Tom Brady, Bicyclist: Lessons from the G.O.A.T. Quarterback

Super Bowl LV (55, which like singer Mr. Samuel Hagar, I cannot drive) happened, and I watched almost all of it. I missed some of the first quarter because I was out riding my bicycle. Usually I don’t bother to watch millionaires try to knock the tar and feathers out of each other, but since I’m biking less I had the time and heard it would be a good game, I tuned in. Love him or hate him (this article explains why), it seems pretty clear to me that with more Super Bowl wins than anyone else including his former team, Thomas “Tom” Edward Patrick Brady Jr. truly is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) quarterback of professional American footballer. It’s good to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan right now; not so much for the New England Patriots.

As it relates to this blog, it turns out he also rides a bike: He does a charity bike event every year for folks with disabilities, the Best Buddies Challenge. Also, he rides around town with his wife, a kid on the back, or his dog in a basket on the front.or alongside on a leash. He’s even taken teammates on mountain bike trips to Montana. So what can mere mortals like you and I learn from an elite athlete like him? Let’s see.

Focused Discipline

Yeah, no helmet. Nobody’s perfect. Source: Streetsblog NYC

It goes without saying that you don’t win seven Super Bowls (out of 10 trips) and all the other records Tom Brady has without this characteristic. Famously, he goes to bed early, like 8:30-9 pm, to get about nine hours of sleep. He’s up at 5:30 to study game tapes, work out, and then practice. He’s been paid about $263 million over 21 years in the National Football League, so he is focused on being totally committed his goals. But it’s not just about the money, which he’s shared to help keep others on his team.

For average dudes and dudettes, we probably won’t ever (and don’t have to) ascend to such superhuman heights to take a lesson. That is, if you have distractions keeping you from your goal(s), what can you do to reduce them? For me, a rigid sleep regimen would be a good start. If you’re half-assing your workouts, can you maybe do less time but go a little harder? Whatever your “why” is, we have the same 24 hours as Tom. Choose wisely. There’s a lot more to his focused discipline; see the link at the end.

Prioritize Health

From his well-known strict diet, drinking copious amounts of Ph-balanced water, ceramic-lined sleepwear, and other not always science-based practices, he puts a high value on his wellness. It’s something that’s required to be in peak form after 20 years in a brutal sport playing and winning at the highest level at age 43. So he absolutely does everything he can to be in tip-top shape. Those of us who are just trying to make it through the day with jobs, school, kids, and so on have a different level of problems.

Maybe we can make a little less harmful food choices, or switch off the screens a little earlier to get more sleep, up our steps or our speed on our daily walks, find some deeper connection to our bodies, minds and emotions like through a little tougher yoga, meditation, and breathing or even add in fitness band resistance exercises (like Brady, who doesn’t use weights). These are all things I’m working on improving this year. I’m hoping to improve my overall health, not just be in the condition to bike 6,666.66 miles in 2020. Nobody’s paying me millions, but I’m doing what I can because good health is priceless. And by the way, last year was my highest mileage — by 1,460 miles over 2016 — plus 600 miles walking. So one can improve with age, like Brady, or at least minimize the inevitable losses of aging.

Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork

Actor Verne Troyer (“Mini-Me”) and Tom Brady at Best Buddies. Source: Boston Herald

Pro football is a team sport, and Brady is a master team leader. He leads by example, really listens to others, and shares the credit of winning and the pain of losing, too. If during these pandemic times you’re being a good citizen and are single like I am, avoiding other people like the plague (pun intended) may make you feel as if you’re a team of one. And maybe you are, and ok with that, in which case, goody for you. After all, no one else can exercise for you, unless you hired a physical/massage therapist, which would beg the question, what are you doing here on this blog?

But even as an amateur, non-competitive cyclist, I have a team (even though they don’t know it). There’s the mechanic (actually, there are several shops I like), retail clerks who help me out, the occasional friends I ride with, and even City transportation workers who provide bike lanes. Other cyclists who give a friendly wave, followers on Strava, and readers of this blog (and beta readers of my book) are also part of it. So you may feel like you have a team, but I bet you do. Think of them some times, and how you interact with them, and thank them. (Thank you for reading, by the way!)

He’s Not Perfect, But He Keeps Bouncing Back

Yeah, neither parent with a helmet in this one either. Source: James Haynes/Splash News Online

Is TB a good person? Did his team, the New England Patriots, cheat by spying on another team’s scouting in 2007? Was he friendly with the previous US president, with whom he golfed and talked, voted for, and donated to? Is he lucky because he married a Brazilian supermodel? Are his genes and good looks unfair? True, the Deflategate cheating allegations weren’t great, especially seeing how destroyed his cell phone. Although to read that link on Wikipedia, it was a very complicated issue, and one could go either way. The team was fined $1 million and Brady was suspended for four games the next season, and yet they still won their league and the Super Bowl. Besides, who cares? At 20 degrees the balls are all like bricks anyway. He also was drafted out of college very late, isn’t a very fast runner, tore his ACL due to a low hit and missed a whole season, and still is the oldest QB to play and win a Super Bowl. He was Most Valuable Player, too, for the fifth time. Seems too good to be true. But he has an incredible drive to succeeded, he works very hard, and he keeps coming back, and that is all very instructive.

