Tom Brady just might be the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. He’s married to the world’s top-earning supermodel Gisele Bundchen. He's once again garnering MVP buzz with his 10-2 Patriots. Even diehard Pats haters and Deflategate partisans give begrudging respect to the New England QB’s continued success at age 38. But that's not to say it's always easy.
Maxim spoke to Brady after the Patriots’ second loss in a row about facing adversity, his favorite style pieces, making biscuits, and, of course, Gronk.
You just suffered an upset loss to the Eagles. And after the overtime loss to the Broncos before that, you said “I don’t think I’ve ever been so pissed off after a loss.” Two in a row is tough. How does someone with your will to win handle losing?
I think in life you're always faced with different things or different challenges and different obstacles and we face them in different ways. We're all different but we're all the same. We're all humans; we have different emotions, different feelings, there's different adversaries we all face.
A lot of times, once you make it through that hard time, when you look back on the challenges in your life and the things that have made you the person that you are, you always point to those things and you think: "Wow, those are the things that built my character, those are the things that I overcame that I developed some self confidence in." So a lot of times that are the most challenging end up being the best things that could have happened in your life.
What can you learn by losing?
Whatever you may face, ultimately it helps bring out different parts of your character. Sometimes when you think it's the worst thing, it ends up being the best thing. It doesn't feel like it always at the time, but with a little bit of perspective, you wouldn't change those moments because it makes you who you are. You wish you win all the time; I wish that's the way it was in my sport, but that doesn't happen. So when you lose, how do you learn from it, and how do you become better for it? And that's just a metaphor for life. Things don't always go your way; things aren't always fair; things aren't always the way you hope they would be but when you come out of it you look back and think: "I learned a lot from that experience."
Let's talk about style. You’ve been a spokesperson for UGG for years, so I’m not surprised that you’ve got a pair on right now. You’re very on brand.
I have my Neumels on now and they are like the classic slipper, but in a boot. You can wear these all day long, start in the morning, and then you can wear them in the house — Only if they're new though, because my wife won't let me bring anything that's been worn into the house. Anything that's really comfortable, I like.
What are some of your other style essentials?
Are you into watches?
Yes! I have a connected Tag Heuer on now. It's a new product, super cool, you can change the face. It's connected: you get emails, calls, everything. It's kind of my watch of choice right now.
Are you a car guy?
Not much. Never really a car guy. I drive a Cadillac Escalade.
What about gadgets? Have you been playing with anything fun lately?
I'm not a gadget guy, either. I'm a football guy. That's all I think about. I love looking through the magazines, especially like in Maxim, and see all the cool gadget-y things coming out, I just don't have much time to do those types of things. When I was younger and didn't have kids, I had a lot of cool stuff. We saw all these drones flying around, probably about five years ago, we went out and bought all the RC cars and drove around the yard until they broke. But now all my free time is spent with my kids and trying to get ready to play football year round.
Do you have any Brady family traditions you look forward to doing during the holidays?
I have this tradition: My grandma has a biscuit recipe she always made for us as kids and every holiday I would always look forward to her biscuits and they were always so good and now that I moved away from California where I grew up, I'm kind of the designated biscuit maker. It's not super secret but it's also something she did when I was a kid I looked forward to. I would just skip dinner and eat biscuits, forget turkey, just give me 12 biscuits. My dad would be like, "Tommy, you can't just eat biscuits!"
Sounds like you’re a biscuit master. I know that Gisele calls you “The Pancake Master", so you’ve got to be good at those, too.
Pancakes and waffles, yeah. I'm not like a dinner person, I'm not like a lunch person, but breakfast is the one thing my kids will eat and people would say I can pull off decently. Cooking takes a lot of time. Between the shopping and the cleaning. Maybe when I retire.
Last question: Do you actually hang out with Gronk off the field?
Absolutely! There's not as much time to hang out and there's a little bit of an age difference, not significant, but we spend so much time together at the football facility so in the off-season we definitely spend some time together. But I'm not out on the party circuit like him, like I used to be. I had my time doing that. You know he's a single guy, and he gets to do all the things that are fun in Boston and he travels around, but he's definitely fun. He's a great guy, he's a great person!