We’re getting a nine-hour ‘Last Dance’-esque docu-series on Tom Brady, ugh

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady plays against the NY Jets at the Giants Stadium

The Last Dance was ESPN’s wildly popular docu-series on Michael Jordan’s last years with the Chicago Bulls. Many believe that The Last Dance solidified MJ’s GOAT status ahead of LeBron, even though Bron still has several good years left in him and even though I personally think LeBron is a better man, overall, than Michael Jordan. Maybe it’s because of the lockdown or maybe we’re just in a moment when we’re hungry for long-form docu-series about athletes, but now ESPN is convinced that they should do more of these kinds of series. So what other GOATs can they talk about? You guessed it, the white guy who deflates balls and is a Goop-level shill of pseudoscience.

Following the breakout success of The Last Dance, ESPN has ordered another docuseries about an athlete considered the greatest in his sport: Tom Brady. The nine-episode series, produced by Gotham Chopra’s Religion of Sports and Brady’s recently formed 199 Productions, is called Man in the Arena and will offer the quarterback’s first-hand accounts of pivotal moments in his career, including all nine of his Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots. It is set to air in 2021.

“Nine Super Bowl appearances over the course of 20 years is an achievement on an unmatched level. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Tom Brady as he reflects on each of those nine, season-long journeys and the pivotal moments that defined them,” Connor Schell, executive vp content at ESPN, said Thursday in a statement. “Gotham Chopra is a highly skilled filmmaker who I am confident will bring to life this story of an icon in a new and revealing way.”

Added Brady: “I’m excited to have my company 199 Productions be in business with ESPN and Disney along with our Religion of Sports partners to launch this new series that gives an inside look into the championship moments I’ve been blessed to experience. Through the series, we’re defining the key moments and challenges that were seemingly insurmountable, but through hard work and perseverance, became career-defining triumphs, in both victory and defeat. This compelling and powerful show will entertain, inspire and have you on the edge of your seat. We can’t wait to share it with the world.”

There’s one key difference between The Last Dance and Man in the Arena: Where the former aired more than 20 years after Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls, Brady is still playing. The 42-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after 20 seasons with the Patriots.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Um, how are they actually going to fill up nine hours of programming? How much archival football footage will be used, and wouldn’t it just be better to just watch a repeat of those Super Bowls? Plus, with all of the fascinating athletes out there, ESPN is really going to waste all of that time and programming on… dipsh-t Tom Brady? A white guy who is dumb as a box of hair? TOMPA BRADY? That guy? Yeah.

So obviously I’m biased, but think about how popular a nine-part docu-series on Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams or Rafael Nadal would be. Rafa’s the weakest link there, not because of lack of achievements (he has a crazy amount of achievements), but because he hasn’t lived a flashy, exciting life beyond the tour. I could easily fill up nine hours on Serena and Venus though. Like, I would have to go to ESPN and be like “actually I think I need a tenth and eleventh episode please.” Who else? I would love nine hours on LeBron. I would love nine hours on Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Nine hours on Megan Rapinoe? FOR SURE. Nine hours on Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova’s rivalry? Yes, please.

Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen at arrivals f...

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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33 Responses to “We’re getting a nine-hour ‘Last Dance’-esque docu-series on Tom Brady, ugh”

  1. CROWHOOD says:

    I can’t imagine living your whole life considering night shades to be a food treat. I think He is a good athlete and a vanilla closet racist.

    • Snappyfish says:

      No please. We don’t need to know anymore about this jerk. He is a racist & the closet door is open. He is also a cheater (deflategate) I remember the court drawing ma where he looked like Frankenstein’s monster & I couldn’t unsee it. The header photo brings it back full stop

  2. Alissa says:

    honestly, this isn’t at all surprising. my husband will be thrilled. I just want them to do one about the Red Sox breaking the 86-year curse, and their rivalry with the Yankees. it doesn’t have to be centered around one person, can be centered around the whole team.

  3. Backwards says:

    Until MJ’s family who were pretty much silent save for his mother I can see Gisele being heavily involved in this!

  4. Lightpurple says:

    Nine hours on Bill Russell: high school champion; college champion; Olympic champion; ELEVEN times NBA champion; first African-American player – coach of a major league team in US sports; all during the Civil Rights era and also on at a time when players traveled on buses, not private jets to get to games. LeBron and Jordan can sit down and hush.

