Tom Brady: ‘I’m more of a thinker obviously than a physical specimen’

Another football season is upon us, which means we get to keep talking about Tom Brady. Brady is 42 years old and he’ll likely still be playing football for a few more years, maybe more. I would say that it’s past time for him to retire, but he keeps winning Super Bowls, so what do I know. It’s the same conundrum with Roger Federer too – like, how can you tell a guy who is still winning big titles and beating really good guys that his time is up? You can’t. Gisele can’t. Bostonians can’t. Robert Kraft can’t. And so Tom continues to play, and he continues to shill his Gwyneth Paltrow-esque fitness system and diet to the masses. Tom covers the September issue of Men’s Health, and he did a surprisingly long interview with the magazine, which you can read here. I found his quotes about his wife and family to be the most interesting part, but I’m sure I’m alone there. Some highlights:

On making better choices to be healthy and fit: “No one has to be Tom Brady. I just get to be Tom Brady. You get to be you. Everyone has a choice. But if you want to be good at sports, you have to work hard at it. If you want to be healthy, you have to work at it. But you can’t say, ‘I want to be healthy,’ then eat sh-tty food and do crappy workouts.”

On his cheat meal: “If I’m craving bacon, I have a piece. Same with pizza. You should never restrict what you really want. We’re humans, here for one life. What’s changed as I’ve gotten older is now if I want pizza, I want the best pizza. I don’t eat a slice that tastes like sh-t, and then wonder, Why am I eating sh-t pizza?”

On his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen: “Gisele is not really into sports. She’s like a kite flying in the sky, and I’m kind of tethering her. Sometimes I have to hold on hard. But she knows I’m always there for her.”

On how Gisele has helped him grow: “Gisele’s life has been very nontraditional. She left home when she was 14; she lived in Japan at 16 in an era with no cell phones. She lived in New York at 17 without speaking English. In her mind, there are no boundaries. ‘Why can’t you do that? Why do you have to go to school? Why can’t you just leave and live in a different country?’ In her reality, you can. Coming from mine, it was very different. This is what you do: You go to elementary school, you go to college. In her mind, why do you have to do any of those things? And you know what, she’s right. I’m the one that had to go, ‘You’re right!’ And that’s helped me grow.”

On how his three children gave him perspective when the Patriots lost to the Eagles in the 2017 Super Bowl: “I had to put my emotions aside so I could deal with their emotions. I said, ‘Guys, look: Daddy doesn’t always win. That isn’t the way life is. You really try hard – that’s the most important thing. If you gave it your best, you live with the outcome.’”

On how each of his kids delights him: “Jack is just like me – he holds a lot in. Benny lets it all out. Vivi, she doesn’t care. They’re going to be their own selves, not who you want them to be. Jack loves sports. He wants to try hard, and he never wants to disappoint his dad. That was me. I’d wake up early on the weekends to do stuff with my dad. That’s why I didn’t party a lot. If Dad wanted to golf, I wanted to be there with him. And if I ever missed those things, it would crush me. When Benny came along, I thought he would be just like Jack. So I was like, ‘C’mon, let’s do this.’ And he was like ‘Nope.’ And I was like, ‘What? No, do this!’ And Gisele kept saying to me, ‘Would you effing understand that your son is different?’ It was hard for me. I was like, ‘What do you mean? He’s a boy; he should do all these things that I do.’ The reality is that Benny just likes different things. And it’s great because now I just have to go do what he wants to do. When we do that, we have the best time.”

On the criticism of the TB12 Method: “I absolutely know 100 percent that it works, and the reality is I’m just a client who lives by the teachings. Say I see a guy who has a sore hamstring. I’ll think, His hip flexors are too tight; his hamstring is too tight. But the guy might say, ‘My hamstring must be weak; I must do more hamstring curls.’ It crushes me. I freak out. I need this teammate on the field!”

On training his brain to give him special powers at the line of scrimmage: “I’m more of a thinker obviously than a physical specimen.”

