By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Throughout his interminable career, Tom Brady has shed some tears on a couple of memorable occasions. In “The Brady 6” documentary, he famously wept while recalling what it was like sitting with his family and watching 198 players get drafted before him in the 2000 NFL Draft. He also choked up during a Super Bowl media day in 2017 after telling a young fan that his dad is his hero. (Longtime Patriots haters will add that No. 12 has cried to referees on countless occasions, but that’s neither here nor there.)

In the finale of his ESPN+ docuseries “Man In The Arena,” Brady added another tear-filled moment to the catalog. And it once again involved his feelings for his father.

Early in the 10th episode — which was added to the initial project of nine episodes, after Brady and the Bucs won a Super Bowl in their first year together — Brady reflected upon the commitment that his parents made to him when he first started to play sports. Now obviously a father himself, the conversation hit Brady rather hard.

Here’s what Brady said, while being unable to hold back his tears:

I don’t want to get too emotional here to start, but, you know, there’s a big commitment that your parents make. And my dad made every commitment to me that was … you know, an amazing dad. There was never a moment where he didn’t have time to support what I wanted to do and try to achieve. Because it’s a hard thing to do.

From the time I was a kid, whether I wanted to be a pro baseball player, we’d come home and he would take me out to the field and hit me ground balls till the sun set. And when I wanted to learn how to play quarterback, he was the one that kept pu– he didn’t push me. He kind of held me up.

Brady’s father — who was the guest interview subject for this particular episode — said that he’d often head into work at 5:30 a.m., so that he’d be able to attend all of his kids’ sporting events.

“We felt that if they were on the field,” Brady Sr. said, “we wanted to be on the field.”

When discussing how his relationship with his father evolved once he became a professional athlete, Brady got even more emotional.

Our relationship has always been strong, but it changed because we weren’t in proximity to one another. And the one person that always made the effort to continue the relationship was my dad. So he would come to every game. Early in my career, you know, it was hard. He would fly to Buffalo. He would fly to Cincinnati. He knew I didn’t have a lot of other people out there, so my dad was gonna be there when I walked off the field to make sure that I had a hug, that I had someone that cared about what I was doing.

At that point, very early in the interview and the episode, Brady was already emotionally spent.

“God, you started out with a banger,” a red-eyed Brady tells the off-camera interviewer. “Holy s—.”

The episode ended where it began, too, with Brady reflecting on his relationship with his father and his parents.

He’s done his part to maintain everything that we had together as a dad. And I think every day that I’m out there, I try to represent our family, and I try to represent all the different things that he committed to me. When people love you and care about you and make the commitment to you, you don’t want to let ’em down, you know?

I’m 44. I’ve got a family that I have. I’m a dad to some amazing children. And when I think about being a dad, I think about him, because of what my dad meant to me. And I know I’m not as good a dad to my kids that my dad’s been to me. And I use them as my example as to how to keep a family together, and to care and to support, and to love.

In recent years — and specifically this year, when he briefly retired — Brady has spoken quite a bit about the importance of family, and how much that weighs on him. Considering he came out of retirement after just a month, many have dismissed the family talk as not having much meaning anymore. This episode, though, shows the depth to which Brady carries that weight — both positively and negatively.

More on that in a bit, though. Here’s what else stood out in the “Man In The Arena” finale.

A Rare Glimpse Of Brady’s Cockiness

Brady made sure to run the gamut of emotions early in this episode, going from emotionally vulnerable to outright cocky in a span of just a few minutes.

When discussing his free agency in the spring of 2020, Brady offered some real insight into what he expected to be the interest in him from teams around the league.

“Unless you got one of the, probably, top few guys, you know, I would be expecting people to be interested,” Brady stated. “In my mind, I’m thinking if you’re another team and you’re not interested in having me as your quarterback, like, what the f— is wrong with you?”

Fair question!

Brady has, obviously, let that thought process slip out before — both with his much-speculated-upon comment uttered on “The Shop” and in a comment said to Jim Gray in the summer of 2021. Still, it’s not often that the buttoned-up, always-afraid-to-say-the-wrong-thing Tom Brady just lets it rip like that. So it’s always interesting to observe.

Plus, you know … he’s right. He’s definitely correct.

The Gronk Reunion … With An Assist From Kevin Durant

You surely recall Tom Brady being a part of the Celtics’ contingent when Boston tried to woo Kevin Durant to Boston during the NBA star’s free agency in 2016. Interestingly enough, Durant played a role in the reuniting of Brady and Gronk as teammates.

Brady said that when he was in New York, he contacted Durant, asking for a place to work out. Durant set it up. Brady, knowing that Gronkowski was in New York at the time, called his old friend and had a little throwing session. Things clicked.

“He looked like Gronk … and I think both of our juices got flowing a little bit,” Brady shared. “We realized that we have a chemistry that you can’t replicate.”