    • cf86713 says:

      He at least would be worthy of a 10+ part doc, probably 11 parts for every ring he has. I also would rather watch it and I hate the Celtics. However I don’t see anyone having the guts to deal with the racism etc he did. If not him Kareem would be a good choice.

      However I recommend watching Mr. Russell’s House a doc on NBA TV that delved into all of this only an hour though.

  5. Oatmeal says:

    Again??? Didn’t we just get Tom vs Time last year on FB

    Dude is not that interesting

  6. Becks1 says:

    I think one of the appealing things about the Last Dance (besides the timing, since sports fans are clamoring for ANYTHING right now) was the nostalgia factor. No, the documentary wasn’t the most objective thing ever, since MJ had final approval or editorial rights, but it still captured a time period where this team and this athlete was dominant. And for many people it was informative – either you lived through that period so it was fun to rewatch some of those moments – or you didn’t so it was new.

    Most people in the 90s knew who Michael Jordan was. He was THE athlete. Every wanted his shoes, everyone wanted to drink Gatorade to “be like mike.” And because it was an age before social media, there was still some mystery to the team and the athlete so the documentary could fill in some of those gaps.

    If you didn’t live through that period, or were too young, the documentary could help explain WHY Michael Jordan is STILL such a sports and cultural icon.

    I’m just not sure the time is right for a Tom Brady docuseries like this. Maybe in 20 years. but Brady lacks the cultural icon status that Jordan has.

    • Nic919 says:

      Exactly. Kids got robbed for their Air Jordans. He was the 90s, at least in North America. (For the record I am a Pistons fan and loved the Bad Boys and Jordan’s pissiness about Isiah Thomas was hilarious. I hated him and the Bulls during that time, but even then I did respect that he was good. )

    • emmy says:

      YES. I knew who MJ was in the 90s (I was a kid and teenager) and I wasn’t remotely interested in sports at the time. So I learned a lot from TLD, I was entertained, I felt nostalgic for the 90s because I don’t think people today (younger people) appreciate how big of a deal it was to be THIS famous around the world without the internet or social media. It was bananas.

      Also, MJ and his teammates (I mean, the parts around Rodman were crazy) had charisma. Still do. There was succes, there was drama, he was an a**hole, he went off to play baseball for god’s sake.

      Tom Brady is successful but he’s also a personality void. And btw, why not focus on a woman? Not for the sake of it but women athletes have such different perspectives and different fights in elite sports. It would be interesting.

      • Becks1 says:

        Personality void PERFECTLY describes him.

        unless they go into all the cheating, then I don’t think think it will be interesting. They could MAYBE make something out of his injury and the year he had to take off to recover, but even that wouldn’t be that interesting. And the story about his draft position and how hes now one of the greatest QBs ever has been told and retold.

    • LadyMTL says:

      My brother and I were SO INTO Michael Jordan and the Bulls…my brother so much so that he had Jordan posters on his walls and bought AIr Jordans as often as he could (alas for his future bank account, he actually wore them and so missed on on being able to sell them years later for big bucks, hahaha.)

      It’s hard to explain to people who weren’t around back then how huge MJ was, and this was way before social media and the Internet and etc. I personally would love to see a docuseries about Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Martina Navratilova…Tom Brady not so much. I don’t hate him, but I can’t work up any kind of interest.

    • NatureLover says:

      Tom Babling will never have the status of MJ, or most of the other athletes that have come through the ranks and the years.

    • minx says:

      I’m a Chicagoan who adored the 90s Bulls, but even I wondered at the outset how they could fill 10 episodes. Boy was I wrong. At the end of each pair of shows I couldn’t wait for the next ones. It wasn’t just about Jordan and the countless dramatic buzzer-beating scoring—there was also plenty of side drama to keep TLD going. The biographical segments on Pippen, Rodman and Jackson were fascinating. There was the Jerry Krause vs. Jackson brouhaha. I knew about Steve Kerr and his father’s murder in Beirut, but not all the details. MJ’s father’s murder was more senseless gun violence. TLD also captured the 90s zeitgeist and pre-9/11 (and, sadly, covid) innocence perfectly.

    • Kelly says:

      The docuseries hit the right spot for those of us old enough to remember seeing the 90s Bulls play on TV or live. As someone who was in middle school during the 3 peat championship run, it brought back memories.

