With the exception of the occasional snarky commercial, Tom Brady consistently has taken the high road when asked about Roger Goodell and Deflategate.
But how does the New England Patriots quarterback really feel about the NFL commissioner suspending him four games over a bag of footballs?
We got somewhat closer to the truth Wednesday, courtesy of Brady’s extensive interview with the MMQB’s Peter King. King asked the 39-year-old QB what many have been wondering — how has Brady been so unfazed (outwardly, at least) by Goodell’s seemingly dogged determination to punish him for Deflategate?
“When you subject yourself to a lot of criticism, what I?ve learned from myself is, I don’t want to give my power away to other people by letting my own emotions be subjected to what their thoughts or opinions are,” Brady told King. “So if someone calls me something, that?s their problem. It?s not my problem. I?m not going to give away my power.
?You can call me an asshole and I am going to smile at you probably. I?m not going to say, ?No, you?re an asshole.? Because that person is controlling me with what their thoughts and actions are. How can you go through life, now at this point, 17 years, being affected by everybody all the time with what someone says?”
It’s nice that Brady can deflect criticism with cheerfulness, but that doesn’t totally explain how he felt about his extensive legal battle with Goodell. When prodded by King, though, he finally offered some insight into why he finally accepted his four-game suspension.
?Well, what?s the best way to fight?” Brady told King. “There?s only one fight I can win and that is how well I play. That?s the only one I can control, because I tried to play for 18 months and it didn?t work.
“So finally I said ? ?My team is going to go out and play great, I know they are going to, and when I come back, I am just going to do what I?ve always done.?”
If Brady wanted to let his play do the talking, he certainly succeeded, posting one of his best statistical seasons ever before leading the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
King’s full interview with Brady is worth a read, as the veteran QB also discusses when (if ever) he plans to retire and his special relationship with his mother.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images