What does that have to do with you or me? Well, you usually don’t compare a VW bug to a Maserati, but they’re both still cars. You’ve got to keep your motor runnin’, and do whatever it takes to find your way to do that. So like him or not, but whatever he’s doing is working. So maybe we could all take a page from Tom. Do yoga. Meditate. Do brain exercises. Eat less inflammatory food. Work out smarter. Sleep early and a lot. And oh yeah, ride your bicycle!

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Tom Brady’s Health Regimen.

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16 thoughts on “Tom Brady, Bicyclist: Lessons from the G.O.A.T. Quarterback

  1. I consider Spygate to have been Coach Bill’s baby. And a curiously sloppy coverup at that, considering the Pats weren’t/aren’t the only team to do this.

    As for DeflateGate, well, I would have considered it a bigger deal if the accusing team- the Colts- hadn’t gotten beat 45-7 in the AFC Title Game. I mean, short of making the Colts play with a medicine ball, a deflated ball or not, it wasn’t saving them.

    The Trump friendship is his business. Not my jam for sure, but these celeb peeps run in different circles.

    I guess my biggest problem with Tom was always his lack of sportsmanship. He’s not the best loser, as I wouldn’t expect him to be since he rarely does lose. But still a little more class would be nice, like the way Mahomes behaved after the game. Like that.

    But 7 Super Bowls . . my Godness. He’s even got Jordan looking up at him now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was looking forward to your comments, M.

      Agree and will add that I wasn’t aware of the sore loser part although I heard he apologized for mouthing off to a defender. Not to apologize for that behavior however I understand it, having been a fierce competitor in soccer years ago. And surely he’s got a ton of pressure on him to win every time; that’s got to suck.

      But yeah, maybe he should probably try and do a little more meditation. We can all do better and that was part of my point of writing the post. Take what works to inspire you and forget the rest. Or maybe not forget but try, try, try to understand… He’s a magic man. But still a man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The trash talk between him and Honey Badger is fine. I dig that shit. I used to trash talk. It was arguably the best part of my game, LOL.

        What I was talking about is after losses, Brady isn’t the greatest at sticking around to shake hands. Interviews, I don’t care. But at least shake hands with the victor, that’s all.

        He’s the GOAT, no doubt.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mahomes showed up after the game, he was very classy and respectful to Brady.

        As far as great athletes who exhibited an exceptional level of sportsmanship, I just wrote about one recently. Hank Aaron was definitely that. Derek Jeter, he always gave props to the winners. And Kobe, him too. Now with Kobe, he was tough to play with and against for sure. But when he lost, he always gave props.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll steer clear of his support of the reality TV star who recently played the role of president and focus on a pet peeve of mine. You include two photos of him on a bike with his kids. The kids are wearing helmets. He is not. What message does that send to the kids? I’d say it’s that helmets are kids’ stuff. As soon as those kids are old enough to want to feel grown up, the message is “lose the helmet. That’s for little kids.” Does he wear a helmet for work only because it’s a rule, or does he recognize the value? Is he only invincible off the field?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly don’t condone supporting that guy but half the country does. I’d like as many people as possible to read my blog, though many wouldn’t due to my poltics. I had to block one person here, though it was more for being a douche about me not being a bike racer, than that person being on the red team. Seems your state went for 45 last time not to mention a pretty red governor before. Here it’s a dot of blue in an ocean of red.

      Maybe I shouldn’t but I can separate the art from the artist. Politics don’t keep me from seeing movies with Stallone. We’re talking celebrities here, not elected officials, that’s different. One could argue for boycotts, so if one wants to do that one should go ahead. Biking attracts all kinds and it would be nice if we could all get along and unite in that, though that’s (almond flour crust) pie in the sky. Like I told Prior, this post was about taking what works for me and leaving the rest. Seems like a good approach to many things in life.

      I think Brady does wear a bike helmet most of the time. One article showed him making a big deal of putting one on after the media called him out on not wearing one. Certainly he does on his job though I suspect he’ll have dain bramage from the concussions he has had.

      There is debate about bike helmets. I know a guy who doesn’t wear one. I’ve never asked why but he was an elected official. There is a study showing helmets give a false sense of security so people take more chances. Another says car drivers don’t see you as much as a vulnerable person when you have one on.

