Tom Brady’s new Facebook Docu-series “Tom vs Time,” launched on Jan. 25, is helping him maintain the narrative that has defined him recently—his ubiquity. If you follow sports at all you know Brady, not just as the greatest quarterback of all time but you likely know all the other stuff as well, some of which was asked for. The Under Armour magnetic sleepwear with advertisements abound. His TB12 fitness and nutrition firm pushing new products and a new book. Questionable science everywhere. And no doubt someone gave the go ahead for the blowout coverage Sports Illustrated gave him earlier this year. Some of it he likely didn’t want. The deflategate scandal and its never-ending media hubbub. The ESPN hit pieces on his longevity and the behind-the-scenes Machiavellianism affecting the group this season.
Tom Brady has been an elite player for a long time. Based off his recent investments, partnerships, and words, he attributes this to an innovative, if not skeevy, methodology from the find of trainer Alex Guerrero. This most recent addition to the TB12 method? Sales. Electrolytes, sleepwear, a whole new lifestyle. He is hawking everything and anything right now.
Brady may be the most accomplished 40-year-old in major professional sports right now, but 39-year-old Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is not far behind. The big German has done it all. A NBA title, NBA MVP, 12 All-NBA teams, Three-Point Contest champion and card-carrying member of the 30,000-point club. Age has hit Nowitzki harder; he is playing the least minutes and averaging the least points-per-game since his rookie year. But he is still starting, has a player effiency rating of 17.2 (PER, league average is ~15) and relative to his position, is in the top ten percent in turnover percentage, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage and field goal percentage at the rim while playing in all 48 games this season.
How is he still doing it? I don’t know. And I bet you don’t either. Google “Dirk Nowitzki longevity” and you won’t find much. A message board-looking site mentions largely unsourced arguments of incredible ligament strength and balance. Even in his prime of the last decade, he kept to himself. He wasn’t a media star, a signature shoe endorser, and certainly didn’t proclaim to be any type of guru. He also largely avoided conflict. Who doesn’t like Nowitzki? He has a reputation as one of the most harmonious guys in the association. A lot about his style of play, but certainly nothing out in left field. No pliability, but most importantly nothing for sale and nothing from Nowitzki himself.
The New England Patriots are considered one of the most stoic franchises in sports, but recently Brady really hasn’t been. There’s always something new. Dirk, in a technically larger market, has kept on keeping on by keeping to himself. The dichotomy is clear. As a Patriots fan, I love Tom; as a person, I appreciate Dirk. Brady’s new ambition is clear, he wants to teach you. About your diet, your fitness and a better way to approach life. He himself really needs to learn and there is no better place for him to look to than to Nowitzki.
Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.