'Sleepy Tom' Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs come to the White House for a very normal visit

Sports

The Washington Post 20 July, 2021 - 06:34pm 17 views

Are the Buccaneers going to the White House?

Bryan Glazer said the Bucs got their invite to the White House because the 2020 team "did the impossible," but also called the Bucs' White House visit an honor "20 years in the making." ... Fortunately, the team's incredible journey in 2020 did include a trip to Washington, D.C., for which Arians was very grateful. Buccaneers.comTampa Bay Buccaneers Visit President Biden at White House

How many times has Brady been to the White House?

Brady, 43, last visited the White House in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration after Super Bowl XXXIX when he clinched his third title as a New England Patriot. Brady celebrated three wins at the White House during Bush's four-year term. BuzzFeed NewsSuper Bowl Champion Tom Brady Is Back At The White House, Again

“As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with being the oldest guy to make it to the mountaintop,” quipped Biden, who at 78 is the oldest U.S. president, referring to Brady, who at 43 is the oldest quarterback to lead a Super Bowl-winning team. “That’s how I look at it.”

It was in many ways the most traditional of presidential rituals — the visit of a championship team to the White House, allowing athletic stars and political leaders to bask in each other’s all-American glow.

Except that under President Donald Trump, such events were anything but traditional. Many championship athletes, upset by Trump’s politics, declined to come, often prompting Trump to insult or disinvite them. In some cases a racial divide was evident between the players on a team who came and those who did not.

At Tuesday’s celebration — like a Cabinet meeting later in the day — the very point was to be normal, traditional, even dull. That, after all, is what Biden pitched to voters: a presidency so routine that they would not have to think too much about it, especially on a sleepy summer day.

“Picture it,” Jill Biden said at a campaign event last year. “It’s 2021, you wake up and it’s a beautiful morning and you’re drinking your coffee. You grab for the morning news — whether it’s on the TV or the your phone or in the paper — and the headline isn’t about some late-night tweetstorm.”

Certainly, President Biden’s remarks at Tuesday’s event did not fire up Twitter, even if politics was not entirely absent.

Brady in years past seemed to be a Trump supporter, keeping a MAGA hat in his locker. The quarterback was expected to attend the White House celebration for the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl in 2017, though he ended up canceling due to “personal family matters” (prompting some to note that the politics of his wife, model Gisele Bündchen, did not seem to align with Trump’s).

On Tuesday at the White House, Brady noted that the Buccaneers had an up-and-down season and that “not a lot of people think we could have won.” After pausing for effect, he added, “In fact, I think about 40 percent of the people still don’t think we won” — a joking reference to the multitudes who wrongly believe Biden’s victory was illegitimate.

“I understand that,” Biden responded dryly.

Brady kept going, saying that in a game against the Chicago Bears he had lost track of where the team was in the game. “They started calling me ‘Sleepy Tom,’ ” Brady said, an allusion to Trump’s attempt to caricature Biden as “Sleepy Joe.” “Why would they do that to me?”

The event was largely in that vein. The Vince Lombardi trophy, given to the Super Bowl champions, glistened in the July sun. Players laughed and joked, even while dabbing sweat from their faces with white handkerchiefs. They posed for a photo with the president.

The president did turn serious at one point, citing the importance of football during the pandemic. “I hope you all know just how important it was after such a tough year for the nation,” Biden said. “In the middle of a long, dark winter, every Sunday, people were able to sit down and watch you play. You created memories that helped folks make it through and believe that we could get back to normal again.”

The contrast could hardly be greater with the Trump years, when sports became another institution that divided Americans, such as when the president blasted football players who knelt during the national anthem or exchanged taunts with soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

During that era, the ritual of a championship team coming to the White House was frequently eclipsed by news about which players were boycotting the ceremony and why, which players were being pressured to boycott — and which ones were willing to ignore the pressure and go anyway.

Basketball superstars Steph Curry and LeBron James made it clear they would not attend a White House ceremony while Trump was president. When the Washington Nationals won the World Series in 2019, the team, like many others, was split among players who came to the White House and those who did not.

Some analysts said the new atmosphere did not suggest any particular support for Biden among the players, but rather the relief at having politics be a less-obvious presence in the sports world.

“This isn’t about Biden being more popular, it’s just the contrast of having a sitting president who’s not being as polarizing,” said Joseph N. Cooper, a professor of sports management at University of Massachusetts at Boston. “It’s something that is a breath of fresh air for a lot of the sports community.”

He added, “You have people from all political backgrounds who were saying, ‘Let’s try to have sports mean what it meant for us historically,’ which is something that brings people together.”

At least one of Biden’s family members predicted early on that he would seek to use sports teams to cement his message of unity.

“He’s certainly going to look to sports and sports figures to help bring us back into alignment as Americans,” Frank Biden, the president’s brother, told ESPN shortly after Biden won the election.

