Tom Brady looks at NFL season as ‘going away on deployment in the military’
After briefly flirting with the idea of retirement, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ended up returning for a 23rd NFL season in 2022, and it is becoming pretty obvious that he is struggling with with work-life balance.
On Monday night he compared preparing for another NFL season like “going away on a military deployment” when discussing that balance with Jim Gray and NBA superstar Kevin Durant on his “Let’s Go” podcast.
His full comments, via Masslive.
“I almost look at like a football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military, and it’s like, ‘Man, here I go again,’” said Brady. “There’s only one way to do it. And I think Jim, we’ve talked from time to time just about how do you enjoy the certain moments of it?
“The reality is you can really only be authentic to yourself, right? Whenever you may say, ‘Oh man, I want to, you know, make sure I spend a little more time doing this.’ When it comes down to it, your competitiveness takes over and as much as you want to have this playful balance with the work balance, you’re going to end up doing exactly what you’ve always done, which is why you are who you are. You’re going to go, ‘how the (expletive) do I get it done?’ You know, ‘what do I got to do to get it done?’”
Sports-military analogies are never going to be popular because, well, playing for the Buccaneers and having the freedom to come and go as you wish (as Brady has done this season) while being paid millions of dollars is not quite the same as a literal military deployment where your life is on the line.
So far Brady’s decision to return has not been smooth for him on or off the field. He and wife Gisele Bundchen have reportedly separated and hired divorce lawyers, with his football obsession apparently being the driving force behind that rumored split.
On the field, things have been very un-Brady-like in a lot of different ways. He left Buccaneers training camp for several weeks for personal reasons and has consistently taken days off during the week. He also did not attend Buccaneers team meetings or the Saturday walk-through this past week so he could attend the wedding of Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He arrived in Pittsburgh on gameday and played poorly in a 20-18 loss to a Steelers team that was missing five of its top defensive players, including its two best players in T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
After leading the league in passing yards and touchdowns a year ago, Brady and the Buccaneers offense have struggled a lot this season with injuries to the offensive line and wide receivers playing a significant role in those struggles.