(EDITOR’S NOTE: To listen to the Tom Brady conversation click on the following attachment: https://www.spreaker.com/user/fullpresscoverage/eyetest-ep19)
Tom Brady will answer a lot of questions this week, but so what? He’s used to it.
This is the 10th time in his career he’s been hauled in front of the Super Bowl media to face their queries, so he knows the drill. He’ll be asked about Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs, the Patriots, Bill Belichick, and guiding the Tampa Bay Bucs to the first Super Bowl where the host team actually plays in its home stadium.
But there’s one question he may not be asked … but should.
And that’s this: Why didn’t he wear a protective facemask on the field following the NFC championship game when his teammates and his head coach did?
Given the severity of the COVID pandemic – with both his parents infected and his 76-year-old father hospitalized to fight what he called “a life-and-death” battle – you’d think Brady would be the first to reach for a mask.
“I don’t get it,” Hall-of-Fame voter Gary Myers said on the latest “Eye Test for Two” podcast on fullpressradio.com. “I just don’t understand.”
If Myers doesn’t get it, we’re all in trouble. Author of the best-selling “Brady vs. Manning” and host of The GOAT: Tom Brady podcast, he has insight to the star quarterback that others do not. He detailed his life and career in books, newspapers and magazines. He’s talked about him on radio and TV. And he’s talked to him in hours of interviews. So there are few questions he can’t answer about Brady.
But this is one of them.
“Everybody should be wearing a mask,” said Myers. “We know that. And then considering that his father was in the hospital for 18 days with coronavirus. If he wasn’t wearing a mask before that … how do you explain a bright guy like this who has personal experience to rely on – that his parents were pretty sick? His father was in the hospital for over two weeks. How can he not wear a mask, then go home after a game to his wife and kids? I don’t understand that.”
Brady has not contracted COVID this season, but a member of the Bucs’ equipment staff did. He was sent home in October after testing positive for the virus. Three players, including linebackers Shaq Barrett and Devin White, were activated from the COVID reserve list during the playoffs, while another – linebacker Kevin Minter – was placed on the list Jan. 19.
So the Bucs have been relatively unaffected.
But that’s not the point. This is: The pandemic plays no favorites. Home or away, it doesn’t matter. Old or young, it doesn’t matter. It is everywhere, claiming the lives of over 400,000 Americans in the past year.
Yet following the Bucs’ 31-26 defeat of Green Bay in the NFC championship game, Brady was one of the few (only?) members of the Bucs who joined the post-game celebration on the field without a mask.
Why? We don’t know. He wasn’t asked.
“Tom Brady is a role model,” said Myers. “There are kids watching this game and saying, ‘Why do I have to wear a mask? Tom Brady’s not wearing a mask.’ And he’s taken his responsibility so seriously as a role model over the years.
“I hate to keep saying it, but I just don’t get it – especially when something hits so close to home with his parents — that he’s still not taking every what you’d think to be every precaution possible to make sure he doesn’t get it. Because we know there are players that are playing games that haven’t been diagnosed yet because it can stay in your body for days. Why would you take that chance?
“It’s hard enough playing the games and getting tackled with a guy laying on top of you. You’re not wearing a mask then, so there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. But there are certain situations on the bench, after games, greeting players from other teams, that you can certainly take every precaution. And I just don’t understand why he hasn’t been doing it … and why there are a bunch of other players who aren’t doing it.”
Then let’s find out. There are plenty of questions Brady will be asked. Here’s hoping this is one he answers.