At that point, Gronkowski — who said he hadn’t seen Brady or talked to him much in several months — told the quarterback that he’d be willing to play again if Brady decided to play somewhere other than New England, in order to “switch it up, see what it’s like somewhere else.”

Earlier in the episode, Brady shared a similar desire to face a different challenge, too, as he sought “to grow and learn in ways that I could never have learned had I not left New England.”

Gronkowski also admitted that there was some motivation to prove that their success wasn’t reliant on playing on the Patriots.

“I just felt like Tom and I, we had a different connection,” Gronkowski said. “We both wanted to prove that we could win outside of New England, we wanted to prove to everyone that we could still play, that Tom could still play, that I could still play, we’re still worthy.”

That reunion obviously ended in storybook fashion, with Gronkowski catching two touchdown passes from Brady in their Super Bowl victory.

As for his departure from the Patriots, Gronkowski said there was nothing dishonest about his decision to walk away from the sport after winning Super Bowl LIII with New England.

“Right on the spot — literally the second we won the Super Bowl, I knew I was done,” Gronkowski said. “I didn’t have that good of a season, I wasn’t running fast, I was feeling slow, I was feeling beat down, tired. I was retiring for sure, 100 percent. I knew I needed it. I mean, I was pounding my body, nine straight years in the NFL, surgeries, big hits. My body was just trying to catch up, like, I’m done.”

Not Much AB

Brady was obviously instrumental in the addition of Antonio Brown to the Bucs’ roster. And though they did win a Super Bowl together, the whole relationship ended … rather ugly.

It was no surprise, then, that there was very little AB in this episode. His Super Bowl touchdown was shown, as was a snippet or two from the regular season, but he wasn’t discussed and was only in the episode for a few seconds more than the long snapper and assistant equipment manager appeared.

A Cameo From Bill Belichick … Sort Of

Bill Belichick did not partake in the docuseries. It’s unlikely he was asked to partake. This was Brady’s project.

But the man who helped mold Brady did make a very notable appearance in this episode, and it came at a very interesting time.

In going through the ups and downs of the 2020 regular season, the episode stopped at the Bucs’ bye week, when the team was a mediocre 7-5 and had yet to figure out how, exactly, to play to its capability. It was at that point when a montage showing clips of Brady’s Patriots days appeared on screen, with some audio snippets of Bill Belichick saying “do your job” and offering other various coaching points playing underneath. A brief clip of Brady and Belichick appeared on screen, too.

Brady said how important it was to “ignore the noise.” Gronkowski said that he knew what the Bucs needed to do, based on what he learned in New England.

Hearing Belichick’s words echo on this episode felt like hearing the urging of Obi-Wan Kenobi echoing in the head of Luke Skywalker when the young Jedi was off on his own. (Eh. Sorry?)

It was fascinating because for as much as the story line of Brady and Belichick desperately wanting to win without help from the other makes for juicy talk (and could certainly provide some added motivation to some of the most competitive people on the planet), the logical reality is that both Brady and Belichick benefited immensely from each other over the course of their 20 years together. Without Belichick, Brady doesn’t become BRADY. The same is true the other way.

For that reality to get a tacit acknowledgement at this particular stage of Brady’s own documentary project was rather revealing.

The Unretirement

The episode didn’t mention Brady’s retirement at all. It did, however, have this one quote at the end, which seemingly was added to address why he’s still playing football.

“I know there’s time for me to be sitting in the stands, and I know there’s time for me to do other things, but there’s still a desire to win,” Brady stated. “And when you’re the man in the arena, there’s no thrill like that.”

Fair enough.

A Unique Perspective On Winning (And Losing) With Patriots

Ultimately, Tom Brady is a winner. That has been his legacy since the early 2000s, and it will remain his legacy forever. Nobody has ever won like Tom Brady has won, and nobody ever will.

That’s why his thoughts on winning and losing were interesting.

“Because we were very successful, winning became more routine than losing,” Brady said. “The pain of losing far surpassed the joy of winning. When you expect to win, and you win, it’s more of a relief, as opposed to, ‘What an incredible accomplishment.’ In the end, we weren’t gonna celebrate anything as a Patriot unless we won the Super Bowl.”

Brady’s touched on that before, but nevertheless, it shows a unique perspective on winning and losing that no other player could really have.

Going Deep

On a similar note, Brady opened up about the weight of football, and he actually expressed a hope that his children don’t inherit an obsessive focus for anything like he has for football.

“I think maybe what I’d wish for my children is to find something they really love to do like I have. But I think I’ve taken it to an extreme, too. There are imbalances in my life, and I hope they don’t take things as far as I’ve taken them,” Brady said. “I want them to experience great success in whatever they do, but there’s a torment about me that I don’t wish upon them.”

Damn. “A torment about me.” A bit of a dark ending to a 10-part documentary series focusing on the most successful football player of all time. But then again, glory doesn’t come without personal pain and sacrifices, and nobody’s ever experienced more glory than Tom Brady.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.