The Man Who Was Not There: Tom Brady Leaves Barack Obama Guessing

New Engalnd Patriots George W. Bush

Tom Brady didn’t exactly pull a Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins goalie who justified staying home on a team White House visit by saying “the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.” That doesn’t mean the president’s friends, and his foes, don’t interpret the Patriots quarterback’s absence from the White House on Thursday as a snub fueled by racism, ideology, or some other loathsome tic.

Rather than inspired by racism or Republicanism, the professed political independent might just have decided not to keep company with the people who jumped on the pig pile when he ate dirt at the bottom of it.

“For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots,” White House press secretary Josh Ernest joked in January of a disastrous Brady Deflate-gate presser. “But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either.”

Another possibility is that Brady’s vague given reason–family obligations–served as the real reason. Would you rather spend the day with Gisele Bundchen or Barack Obama?

The last time a Boston sports hero traveled to the White House, the administration unleashed their lawyers on him. David Ortiz responded to the president using him for a photo op by using the president for a photo op. The smiling selfie–supposedly staged by Samsung for viral publicity purposes–of Big Papi and Barack Obama allegedly put the company’s cash in the player’s pocket. Jonny Gomes didn’t shout, “Cha-ching,” for nothing when Ortiz snapped the picture.

The White House, which exploits professional athletes for favorable publicity through these periodic, and idiotic, championship team gatherings, finally met its match in an athlete who opted to exploit the administration in return. Rather than make a putz of the prez as Ortiz did, maybe Brady just decided not to participate in a farce. He’s been there three times, so perhaps he knows the drill and doesn’t like serving as a politician’s prop.

Tom Brady, even in the state where Obama enjoys his highest approval ratings, dwarfs the president in popularity. Why give his rub to a political brand for free when he rarely gives it for a price to corporate brands?

Ultimately, we don’t know why Tom Brady didn’t attend the White House ceremony because he kept relatively mum and very vague regarding his reasons. And that’s the difference between the president and the Patriots.

The TMI President tells all. The Silent Cal of a Football Team remains mute.

We don’t know about the Patriots injuries or excuses, their boasts or gameplans, their internal conflicts and controversies. We know the president watches Homeland and House of Cards, and believes the Redskins should change their name, and thinks that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly” in cuffing Henry Louis Gates, and predicted the Kentucky to defeat Villanova in the NCAA tournament, and that he listens to Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan and John Coltrane and Jay-Z in the presidential iPod.

Barack Obama is the anti-Bill Belichick. Barack leaves nothing to the imagination. Bill leaves everyone guessing. It’s a strange world in which the coach of a boys’ sport conducts himself in a more dignified manner than the leader of the free world.

Brady, taking after his gridiron guru, speaks by his actions more than through his mouth. We can guess the real reason he ditched the president. We can’t definitively say why the Super Bowl MVP stayed home. To plagiarize the not-so quotable Bill Belichick, it is what it is.


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