ATLANTA (Reuters) – Opening Night turned into the Tom Brady show on Monday as the New England Patriots quarterback once again was the headliner at the media mayhem that kicks off Super Bowl week.
Jan 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during Opening Night for Super Bowl LIII at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will meet in Super Bowl LIII for the National Football League championship on Sunday but from the moment the teams landed in Atlanta until the Vince Lombardi trophy is handed out, Brady will be the man in the spotlight.
He may be one of North America’s most recognizable sportsmen but remains an athlete you do not really feel you’ve got to know.
Through nine trips to the Super Bowl, he has revealed only what he wants the public to see and Monday proved no different.
The answers were boiler plate, delivered with a smile and the sincerest earnestness Brady can muster.
He knows his lines. There are no slip ups.
“It just matters what we think,” said Brady when asked about New England detractors.
A player who was selected 199th, and the seventh quarterback, in the 2000 draft, Brady is always looking for the slightest morsel of motivation a member of the opposing team may provide.
There are no such gifts going the other way.
“The Rams are a great team,” said Brady. “That Rams team is going to be tough.”
As predictable and scripted as Opening Night has become it has on occasion provided Brady a chance to show his human side and he takes the silliest questions with a smile.
He has fielded marriage proposals, been quizzed about his hairstyle and asked what he thinks about Tom Brady from a Tom Brady impersonator.
When asked on Monday about Roma’s chances of lifting the Best Picture Oscar, Brady answers with another question; “What a Roma? I’ve been under a rock watching football.”
The question the 41-year-old Brady will get asked more than any other this week will be about his future and the media and fans will comb over every word for the slightest hint of when that day will come.
Brady may not be thinking about his retirement, but everyone else is and will be one of themes running through the week.