The pattern repeated itself later Tuesday, when Biden convened a Cabinet meeting and held forth on the importance of getting vaccinated, the need for his infrastructure plan, his views on taxing the wealthy and his efforts to reassert American leadership on the global stage.

Missing from the event was the public display of support from appointees that Trump routinely demanded from his top officials. “It’s an honor to be able to serve you,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions enthused during one such session early in Trump’s tenure. His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, added that it was said a “blessing” to work on the Trump agenda.

Other Trump-led sessions featured stream-of-consciousness soliloquies from the president. In early 2019, he spoke for more than 90 minutes at the beginning of one such meeting, offering a buffet of boasts, falsehoods and revisionist history.

In contrast, Biden on Tuesday offered up a string of less-than-scintillating statements. “I think we’re on a path that’s going to generate significant continued economic growth,” he offered.

The trend of less-partisan sports visits started earlier this month when the Los Angeles Dodgers visited the White House to celebrate their World Series victory. During that event, players who are idolized by fans were giddy to be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“Whooooooooo,” said outfielder Cody Bellinger in a video he made showing himself on the pavement outside the West Wing.

Focusing the camera on his teammates, he declared, “At the White House!”

Read full article at The Washington Post

Tom Brady Joins Biden to Laugh at Trump in Worst Day of Trump’s Life

New York Magazine 20 July, 2021 - 11:02pm

To grasp why such an anodyne scene would produce such a wounding effect on a man who has endured misfortunes such as bankruptcy, losing a presidential election, two impeachments, and innumerable legal setbacks, one needs to understand his peculiar psychology. Here, in rough order, is Trump’s hierarchy of needs:

1. To be treated as a winner

2. To pal around with celebrities

3. To not be laughed at

4. To gain the specific approval of Tom Brady

Trump’s special obsession with Brady goes back years, when he would devote his now-suspended Twitter account to vocally defending the quarterback against penalties for using a deflated football.

In Trump’s mind, the two men were parallels to each other: both Winners, and natural companions on the basis of their mastery of their respective fields. “He’s a friend of mine, he’s a great guy, and he’s a great athlete obviously, but he’s a winner,” Trump told TMZ in 2016. “I think Tom is totally innocent. I think Tom is — first of all, I know him, he’s such an honorable guy, and I’m with him all the way.” Trump has repeatedly expressed his regret that he “could have had Tom Brady” as his son-in-law, rather than the nerdy Jared Kushner.

The relationship always had an asymmetric quality. Brady repeatedly expressed discomfort at Trump’s public adulation, and has declined to talk about who he voted for. In 2017, he skipped a White House invitation to celebrate a previous Super Bowl win, citing his need to attend to his ailing mother. The snub, according to the Washington Post, sent Trump into a rage:

Trump grew angry in April 2017 when Tom Brady said he planned to skip the White House visit with the Patriots, huddling angrily with aides and even calling Patriots owner Robert Kraft. One former senior administration official described a chaotic scene unfolding over the heartlands of America, as Trump flew back from an event in Wisconsin. Trump made a number of calls and asked aides to help fix the situation, worried that Brady’s absence would reflect poorly on him.

Last year, Brady described his “friendship” with Trump that make it sound more like an unrequited man crush:

“He would call me after games, ‘I watched your game Tom, let’s play golf together.’ So, 2003, 2004, that’s kind of the way it was,” Brady said. “He would golf, and then he became someone that — he would come up to our games and stand on the sideline. He would cheer for the Patriots. He always had a way of connecting with people, and still does.

“But the whole political aspect came, and I think I got brought into a lot of those things because it was so polarizing around the election time. It was uncomfortable for me. You can’t undo things — not that I would undo a friendship — but the political support is totally different than the support of a friend.”

And now, having avoiding Trump’s White House on a flimsy pretext, Brady went to Biden’s. Not only that, he used his appearance to mock the candidate he defeated.

Brady made two jokes at Trump’s expense. First, he made fun of Trump for refusing to accept defeat:

Then, twisting the knife, he made a second joke:

BRADY: "We had a game in Chicago where I forgot what down it was. I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing and they started calling me Sleepy Tom. Why would they do that to me?" pic.twitter.com/u4cIVDjEzg

While this sounds more gentle than this first joke, it is in fact much more deeply vicious. In Trump’s mind, Biden is a pathetic loser, and he is the winner. Like Tom Brady.

Yet here was Brady, inverting the whole hierarchy. Biden is the winner, like Brady, and Winners now are guys who get called sleepy by the Losers for making a small mistake on the way to their triumph.

Biden and Brady, together at the house Trump used to live in and hoped to never leave, basking in their winner-ness and laughing at Trump. Donald Trump would rather relive Election Night a thousand times than see this day.

Mr. Brady Goes to Washington. Again. | The Rich Eisen Show

The Rich Eisen Show 20 July, 2021 - 11:02pm

Tom Brady

Sports Stories