[From Men’s Health]

I really liked the part about his kids and understanding that his sons are different and like different things and they’re not just going to be his carbon copies. He’s said before that he lets Vivian get away with everything because she’s his little girl, but it sounds like he’s super-involved with all of his kids. As for the rest of it… I mean, his diet really IS that restrictive and he probably only takes one small bite of bacon before he feels the need to go and do some yoga, which has been rebranded The TB Method Bro Stretching™ or whatever.


Photographs by Eric Ray Davidson for Men’s Health, sent from promotional Men’s Health email.

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97 Responses to “Tom Brady: ‘I’m more of a thinker obviously than a physical specimen’”

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  1. Catwoman says:

    Meh. I suppose he’s hot in a Neanderthal sort of way.

    • Aud says:



    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      First seeing this headline, my first reaction: “I’m more of a thinker….” Oh, honey, no… you’re not. LOLOL (still chuckling).

      • Seraphina says:

        I did and thought the same thing! I was like please, don’t over think what you are sweetheart.

      • Jamie says:

        Same here. I think that statement is gonna be hard to be for funniest line of the day. lol

      • kerwood says:

        I started laughing too. I don’t think Tom Brady even knows what ‘thinking’ feels like. That’s why he’s such good friends with Donald Trump.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        yeah, I was like “bless your heart, dear”

        @catwoman, I usually think he looks like Lurch, but he looks not-so-bad here. then I realized it’s because he’s photoshopped to the hilt. the guy in the pic leaning against the tree looks like a younger, better looking Tom Brady.

  2. vanna says:

    That headline made me snort. As if he could be, what with all the concussions.

    • Kateeeee says:

      It definitely made me laugh, without context. Thought I was coming here to read Cerebral Tom’s Deep Thoughts! But talking about his QB style, it’s about as humble as he seems to get, accepting the criticisms lobbed his way. He gets the job done but he can’t run and he can’t scramble. So at least he can anticipate well and use his head, and that arm sure helps!

      • Esmom says:

        I went through the exact same process, lol. The headline was definitely a bit misleading.

      • vanna says:

        Yeah in comparison with other QBs it’s fair, just the headline alone is funny tough

      • snowqueenM says:

        Football players are not necessarily dumb. It always irks me when I see this line of thinking. You have to be very hardworking, strategic and mentally quick to be able to play at the highest levels of the sport. Not to mention, memorizing those massive playbooks, your routes and looking at hours of tape, figuring out your opponent’s weaknesses and putting together how you can exploit them.

        For everyone knocking Tom and his deep thoughts… He’s not an academic professor, sure. It’s a different kind of intelligence, but he’s known as being a master at being able to pick apart defenses with his quick thinking. The game is played FAST, so this is not nothing. Same goes for people like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees.

        Outside of football, he’s kind of “whatever Tom”, that is true. 😂

    • Jules says:

      oh so now concussions are funny?

      • Bettyrose says:

        No. When high school students risk life long injuries in pursuit of college scholarships, it’s not funny. When one of the wealthiest most successful players in the game is quoted using the word “thinker,” it is a bit. Yeah.

      • GreenTurtle says:

        Nope, never funny.

      • bettyrose says:

        Hey, I’m not even a football fan. I clicked this thread cuz it’s Sunday and there’s not much to chat about, but concussions are part of football, so unless you both boycott football in all its forms, it’s a bit weird to be critical of a football joke on a football thread. I’m not crazy about kids & teens playing such a risky sport (and would actively oppose it if I had any involvement such circles), but grown ass adults making zillions of dollars know what they’re doing.

      • vanna says:

        My quip about concussion was dark humour – I obviously do not think that concussions are funny. I won’t get into the f+#*sh*t that is football and the NFL and how they obfuscate and hide brain injuries. I did think the headline was funny as it implicated that TB is brainy as a human being, not a QB as he obviously meant.
        Gisele has been talking about TB’s concussions. He might be in a ‘less vulnerable’ position on the field, but he has obviously had his share of injuries.

      • jenny says:

        for those who missed the memo, things that are not funny: holocaust jokes, racist jokes, illness and medical issues.

    • MC2 says:

      He’s a white, pretty boy quarterback, he doesn’t have to deal with the concussions like the linebackers. He can be a thinker cuz he’s entitled & protected.
      But yea, there was some good stuff in this article.

