In the weeks since the wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady declared that Brady had a concussion in 2016 and has had others, Brady had not addressed the situation. Apart from his agent saying Brady was not diagnosed with a concussion last year (which was already obvious but nevertheless effective in duping some to believe this meant Brady didn’t have a concussion), Brady had said nothing.
In a recent interview with ESPN, he did. And when considering his words in the full context they were provided, it’s fair to conclude Brady acknowledged that, when his wife says he had a concussion, it’s because he had a concussion.
But here’s what’s odd. Kevin Negandhi of ESPN didn’t ask Brady whether he concealed a concussion from the league or his team. Instead, Negandhi asked this: “How much do you talk to her about those hits that you take?”
“She’s there every day,” Brady in response. “I mean, we go to bed, you know, in the same bed every night. So I think she’s, you know, she knows when I’m sore. She knows when I’m tired. She knows, you know, when I get hit. I mean, we drive home together. But she also knows how well, you know, I take care of myself. She’s a very concerned wife and very loving.”
Regardless of what he said (and didn’t say), it was a significant response, and it came on one of the slowest NFL news weekends of the year. But ESPN didn’t promote or hype in any way the notion that Brady would be addressing for the first time his wife’s comments — and there’s still no evidence of the exchange anywhere on ESPN.com, ESPNBoston.com, or the various relevant Twitter accounts owned and operated by ESPN.
So here’s my theory, in three parts.
1. To get the interview, ESPN agreed not to ask Brady whether he concealed a concussion in 2016, or at any other time.
2. Negandhi’s question got Brady to provide an answer that strayed too close to the territory into which ESPN agreed to not venture.
3. ESPN agreed to play the interview including the answer but not to bring any attention to it, in any way.
That’s the only way to explains the failure to ask whether he had a concussion and the failure to do anything to promote the answer he provided.
Again, it’s just a theory. But it’s based on the fact that, over the years, I’ve picked up some insight into the sausage-making process. And this specific batch of ground up pig parts has left a strange aftertaste.