Shutdown Corner - NFL

On the field, Tom Brady(notes) is one of the toughest players in football. Off the field? Well, let's just say he's no John Wayne.

The New England Patriots quarterback signed a deal this week to become a spokesman for UGG, the Australian sheepskin shoe favored by women and teenage girls worldwide. Between this, Brady's penchant for modeling for men's magazines while cradling livestock and his Bieber-like hairstyle, it's been open season on questions about Brady's manliness (and in legitimate news sources, no less):

"Tom Brady is the guy every guy I know does not want to be. Despite being married to a supermodel, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and a multimillionaire, Brady has somehow managed to make himself a punchline." -- D.J. Gallo, ESPN.com

"Nothin' manly about a man in UGGs. And Tom is over-saturating himself with endorsements, so this whole marketing deal makes me lose even more interest in the brand." -- Boston PR executive Arika Beaudry, to The Boston Herald

"The Gisellification (sic) of Tom Brady continues.'' -- Don Martelli, Technorati.com

"The gripe is that our Tom, once a reliably All-American male, has been giving in too heavily to his feminine side." -- Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe (in a column defending Brady)

Are UGGs manly?

Of course not.

Does that mean Tom Brady should be subjected to ridicule?

No more than he got after the goat picture

If you think about it, Brady and UGGs are the perfect fit. They both rose to popularity out of near obscurity, have managed to stay in the limelight despite outside challenges, are ubiquitously trendy and are a favorite of supermodels. It's a match made in sheepskin heaven.

Forget all that "UGGs aren't manly" nonsense. Say it all you want, but if you found a pair of UGG slippers under the tree this Christmas, you know you'd be wearing them with your Brady jersey on game day and loving every comfortable minute of it. Don't throw stones while living in an UGG-less house.

Plus, Brett Favre(notes) is the stereotypical guy's guy and he endorsed Wrangler Jeans, which are about as far from UGG boots as you can get. Look where all that testosterone got him.

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