      • horseandhound says:

        what does his position in the game have to do with him being white or pretty?

      • bettyrose says:

        I believe MC2 was suggesting there are racial and class disparities in football. I don’t know much about the sport, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true, as it is with most things.

      • MC2 says:

        Bettyrose had it correct.
        My point was that positions & injuries vary in this sport. Quarterbacks do not get concussions or other injuries as much as linebackers or other positions do. Quarterbacks are also paid the most, get the most accolades & are disproportionately white compared to rest of the players (why we should ask). So when we talk about football players & risks, the positions matter. It’s the most concerning to see this trend in schools.

      • josephine says:

        hmm. it’s actually cornerbacks and wide receivers who receive the most concussions, and linebacker is not filled by only African-American players. plenty of white dudes there. Quaterbacks often make the most difference, hence the big price tag. They are all overpaid, and I’m no fan of Brady, but the fact is that he’s an elite player and there is little doubt that he’s among the best in the position. and there is also little doubt that he’s well known for being a savvy quarterback. he doesn’t strike me as particularly intelligent, but he knows his job like few others. The NFL truly suffers a race issue when it comes to owners, coaches and quarterbacks, among other things, but being a quarterback doesn’t make him entitled (and he’s not pretty). and quarterbacks are protected because they are defenseless compared to other positions in football. you see the same protection for kickers (also almost entirely white but no one seems to care about that).

      • jenny says:

        what @josephine said ^

      • MC2 says:

        Josephine- Thank you for agreeing with my point & we are on the same page. I said that he does not receive as many concussions as other positions, which you say, and quarterbacks are disproportionately white & get the most accolades with the least amount of physical risk (compared to linebackers OR other positions). This is true for kickers too, which I appreciate you pointing out, and I do care about that as well. Maybe you don’t, okay.
        You can focus semantics & say he’s not pretty or entitled…ummm….sure, but please go have your fun arguing with someone else cuz I do like to stay on topic. I appreciate the dialogue, though, about the fact that the NFL (and all football organizations including schools) do not treat all players the same.

  3. agnes says:


  4. FHMom says:

    I feel like doing one of those Channing Tatum hahahas from the header quote. As a Giants fan, I respect the hell out of his game. He is one of a kind on the field.

    • Lucky says:

      Giants fan here as well. I want to hate him so badly but he’s just too good. Still happy as hell Eli beat him twice 😂😂

    • whatWHAT? says:

      Giants fan here, too. and I don’t hate him…why should I?…he did us right…twice. 😉 I think he’s an entitled and privileged idiot who gets (and, more importantly, EXPECTS) special treatment/protection from the refs, but I don’t hate him.

      but I DO hate the fact that he peddles his BS “health” advice…like how drinking enough water will keep you from getting sunburned. follow his advice and wind up with skin cancer. dude knows football, that is for sure. and not much else. that is also for sure.

  5. Ali says:

    The headline made me laugh out loud but I like what he had to say about his kids. His type of inherent drive to not just play but work to excel at sports isn’t in all kids and that he can recognize and accept that about his own is great. I see too many parents who played competitive sports (or wished they did) unable to let go when their kids don’t want to.

    Call it whatever you want, yoga is good for the body.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, it’s good to hear that Gisele helped him see that. It can definitely be hard for parents to shift their expectations. He definitely seems to be in tune with his kids, which was nice to read.

  6. TaniaOG says:

    The way he described his wife was very interesting. I know we rag on him for his restrictive diet but clearly whatever he is doing is working for him. I’m sure most pro athletes aren’t out there bingeing on garbage.

    • Esmom says:

      True about pro athletes but I think it’s common among us civilians, too, to adopt some fitness routine but neglect the healthy eating aspect of the equation. The old “abs are made in the kitchen” adage.

      My son is a college athlete and eats extremely healthy, to the point where I wish he would have a cookie once in a while. He says when the team is on the road he’s appalled at how much junk most of the other guys eat. They acknowledge it, too, but can’t seem to break the fast food habits. At that age, though, it doesn’t seem to be affecting their performance too much, though, which is what also probably makes it hard.

