of the falling piano.
There’s also no reason for Brady to have to answer for a suspended teammate. If we are dealing in facts and facts alone (crazy concept for some, I know), there is absolutely nothing that actually connects Brady to Edelman’s suspension. If you think Brady has to answer this because of who he trains with, you would also have to downright demand answers from Tedy Bruschi for Rodney Harrison’s PED violation in 2007. Or at the very least interrogate the rest of the New England defensive line that was on the roster when Alan Branch was busted for a lighting it up (a suspension that was later overturned).
Whether this is something you want to accept or not, Brady took to that scrum as Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots. This was not Tom Brady, the business partner of Alex Guerrero. This is how it’s always been, as Brady has really seemed to avoid mixing his business with his duties as the quarterback of the Patriots. Excluding promotional videos and interviews for his book, the biggest mention Guerrero seemed to get from Brady came when the 40-year-old quarterback included Guerrero among the group that helped get his injured hand ready to go for the AFC Championship Game.
Now, if you want to ask Brady and/or Guerrero about their methods, they seem willing.
In addition to releasing an entire book (an entire book! AN ENTIRE BOOK WITH A BIG PICTURE OF BRADY’S FACE ON IT!) touching on their methods and beliefs, Brady has made countless appearances (here’s one with CBS) about his philosophies. And if you want to think Guerrero is a quack, I’m not going to stand outside 240 Patriot Place fighting you on that. Some of his ideas seem weird and easy to doubt. (The alleged anti-concussion water comes to mind here, for one.)
But you’re honestly going to sit there and say that the guy standing behind an ideology that tells you to avoid tomatoes and considers white flour to be the devil is also out here thinking that injecting your body with steroids of any sort is a good idea?
It doesn’t add up. The mere idea of a holistic trainer advising any client to do this is, well, just ridiculous.
Then thinking what is largely a talk radio conspiracy theory that Guerrero is connected to performance-enhancing methods found on The Dark Web not only files under ‘a lot of people,’ but stands as enough to actually ask the question? (At least when Brady was grilled politically, it came as a result of a Make America Great Again hat sitting in plain sight in his locker.)
Speaking to the greater point of this completely phony rage from those that ‘have had it’ with Brady, we’ve hit this scary point where we just desperately want (or need) our suspicions that the Patriot Dynasty is crumbling from the inside to be true.
We’ve hit the point where winning — and winning at a historic rate — is no longer enough for our entertainment. There must be more. We need to know more. Tell us why you snuck those No. 12-shaped steroids in Edelman’s avocado ice cream, Tom.
Because of this need to feel validated, we’re now in the game of psychoanalyzing how a press conference ends.
We’re using our own pliability to twist Brady, a man that has helped win so many titles that the Patriots had to legitimately add infrastructure to an arena that’s not even old enough to drive yet, into an immature child that won’t face the music.
We’re taking the answers of a relatively informative press conference and throwing them out the window to fit an agenda.
We’re swallowing the bitter tastes that came with shutdowns to questions regarding Brady’s disdain for Belichick and the lengths Brady went to in order keep McDaniels in town, and instead glomming onto the only thing we can.
It’s just ridiculous.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com, and believe it or not, is not a client of the TB12 Center. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.