Tom Brady is very good at a great many things. Faking humility is not one of them.
Brady, who as you may know has won seven Super Bowl rings, has spent the last few years crafting a new image for himself. Instead of the methodical, robotic quarterback who will tear out your heart without even breaking stride, he’s now a witty, trash-talking dad-bro … who will still tear out your heart without even breaking stride.
Appearing on a recent episode of “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Brady tried his hand at humility after Corden ventured a stab at the GOAT question.
“It’s one thing, being really good at something,” Corden said. “It’s something else being the Greatest of All Time. How often do you think about that?”
“I don’t,” Brady replied.
“Really?” Corden said. “You never sit and think, ‘At what I do, I’m the best’?”
Brady tried a clumsy analogy — “It’s like saying what do you like better, steak, fish, chicken?” — to which Corden immediately, and correctly, replied “steak.”
Look, maybe he’s right. Maybe Brady doesn’t think about being the GOAT any more than you think about, oh, gravity being the reason you don’t go flying into space. It’s just an accepted fact.
Corden also asked what drives Brady, and here’s where Touchdown Tom tried very hard to convince us that down was up.
“Do you ever think what more you have to do in the sport?”
"It's hard to walk away from something that you still feel like you can do and you want to do," Brady replied. Fair enough. Everybody feels that at one time or another, whether it’s a job or leaving college or the end of a vacation. But then Brady got dodgy.
"So it's not about proving it to others what you can do, it's more about proving it to yourself,” he continued. “And I still feel like even though I'll be 44 this year, I still have a chance to still prove it to myself that I can still do it at 44, because I really worked to a point where I can still do it at this age."
Not about proving it to others? Really? Brady has spent an entire career making others eat their words, raw and uncooked. Here’s a little-known fact about Brady: He was drafted in the sixth round. It’s true! And he’s used that as motivation ever since. Deflategate, Peyton Manning, the split with Bill Belichick … all of it has fueled Brady’s relentless, all-consuming desire to win.
Even the other news about Brady that broke earlier this week underlines this. He trashed a team that passed on him before he signed with Tampa Bay, saying in disbelief “You’re sticking with that motherf—?” Who was he talking about? The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo? The Saints and Taysom Hill, pre-Drew Brees unretirement? Hell, maybe even the Lakers and LeBron James?
Brady’s the kind of guy that just needs a little bit of motivation to get going, and if he doesn’t have it, he’ll invent it. Think back about a year ago to The Match, where Brady and Phil Mickelson played Tiger Woods and Manning in a televised golf showdown. Brady was the worst golfer of the four by a fairly wide margin, and for a moment he looked almost human, flailing around and failing like the rest of us mortals do on a daily basis. Charles Barkley kept ripping him, and Brady had to take it …
… right up to the moment he holed an approach shot from the fairway. Brilliance on demand, as always.
One day, Tom Brady will stop winning Super Bowls. But all it’ll take is one person suggesting he’s too old, and Brady will resurface, all righteous fire and vengeance, to push that day off another few years.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.
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