      Anyway, being a perfect role model in the media probably isn’t easy. But with kids, yeah, I’d think always wear one for them if I had any. So we basically agree. I wear a helmet and think everyone should. I’ll be sure to have my people tell his people. Or maybe you could give him a call yourself? By the way, he didn’t go to the White House after one Super Bowl win and his wife had him stop being openly political.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts!


  3. well written and Brady deserves his props – i say that only now after seeing his humble win and seeing how he led the team this year.
    i could not stand seeing Brady win all those games but it was more tired of New England – yawn

    so the two times i ever cheered for Brady was the first time he won the super bowl – my boys were young and Brady was the underdog that year and it was special
    and then last night cheered him on and loved the way the coaches brought in Gronk and made other plays – and feel super excited for the Tampa era and Bucs fans in need of this win.

    anyhow – back to your post – live your point about his regime and clean life style and he does deserve some credit for being 43 and healthy
    but still human and not better than anyone else – there are thousands of guys as cute and as fit and as wonderful – and just because they never made it to a super bowl – let alone seven wins – doesn’t make them VWs
    and Brady is not just being humble when he notes it is a team win
    and the Defense in super bowl 55 deserve so much credit
    and the fact that Brady has been so protected over the years is part of his longevity
    he is no Maserati
    and others a VW
    we are all human and not machines and not taking away his discipline and clean lifestyle
    but a lot of other factors at play here – including parents that helped him with football early and a lot of luck and fortuitous occasions

    cheers to biking for health and loved those images
    thanks for a great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I haven’t followed football in many years since the Cowboys stopped being America’s Team. So I don’t have any attachment or aversion to Brady either way.

      If I were a fan of any team that he and the Pats kept our of the playoffs I could see where that would cause enmity. But I tend to think that’s normal competitive jealously and envy. As for being protected, isn’t that what good defensive lines are supposed to do? As for upbringing, money, luck, etc. maybe so. Those things don’t take away from his work ethic. And if not him would it be someone else, or no one? I would guess the latter.

      Because it IS him and he IS 43 and he IS at the top of his game with all that entails (teammates, etc).. Like I wrote, no one’s perfect and for me i just take what might inspire me and others and move on.

      Jordan, Tiger, Serena, Phelps, Bernard Hinault – every sport has their GOATs. And fans can debate who’s the best all day long but really it’s the qualities that winners embody that I think we should admire, not the cult of personality. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks for your awesome comment.
        and I guess when I was referring to luck – another thing I was thinking of was what happens to Bret Favre – during his last years he was paying and got hurt – there was sketchy stuff going on and those folks were caught getting bounties (cannot recall all the story) but unlucky for him that one of his injuries happened at a time when that was going on in the NFL
        And I know when we talk about businesses that succeed – often a bit of luck came into play – or chance – like timing, a bump by someone, a need, a pandemic – etc.
        and so with Brady – nothing against his work ethic – clean living and obvious cool dude nature – but he was lucky to have had good offense to protect him over the years ((and another cool thing about Brady – well I heard he has also taken less in salary to bring in good talent and that has been part of his strategy – ) and his ability to shift gears and play with new teams each season has also been part of his great ability to adapt
        and even with all that said – and the wonderful points you made about deflate gate –
        Tom is still just an elite athlete who had a long of fortuitous situations
        In contrast, Dan “effin” Marino holds a place next to Tom- even without any superbwls
        and my boy Jim Kelly also does – with four SB losses – (was it his fault the kicker Scotty Norwood would miss in two game endings? or that it would come down to that?)

        okay -thanks for letting me share –
        but one more huge shout out to Tom Brady – is he sure takes care of his teeth – and seems like a really good flosser.

        but the win last sunday was partly brady – more defense – the entire offense – and the great coaching – the calls that were made that happened to work (the ones that do not always work)
        and maybe also with the Chiefs having one of there coaches sitting home after a car accident impacted the game for their team- and helped the Bucs –
        so many factors (as you so adeptly wrote about here)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. i try to be awesome and usually fail, but it happens on rare occasion anyway… a stopped clock being right twice daily.

        you, good sir, are a fount of far more football wisdom than i would ever pretend to. and points well made and taken about the coaching, defense, etc.

        certainly Brady is a privileged guy and there’s reason to dislike him. but i guess my point was — and it seems on this we may agree — that it doesn’t harm anything to give the man his due. we’re not going to be him but we can learn some things.

        i don’t guess Roger Staubach has figured into the great QB conversation in quite some time, but i always liked him and the Cowboys. but i was a kid then. also Kenny Stabler.

        Danny White was QB by the time my brother and i were parking cars for the Boy Scouts at the old stadium. i emulated Golden Richards and i forget who else, whoever Stabler threw to.

        yeah, that really sucks about that girl seriously hurt by the coach’s son causing a car wreck, that guy already had a DUI.

        Liked by 1 person

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