Sunday, February 25, 2007

Boston and Beyond

Kevin John Sowyrda

The golden boy is now the poster boy for bad behavior. And speaking of posters, you should take down those pics of Tom Brady handing in your young daughter or son’s room right about now because Brady represents everything that’s wrong with American sport culture. Think I’m overreacting? Maybe. But I’m not alone in being absolutely fed up with the bad behavior of overpaid jocks.

It would seem that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is having a baby out of wedlock with ex-girlfriend Bridgt Moynahan. Monynahan’s publicist made the announcement Monday and since then, the gossip columns (hello, Page 6 and Track Girls) have had a field day with this story. As of this writing, we have the battling “friends of” giving the backstory — as in friends of Tom claiming that he didn’t know Monynahan was going to go public with the pregnancy when she did and that she got pregnant on purpose because she didn’t want their relationship to end, and friends of Bridget saying that he dumped her after he learned that she was pregnant.

What Brady doesn’t seem to realize is that his sole statement on this issue — “Tom and his family are excited about the pregnancy, and want to thank everyone who has shown support, and particularly for their consideration of Tom’s privacy.” — is, well, disgusting. “Tom’s privacy?” What planet is this guy living on? What about a simple, small expression of support for the woman who will be the mother of his first child? Am I being too harsh? I think not and I promise I’ve never bet money on the Colts.

Here’s what we’ve learned this week, aside from exactly what it takes to bump Anna Nicole Smith from page one. First, Brady has all the sense of a pair of cleats. I know I’m not the only person who believes that Brady forgot to put something important on during one passionate evening. Kevin Mirarchi, owner of the online store, has sent 2000 condoms to Brady free of charge. Second, when every media outlet in the galaxy accuses you of dumping her while pregnant, you can’t afford to jet off to Paris with Leo DeCaprio’s one time fling and overrated model Gisele Bundchen, whose own peculiar claim to fame is that she fits into clothing designed for people who don’t eat enough food. Last, we know that Brady is either being very poorly advised right now, or is simply rejecting the advice of any sensible public relations figure which would be to get in front of the story instead of playing duck and cover.

Brady needs to fly back to quaint, little Boston — I recommend not using Jet Blue — and save his reputation. The rules of Media 101 say that he should simply start this way at a press conference that would attract every camera in town: “I want you all to know how much I still care for Bridget and I’d like to ask you to respect her privacy. I’m the father and I’m going to play an active and loving role in our new child’s life as long as I’m alive.” End of story.

But God forbid that a Boston sports figure be bothered with the mortal responsibilities the rest of us must carry. As we’ve seen so many times before in this business, the perceived nobility and honor and class and good sportsmanship of famous sport figures, when put to the real test, is often found to be exactly that — perception. And perception doesn’t fill the baby’s bottle.

The macro issue here is that we worship the not worthy-to-be-worshiped personages in our society. Their lives are dedicated to frivolous entertainment and the best methods to avoid groin injuries. Somebody who plays football for a living should be lucky to make 30k a year in the better world I envision, which we’ll never see. I’d rather see the millions of greenbacks going to teachers, EMT’s, corrections officers and social workers. But in America we give our loyalty and affection to those with athletic prowess, even when they prove to have no sense of shame and no common sense at all.

A public figure, who knows that’s he’s a role model for millions of kids, should quickly step up to the plate — excuse me, the fifty yard line — and set the record straight, not to mention a good example. Brady doesn’t seem to appreciate the responsibility he has to those kids who emulate him, for reasons I may not agree with but certainly acknowledge.

Every day that Brady ignores this, his golden image dissipates more and more. This was the guy every mother wanted their daughter to come home with. After this mess, those same mothers would prefer their daughters date Pee Wee Herman.

Kevin John Sowyrda is a political writer and commentator. You can reach him at

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