      • Bettyrose says:


        Everyone deserves a treat now and then, but I really worry about young men who live on junk food. They tend to have metabolisms for it early on, but by the time the obesity and heart disease starts encroaching, it’s much harder to change those habits.

    • Becks1 says:

      I liked his bit about his diet. I’m sure he eats healthy food 99% of the time, and obviously he is working out more than the average person, so go ahead Tom, have that piece of pizza. I also liked what he said about “making sure its the best.” there are times when I am really craving something and I don’t indulge because I want the good stuff. like if I want a doughnut, I’m going to pick out the best doughnut from my favorite bakery.

      • Eleonor says:

        Same here.
        I am a runner, I eat very healthy, and I cook every day, at work I take my home made food, BUT every now and then I let myself go. I don’t know if it’s all the cooking I do, but my taste is super selective, so I look only for the best I can find.

  7. DS9 says:

    I needed my inhaler after that headline.


  8. Nanea says:

    He’s a thinker who very obviously thinks that Making America – or to be more specific, the US – Great Again is a great idea,
    *rolls eyes*
    As to thinking that supporting food-related esoteric quackery is a good idea…
    *rolls eyes some more*

    • Darla says:

      People get amnesia when they read a bunch of schlock about a guy gushing over his wife, which btw, is all fake.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Yeah, all I need to know about this douche bag’s character is that he is MAGA and therefore a POS.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        yeah, it’s OK that his wife came here speaking no English . . .

      • Call_me_al says:

        Right. But his wife is a “good immigrant”, I guess? What a bunch of bull-honkey 😣. Haven’t used that phrase in a while! ☺

    • LL says:

      He didn’t support Trump.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        is that why he said that 45 is “a good friend” of his and that it would be “great” if he won the election? and why he left the MAGA hat on full view in his locker when he was being interviewed?

        yeah, yeah, I know the hats were left in the locker room by Bob “Happy Ending” Kraft, but Brady deliberately left it in full view while the interviewer was there. until he says otherwise, he’s a MAGAT.

      • LL says:

        You know the hats were left in the locker room by Kraft and you still want to believe he was supporting him? He said they are friends, but he didn’t say he was supporting him.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        yes, the hats were left in the locker room by Kreepy Kraft. and yes, Brady didn’t remove his and, further, left it in plain view while being interviewed.

        and by saying it would be “great” if 45 won the election, I’d say that means he’s supporting him.

        since you disagree, what do you think he meant by saying that? why do you think he didn’t remove the MAGA hat and instead left it in full view while being interviewed on camera? if your only reasoning is that he and 45 are “friends”, what does that say about him as a person if he considers that horrible orange THING his “friend”? it’s really not that much better than actually “supporting” him, is it?

      • LL says:

        He wasn’t supporting him. It means they are friends. He said he wasn’t supporting him. I can’t believe you are still talking about those hats. Kraft left that hat there. You said you don’t hhate him, but you H A T E him and you don’t want to admit it. Your comments are very negative. Sad.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        let’s be clear. I don’t hate him. I think he’s a privileged and entitled idiot, but so are a lot of footballers.

        since you don’t want to talk about the hats, let’s forget about the fact that he didn’t get rid of his, but in fact kept it and made sure it was visible when being interviewed on camera. OK?

        now, saying he and 45 are “good friends” means, yeah, they’re friends. we’ve established that. also established, if he’s friends with 45, that says something about what kind of person he is. moving on, if Brady said he thought it would be great if 45 were elected, what do you think that means? you say it doesn’t mean that Brady supports 45, so what does it mean to you?

        it really seems you want to ignore or downplay Brady’s relationship with 45. I get it. if I were a Pats fan, I’d be disappointed too.

  9. Harryg says:

    I always feel like pushing his eyebrows up.

  10. hnmmom says:

    That headline also made me snort with laughter this morning, thank you! My first thought when reading what he said about his wife is that someone must have enrolled in a poetry appreciation class over the summer. It reads like some of the junk we all wrote in high school, thinking these were such deep and original thoughts. And then that stupid song from Dirty Dancing started going through my head (“She’s like the wind…”) and now I will have that garbage in my head all day lol.

