Ethics Hero: Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady

Hear me out, for I am, as regular readers here know, far from a Brady fan, despite my Boston bona fides. In fact, I think he shares the atrocious ethics values of his coach, which can be fairly summed up as “the ends justify the means” and “it ain’t cheating if you can get away with it.”

This, however, is a completely different area,  the toxic, values-rotting narcissism and obsession with surface beauty and impossible ideals in appearance that has made the nation sillier, more trivial, meaner, neurotic, insecure and less productive.

After the above photo of the 40 year-old quarterback with his model wife, Gisele Bundchen, surfaced online last week, the Patriots super-star was beset with social media snark attacking his “dad bod” and declaring him out of shape.

Whether it is intentional or not, Brady is to be thanked, admired and praised for appearing in public absent ripped abs and bulging muscles, and even some healthy fat visible in moderation, and doing so without shame. This is how normal people look, and should be allowed to look without comment or criticism. Once upon a time, not so long ago, before Nautilus and health club chains, celebrity athletes and he-men were judged on what they did, and not how chiselled and bulked-up they looked off the field or between films. This now extinct attitude was known as rationality and proportionality. Thus Joe Louis, the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time..

…and Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic star-turned Tarzan…

…or Kirk Douglas, macho leading man and former acrobat..



…or former USC football star and iconic cowboy John Wayne…


…all looked pretty much like the people we could see on the beach anywhere without thinking “Holy crap! Look at that guy!”, and did not feel that they had to spend endless hours working out with trainers in periods that could have been used for more productive, less obsessive activities, so they could look like “Jurassic World” hunk Chris Pratt…


Wait, who the hell is she? Well, never mind: Chris and the rest look the way they do to make normal people feel inferior and inadequate, make them excessively body-conscious, cause them to equate physical attractiveness with self-worth, and to create impossible standards that drive everyday Americans into neurosis, misery, compulsion and even drugs.

Tom Brady is 40; he’s in the off-season; and he shouldn’t have to satisfy anyone but himself, his wife, his coach and his team when he needs to step on the field. He is doing the culture a favor by not being ripped for no good reason other than vanity, and making sure people stake his photo while he’s out of training.

He’s still a cheater and an ethics corrupter, but I’ll give him ethics credit for this.

23 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady

  1. Interesting. I laughed when I read that he’d been “body shamed,” not at him but at the blithering douchenozzle idiots doing the shaming. Most guys at 40 would love to look that good at any time.

    I agree with you 100% that Brady, assuming he is fine with how he looks and amused at the aforementioned douchenozzles (or at least not sweating their malarkey), he deserves to be considered an ethics hero for daring to look normal in public.

      • This^

        Tom still has a job where performance counts. He could look like the hunchback on Norte Dame as long as he scores touchdowns.

        Some football players make the hunchback look ripped at that… but I would never say it to their face

      • One would think, but I can name no end of people who make a lot of money who jump at every utterance of the douchenozzle mob.

        So I say his salary is not dispositive. Although it probably should be, in a sane world. Alas.

    • Hah. Call me dubious. I’m pretty darned certain Hollywood is awash in anabolic steroids ever since Sylvester Stallone, if not sooner. They are the one element Jack left out of his equation of “spend endless hours working out with trainers.” If high school football and basketball players are juicing, certainly Hollywood actors are. It’s money in their pockets. And it’s incredibly corrosive to our culture.

      • It also means that we thankfully will never have to worry about seeing those stars naked… given the ‘shrinkage’ such steroid abuse causes.

        Think ‘mouse balls’

        • Maybe they’re using HGH now. Maybe it doesn’t have all the nasty side effects of steroids. Rage, etc. And I think it’s harder to detect. In any event, all that muscle mass and definition is not the product of a few hours in the gym. I lifted weights for a while in high school, like everybody else, and I didn’t turn into Barry Bonds or Chris Hemsworth. Just skinny me with a little bit more strength. I sure didn’t turn into a University of Nebraska lineman. I was still a pencil necked geek. The modern day comic book bodies take genes and drugs.

  2. I think Giselle deserves to be also recognized alongside Tom. She is a (now retired) model, and that little bit of belly fat (healthy and not unattractive) would be a death knell for her career. The fact that these two can go out and look like regular healthy people is a good thing.

      • Precisely my point. If you go look at what models are supposed to look like according to ad agencies it appears they are being sucked from the inside. Perfume ads are particularly terrible about that.

  3. Great point, Jack, but I’ve got a bigger ethics question for you with Michael Cohen releasing a recording of client Trumps’ conversation. Do I now need to preface every conversation with my attorney by asking if I am being recorded?

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