By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has been speaking into microphones as an NFL quarterback for more than 20 years. He’s as polished and calm and collected and careful as any athlete has ever been.
So when he appeared on “The Shop” on HBO on Friday dropping F-bombs left and right, it was quite a sight to behold.
Typically, whenever we’ve seen Brady swearing, it’s been during mic’d up footage, and it’s been heavily edited with bleeps, bloops, and tones. This time, though, it was unedited.
Regarding the “you’re sticking with that mother [bleeper]?!” comment that garnered loads of attention from the show promo, it’s still not clear which team he was referring to. It is clear that the obsessively competitive Brady hates whichever team it was:
“There was a story in free agency. One of the teams, they were interested, and then all of a sudden they weren’t interested at the very end. I was sitting there thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that mother [bleeper]? Are you serious?!'”
We knew that part from the promo clip. But it got interesting when Paul Rivera said “Tom probably had no desire to go to that team, but now it’s like, why don’t you want me?” Brady could not have agreed more. It offered some insight into the extra level of juice Brady can bring to his intensity levels. Here’s what he said:
“Absolutely! When I look back I’m like, ‘There’s no [bleeping] way I would’ve went to that team. But they said they didn’t want me! And I know what that means. I know what that feels like. And I’m gonna go f— you up because of that.'”
(All of the quotes made it to Dov Kleiman’s Twitter, but the link comes with the obvious warning for explicit language.)
Draymond Green was also on the show, and he complained how he gets fined whenever he actually speaks his mind. Brady — who again is as buttoned-up and politically correct as can be when speaking before and after games — was asked if he ever wants to just let it rip when speaking publicly. Brady admitted that he’s giving PR answers most of the time:
“What I say vs. what I think are two totally different things. I would say 90 percent of what I say is probably not what I’m thinking. Which is challenging, you know? And I really admire people that actually can do that, and say what they think, because they invite a lot of other things into their life. And I think there’s part of me that doesn’t like conflict. So in the end I just always try to play it super flat.”
That’s the personal side. On the football side, Brady also likes to limit what he says publicly — though that’s more about strategy than anything else:
“From a strategic standpoint, I never want to give away like what we’re doing, you know what I’m saying? Like, I usually say the opposite. Like if they’ve got a [crappy] corner, I’ll be like, ‘That guy’s unbelievable! I don’t know how they even complete balls over there!’ In my mind, I’m going like, ‘I’m going at that mother [bleeper] all day!’ You know? Because I don’t want to give them any [strategic plans].”
Brady then added the third level of his decision-making when speaking publicly:
“And then when it comes to other things, I think there’s part of it that’s, you know, so much is giving other people your power. You know? Like, why can what Chelsea says really affect me? In my view, it shouldn’t. Or else you have power over me based on what you say. I try to think a lot before I speak. Some people — like my wife for example, she just lets it come out. It’s like FWOOM and it’s out, and I’m like, ‘Holy s—!’ And you know what? She’s right. Her instincts and her nature is usually right with a lot of things that she says and thinks. And I’m always like, ‘How does she do that?’ Because I gotta think about it for five or ten minutes and think how do I really deal with this particular situation or answer? Because I don’t want to say something that in the end I’ll be like, ‘Ah, I wish I would’ve said something different.'”
Brady was asked if he has the freedom to say what’s on his mind. He doesn’t believe that’s the case:
“No, definitely not. No, because I think that you’re in an enterprise, and I’m an employee of that enterprise. You know, I’m not my own entrepreneur where I can make my own individual choices. And I think I’ll get there at some point where I can, and then I’ll choose to. But you’re still in this structured system, so you gotta feel like you gotta play by — I have to play by their rules. So there’s definitely times where you don’t wanna play by the rules.”
The group conversation also spent time discussing young tennis star Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open due in part to her anxiety about speaking to the press. Brady sympathized with the 23-year-old and expressed a hope that Osaka finds a way to return to her “true joy” of playing tennis:
“You feel for the 22-year-olds that are in the position that, look, there’s a lot of things happening in their life. You know? We all go through things — I went through a lot of things in my late teens, early 20s. I didn’t know how to deal with a lot of things that were coming, because there was no training guide for how to deal with what was happening in my life. Now as someone who’s twice her age, you have compassion and empathy for that, and then you hope that she can deal with that. Because you wouldn’t want that to take away from — her true joy is actually playing tennis. You don’t want something like that taking away from what her joy should be.”
Brady also said he admired Marshawn Lynch for his famous “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” press conference prior to the Seattle-New England Super Bowl in the 2014 season. Brady said he hopes to emulate Lynch one day:
“Like Marshawn Lynch, that was the most beautiful thing. I’m just here so I don’t get fined. You know what I mean? He put no mental energy into any question, and he didn’t get fined for that. It was a very hard thing to do and there’s so many times where I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish I could just go I’m just here so … .’ I mean I’ve said that 50 times, and never done it. One day I’ll do it before I retire.”
The soon-to-be-44-year-old regretfully admitted that his career is nearing an end, and he also reflected on how his outlook on winning championships morphed over the years:
“So much of it for me is about having perspective. And after a while you go, ‘Holy s—. Like what happened?’ And there was times where I was young and really enjoyed the moment of sports. And I thought after we won our third Super Bowl, I was really young, 25, I was like, I made some comment like, ‘Man, maybe there’s more to life than this.’ And then we didn’t win a Super Bowl for 10 years, and I was like, ‘F—, man! This is really hard!’ And then the next time we won the Super Bowl was like the most amazing experience of my life because I had perspective of not doing well, and then taking it for granted when it did go well, and then realizing that this moment, ‘Oh my God, that was like, impossible.'”
As for playing — and winning forever?
“That’s not happening, not forever and ever, no,” Brady said. “We’re coming to the end. It’s coming to the end.”