      I lived in Illinois, around an hour and a half west of Chicago. My dad had the chance to a Bulls game during the 97-98 season because a work vendor had tickets available. He turned it down because he was only offered one ticket, so he couldn’t take someone from his family with him. We had been trying to get tickets for 2 years to see a game as a family, just to say we saw Michael Jordan play live in person. We told him it was fine if he went because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity at that point. It wasn’t the first offer of Chicago sports tickets he had gotten. He took my sister to a Bears game at Soldier Field earlier that fall.

      The two of us did end up going to the United Center for the Big 10 men’s basketball tournament when I was in college in the early 2000s. We went with family who were Wisconsin fans. They didn’t really get why it was important to the two of us to get our picture taken in front of the Jordan statue. Then again, I really don’t get why people think Lambeau Field is so special.

      The docuseries does cover somewhat how the Bulls success changed the perception of Chicago, both in the US and internationally. Before Jordan and the Bulls, the most common perception of Chicago was that it was associated with organized crime and corrupt politicians, Al Capon and Richard J. Daley. It’s most notable moment in the national spotlight prior to the early 90s was the 1968 Democratic Convention. The Bulls championship run changed that perception. The Grant Park post championship celebrations are what I remember most clearly, especially the final one. The only time after that event that I can remember seeing more people there was in 2008 when Obama gave his election victory speech.

  7. Nic919 says:

    I don’t think they understand that what made the Michael Jordan Doc interesting is that we didn’t know who he was as a person and he went through adversity more than once, from turning the Bulls around to being a good team, to dealing with Jerry Krause and crazy management. His leaving for baseball, coming back, dealing with his dad’s murder and becoming an American icon which at the time was unusual for any African American to do. Jordan was mainstream in a way that few if any other athletes have ever done. (LeBron is close but Jordan did a lot of it first. LeBron being more philanthropic is probably the best way to distinguish himself from a Jordan moving forward).

    Tom Brady is boring oatmeal and a white guy jock being successful in sports and marrying the hot model is going to be boring AF. Doing a play by play of his super bowl games will only interest football diehards. Brady has nothing of value to say. Jordan might have consciously stayed away from politics, for which he did get criticism, but was groundbreaking in a way that Brady will never be.

    There is an obvious doc to be made of Serena Williams, with a ton of levels both in sports and social issues.

  8. Mellie says:

    I was in my late teens, early twenties during the MJ era and a HUUUUGEEE Reggie Miller/Pacers fan (ugh, the travesty of it all!). I did appreciate the Last Dance, loved it actually. I appreciated and enjoyed watching MJ’s skills, but as someone alluded to above, I believe that Lebron is the better person, not necessarily the better basketball player though.
    In the documentary MJ makes no apologies for the fact that he was a basketball player first (and then a gambler second..haha), he wasn’t interested in being involved in politics and really didn’t appear to want to be anyone’s role model, unless it was to make a buck.
    That being said, please Lord, no Tom Brady fluffy piece of $hit that is going to give Giselle a bunch of screen time with her smoothies and her yoga…

    • Lightpurple says:

      I always enjoyed watching Reggie Miller play, as long as he wasn’t playing against the Celtics. He truly was talented. And I love that he wanted to be there to see Ray Allen break his three-point record, that’s class. And I particularly love that he has always admitted that Cheryl was a better player.

      And that’s someone who deserves a documentary: Cheryl Miller.

      • Mellie says:

        He was so mouthy, you had to laugh, but I’m sure it was super annoying being on the other side of it.
        Cheryl Miller for sure is the $hit…100 points in a game, amazing…maybe a family documentary, include their parents.

  9. Seraphina says:

    I just don’t see why women swoon over him. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I just don’t get it. I stumbled upon the NY Rangers goalie and he is way more interesting to look at that TB.

  10. SJR says:

    No thanks.
    I am fed up with the glorification of pro jocks.
    Hard pass on spending any of my time or money on it.

  11. Onemoretime says:

    I was there during the height of I wanna be like Mike. Still know that jingle word for word. The Last Dance was so nostalgic for me and my husband, we loved it.
    If they want to do football why not the Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys. There was so much drama going on, on & off the field.
    No one wants to see Tom Cheating Brady dull maga supporter. I hope they include that he refuses to go to Obama’s White House, all snow flakes whining about black athletes not going through grand wizards White House.