  11. minx says:

    Sure Jan.

  12. Londongal says:

    I actually loved the Giselle comment. It’s such a nice way of describing your partner realistically but touchingly honest. He’s obviously really driven and acknowledges hia ‘bro-ness’. I mean, he ain’t my bag, but I like him more after reading this.

  13. Darla says:

    I mean, I’m pretty sure he’s a trump supporter, and if you want to compare this interview to Chris Evans’ Vanity Fair interview, wherein he actually speaks about Brady, you’ll see who the thinker of the two is. But okay.

  14. ME says:

    Why do they always darken his skin in magazines?

  15. Ref7 says:

    Tom Brady believes he has greater deductive reasoning powers than physical prowess…?

  16. My3cents says:

    Just waiting for him to retire from football so he’ll finally have time to get around to curing cancer.

  17. Nicegirl says:

    Obviously 🙄

  18. Amelie says:

    After reading this article I still don’t believe Tom is a thinker. The in depth NYT magazine profile a few years ago really clarified there’s not a whole lot going on in his mind apart from football. That’s all he mostly thinks about. I get it, it’s his career but it made me wonder what do he and Gisele talk about! She’s so not into football at all. He is going to have a hard time when he eventually retires (maybe become a sports commentator?).

    I liked what he said about his kids though. It’s nice to see he understands his sons are not going to automatically be into sports just because he is. I wonder what his son Benjamin is into? He never said what exactly but it would be so interesting to see how he turns out, like an accountant with a regular 9-5 job.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      ‘He is going to have a hard time when he eventually retires”

      and I wonder if he’ll acknowledge when his time is up, or if he’ll go out the way Favre did, almost like a punchline.

      but along the lines of your above comment, I believe he will, too. as noted, Giselle doesn’t like sports, and we all know that she worries about his physical well-being (concussions). he doesn’t know anything BUT football. I would not at all be surprised if, a few years after he retires, they split.

  19. Mike K says:

    Enjoyed his comments….let’s be honest there is no QB or in fact any other player in the NFL that has achieved what he has….he is the GOAT!
    Not sure why everyone keeps putting him down, he never was involved in any nightclub brawls, never physically brutalized a girlfriend or wife, never took any illicit drugs, never cited for Dwi`s
    So what is it that everyone seems to dislike about him?
    How he lives his life is his choice alone it does not affect all those people who keep trying to knock him down?
    This is a player that has taken a lower salary cap for the last 6 years so that the Patriots can improve their team roster, he recently signed on for 2 years at $ 23 million, we have these new QB`s who have never made the playoffs getting a 100 million , this is guy that approaches every new team member individually introduces himself and welcomes them to team.

    • Truthiness says:

      It’s all about context. This guy thinks and breathes football. If you compare a 42 year QB to the entire rest of the NFL, he is an ancient fossil unable to win any sprint/tackle or agility contests. The much younger guys have amazing physical attributes so if you compare Brady to them, you end up with his comment and it is valid. If you compare him to the general population, it’s an easy target with everyone taking potshots. He has an extreme non-inflammatory diet that is far from the norm so that’s another easy target. I have to eat a non-inflammatory diet per Doctor’s orders, I just wish I had the personal chef!

      • Lightpurple says:

        Even as a rookie, Brady wasn’t going to win any sprints or agility contests. But he knows the game and can visualize strategy better than almost anyone who has ever played the game. And that’s where the “thinker” part comes into it.

    • Joanna says:

      I don’t like him because he’s arrogant.

  20. IMUCU says:

    There is something to his hip flexor-hamstring comment…When I used to work in the musculoskeletal realm of health we did something called a Functional Movement Screening. Shows how “functional” various muscle groups are on a scale by evaulating a series of different movements. Some athletes, while in great “shape,” would bomb some portions, which puts them at a much higher risk for injury. This helps them, and us nonathletic folks, know where the weaknesses are (and then how to improve), that don’t typically show up while doing typical exercises/training. Great screening tool for anyone!

    • Esmom says:

      I go to a gym where we do group training and trainer does this screening with one on one clients and with people who request it. It’s an important part of his philosophy and as a fiftysomething I appreciate it. Staying strong and flexible and preventing injury are higher on my radar than ever.

