Tom Brady is a big liar.
The New England Patriots quarterback told reporters this week that he often hides the truth from them because it's not worth starting a controversy. His comments come days after he joked that fans should "get lubed up" before a game, a statement which prompted the Patriots to issue a statement saying Brady meant water, not alcohol.
He told Westwood One prior to the network's Monday night broadcast:
"I don't often say exactly how I feel," Brady said. "And I don't often say exactly what I think. Because you don't want to cause controversy. When there is controversy, all your teammates start getting asked about 'What Brady said.' Really, it becomes a distraction to the team. You're trying to get ready for an important game on the weekend, and then now, on Thursday and Friday, the only thing that people want to talk about is some comment the quarterback on your team made.
"When that happens, I feel bad and a certain responsibility to my teammates that in some way I let them down. That they have to be cleaning up a mess that I made for the rest of the team. And that's never a position that I want to put my teammates in because we have too many other things to worry about."
In those few sentences, Brady perfectly sums up why there's no benefit in ever saying anything interesting to reporters. Unless you're an athlete playing a character, like Chad Ochocinco or Brian Wilson, doing so can only lead to distraction. For a guy like Brady, the goal has to be to get through a press conference having said enough to get reporters some soundbites, but not enough to have them ask any follow-ups about what he said. Even players who don't subscribe to this theory -- Bart Scott comes to mind -- still have to hold themselves in check a bit.
It's like when your girlfriend asks whether you like her jeans. (Or for you ladies out there, when your boyfriend asks if you can tell he's been working biceps at the gym.) Do you answer honestly and continue the conversation or do you tell a white lie and move on? Brady's "lying" is no different than sitting in a meeting and not telling your boss he's an idiot. It's more selective wording than anything.
The weird thing about last week is that, as far as we could tell, there was no backlash to Brady's "get lubed up" comments. It wasn't until the Patriots issued a toothless denial that the story drew any national attention.
Thanks, Larry Brown Sports
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