  12. Erin says:

    A short list of athletes off the top of my head that have better stories than Tom Brady and would actually tell them too. We don’t need another hagiography or glorified commercial like Jordan got
    Baseball: Barry Bonds
    Football: Brett Favre, Richard Sherman
    Tennis: Williams Sisters, Djokovic
    Boxing: Klitschko brothers

    • Kelly says:

      I really like the suggestions of the Williams sisters and Brett Favre as subjects for a long docuseries. Both Venus and Serena have fascinating stories and can tap into other themes, including gender issues and race in sports, especially given how the women’s tennis game seems to be undervalued compared to the men’s game, despite it being better to watch. There’s also body image issues as well.

      Favre could be a fascinating subject, depending on both how much he is willing to cooperate and how much he would get paid to be involved. Favre doesn’t seem to have made great financial decisions when playing. He was in the news recently for accepting state money from Mississippi for gigs that he didn’t show up to. He agreed to pay the money back. I thought the parallels between the end of his career and Michael Jordan’s career are very close. Both of their legacies would have been better served if they had retired when they were done playing with the teams they were most associated with.

      It was telling how much of his good old boy persona was fake when he left the Packers and went to the Vikings. It was open season for airing over a decade worth of stories deflating his carefully constructed persona in Wisconsin. Part of the very positive and whitewashed coverage was that any seemingly negative coverage would cause both the reporters and their papers to lose access to the Packers, which are the main sports team in Wisconsin, even in the off season. Now Aaron Rodgers gets the same deferential and very respectful treatment from TV and newspaper media, but thanks to the internet and social media, it’s harder to maintain that type of persona.

      The other one that would be interesting is a long series on the rise and dominance of women’s soccer in the US and the decline in the US men’s game. The women’s national team has been very active expressing their frustration with second class status despite being more successful than the men’s national team for a long time. It wouldn’t be hard to get current players to participate given that some of them were suing US Soccer during their world cup win last year.

  13. Ariel says:

    When it comes to his “supplement” sales- is he a true believing dolt-moron, or a moronic conman?

  14. Nic919 says:

    Even a documentary on Bill Bellicheck would be more interesting, especially if we got into the filming other teams scandal and all the stuff the Patriots got away with.

  15. LeonsMomma says:

    I love the Chris EveryMartina Navratilova idea. But you also need to add in Yvonne Goolagong and Billie Jean King to that story too. Or just focus on that period of tennis in the 70s when you had all of these tennis superstars—Jimmy Connors (who would be in this anyway because he dated Christie), Ike Nastase, Arthur Ashe, and even though they already had a documentary made about their relationship ships, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

    • LeonsMomma says:

      Sorry for the typos (my edit function isn’t working): Chris Evert; Chrissie, not Christie; Ile, not Ike.

  16. Original Jenns says:

    I legit snorted at TOMPA BRADY. Especially because he’s the one schilling this stupid nickname.

  17. Lily says:

    Serena Williams is the one we should make a last dance about. There is something about brady, other than his racism/maga support, that I don’t like. His vibe has something wrong. First of all, half of us minimum thinks he’s a cheater, so …not sure of how inspiring this will be… but Gisele is going to be happy, she always wanted to make it seem like they were perfect, so I’m expecting Giz cameos in there looking fine, and she will be able to put this documentary on her CV although it’s not about her. I can’t wait to hear the players from the teams who lost because of his cheating. There will unfortunately be nothing endearing about Brady like it was to hear about MJ, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Nothingburger..

    • Lara says:

      It would be nice if the 9 hour series turned out to be less a hagiography of Brady, but also an exploration of how perceptions of football and the way the game is played have changed. Brady would simply be a way to pull viewers in. Because during the Brady years, we also had the class action lawsuit regarding concussions and the NFL’s problematic healthcare for former athletes; we started to hear black athletes talk about how they will never have their sons play football; we have the NFL trying to sell football to women and court the Hispanic population; the issues of football athletes abusing women; the strange evolution of superbowl halftime commercials; the impact of pro football on college football; cheating with deflated balls; technology and instant replay; stuff about strategy. I doubt that this is what’s going to happen, but a person can hope, right? It’s probably going to be not only a hagiography of Brady, but a declaration of the Amurcan-ness of football and how special and superior it is to every other sport in the world.

  18. Liz version 700 says:

    Snooze. Seriously he is as interesting as paint drying. He can play football but seriously his Trump loving obnoxiousness is of no interest to me.

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