    • Call_me_al says:

      I need that!

  21. Digital Unicorn says:

    I don’t get his appeal but he does look like the stereotypical quarterback that you often see described in teen novels. Chiseled looks and not much else.

  22. Jaded says:

    Tom Brady’s book of deep thoughts. One pager.

  23. Canber says:

    Sure, doll. You’re a thinker.

  24. Tiffany says:

    Still laughing at the thinker quote. Still.

  25. Veronica S says:

    I got to the part about his wife being a kite and lost it. Oh my God. Rich people are something else, yo.

    (Isn’t it always funny how people going about not living traditionally are typically are wealthy or privileged? Don’t let Gisele fool you. Neither Tom nor she grew up wanting.)

  26. Arizona says:

    man, the comments here are really unnecessarily harsh.

    I’m pretty sure what he meant about the thinker comment was in reference to his playing style, not that he generally thinks of himself as a thinker.

    • GreenTurtle says:

      Same. People are being pretty vicious. He’s an enormously gifted quarterback, who has been at the top of his game for over a decade. Hate him all you want, and I’m not a Pats fan, but he’s great at his profession and a dedicated husband and father. I don’t get the vitriol.

      • Lightpurple says:

        And the gift is in his ability to strategize, to think through the game, and to throw the football. He can’t run, he never could. But he can put the ball where his teammates are and where the other team’s players are not.

      • Anon33 says:

        Yep, such a dedicated husband and father that he was photographed on that jet with Ben Affleck and the ring-wearing nanny. I’m sure they were all just hanging out discussing works of great literature and not having an orgy or anything.

      • LK says:

        Anon33: Wow. You sound jealous. There is nothing wrong with that pic. No, they weren’t “discussing works of great literature”… They attended a charity event. It’s something very positive. You should do it.

  27. Mamasan says:

    *snort*😉 Bless him!

  28. K.Tate says:

    Is he handsome? When i saw that courtroom drawing of him i thought it was spot on.

  29. SJR says:

    Tom Brady a thinker? Nope. nope. nope. Thanks for a great laugh tho.

  30. LC says:

    Bless his heart for thinking he is a deep thinker.

  31. Mumbles says:

    I would have never known Gisele wasn’t into sports, she gets so excited at games. And I never really gave much thought to the fact that a person with her path to success would be less wedded to traditional paths but yeah, it makes perfect sense. Must have been super brave of her to leave home and enter that world, which can be so cruel and predatory.

  32. RoyalBlue says:

    He is an amazing athlete. He talks in a book about his regimen and what he does so he doesn’t get injured. He drinks tons of water a day and also an insane amount of stretching. He says why he doesn’t get injured as much is because he is so limber. It reminds me of the ballerinas stretching exercises and then both having the same discipline. I don’t like his politics but I love his focus on his family and his health. Respect.

  33. Newton says:

    Giselle could live in all those countries easily because she was a super model. It might be a little harder if one had a different ‘skill set’.

  34. naomipaige99 says:

    I’m sorry, but he’s just “eye-candy’ to me. Personally, I think he’s a moron!

  35. Naddie says:

    I came expecting a stupid interview, but I’m surprised that he surpassed what I expected: he’s just straight up dumb. Giselle is like a genius next to him. It doesn’t amaze me that it took her to point that people are unique beings.

  36. Shana says:

    As it often turns out I feel like Jake would be the kid Tom is most proud of (like Joseph Baena for Arnie). He even looks like Tom the most. I like how he hinted that Gisele is bubbly and not…particularly sharp

  37. Lala11_7 says:

    The level of horrific cheating that he and his organization have been able to get away with since he’s been QB and Belichek has been coach…

    Has been nothing less…than…ASTOUNDING!

  38. starryfish29 says:

    That quote is funny for obvious reasons, but it’s also part of the gross way that people in the sports world talk about athletes, splitting white athletes into the “strategic thinker” category and black athletes into the “talented physical specimen” category. It’s famously why the league and coaches from a young age think of white players as more suited to the QB position because they are the ones who “think” and run the plays.