Brady’s perceived slap against insurance salesmen makes waves

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As pointed out in today’ One-Liners, Peter King’s Tuesday edition of MMQB addresses the comment that Tom Brady made during The Brady 6 regarding the relief he felt once he was taken in round 6, pick No. 199, of the 2000 draft.

“I don’t have to be an insurance salesman!” Brady told Steve Sabol through tears regarding the moment he learned he was heading to the NFL.  (It was the last interview Sabol did before suffering a seizure that resulted in the discovery of a cancerous brain tumor.)

One of King’s readers suggested that Brady owes insurance salesmen an apology.  King disagrees.

“If you’re Brady, and you got drafted by the Montreal Expos out of high school, and you had college teams chasing you to be a major-college quarterback, and you play at a high level for a Big 10 team, you’re going to be pretty disappointed if you end up selling insurance and not playing a sport professionally,” King said.  “Maybe he owes all insurance salesmen an apology, but I’m sure you can see where the guy was coming from.”

Making Brady’s comments even more understandable is the fact that his father was — and still is, for 43 years and counting — an insurance salesman.  Tom Jr. would have been entering the family business.  (Trust me, I’m not trying to find a way to give Brady the benefit of the doubt here; I’m still pissed that he said during the show that former West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger, one of the successful members of the “Brady 6,” went to a “small school.”)

But if insurance salesmen are upset, they shouldn’t be.  Do kids aspire to grow up one day and sell insurance?  Sure, it can be lucrative, especially for those at the top of the pyramid-style commission structure that plenty of insurance companies use.  But I’ve never met a single insurance agent who viewed selling insurance as the realization of a lifelong dream.

For former athletes who wanted to get paid to play sports, it’s a fallback job, a way to take advantage of name recognition and fan loyalty to steer in their direction money that is destined to be spent.  By saying that he didn’t have to be an insurance salesman, Brady was essentially saying he didn’t want to pursue his fallback option.

Considering the manner in which his first choice has worked out, it’s obvious why he didn’t want to sell insurance.

For those of you who missed The Brady 6, it’ll be shown on ESPN2 this Sunday, April 17, at 4:00 p.m.

77 responses to “Brady’s perceived slap against insurance salesmen makes waves

  1. Yea, that’s dumb. Who in their right mind would want to be an insurance salesman, when their other option is football superstar? No apology necessary, this comes from a former insurance salesman.

    I’m not often “with Brady,” but there’s no question that it would be a relief in his situation not to have to pursue his fallback.

  2. Anyone who has something negative to say about that comment should just shut up and find something else to complain about.

    Ask any insurance salesman on the ground level if they’d prefer to be drafted dead last in the NFL in the anticipation of playing on the practice squad. I’m more than positive they would if they were capable.

    btw I am an insurance salesman. It blows!

  3. Let’s see if we have this right.

    A young football player gets a shot at being rich, famous, and all that goes with it. He expresses his belief that being an NFL quarterback is a better fate than selling insurance. And that’s considered an insult?

    Show of hands… given those 2 options who would take the insurance gig?

  4. Exactly. The guy is watching his dreams slip away with every pick that goes by. He’s watching his life flash before his eyes. He expected to play pro-sports. He thought he was good enough and the doubt and fear were creeping in. He was freaking out that it was all over. Everything he’s worked for was done and wasted. He’s watching as his life goes down the drain and he is thinking “I’m going to end up like my old man, selling insurance instead of realizing my dream”. If you can’t understand that you’re dense and probably sell insurance for a living.. oh was that too soon? 😉

  5. Idiots. He didn’t want to sale insurance, and he was happy about it.

    I don’t have to be a burger fryer, and I’m happy about that.

  6. Could have ended up selling insurance in West Virginia. Or snake oil derivatives, or something. Tinker Tom.

    “Maaaa, it’s him!”.

  7. MF what if he had said, “I DON’T HAVE TO BE A LAWYER?” 😉

    Look at Myron Rolle for example. The dude’s brilliant and still wants to try to be an NFL player. It’s a dream type job even for guys who can make great livings doing something else they are good at.

  8. Its understandable why Tom Brady would say what he said about opting for his love instead of his backup plan. If those Insurance sellers out there don’t see that he meant no harm by saying what he said… then they need a cuff to the back of the head.

    I’m saying this and I absolutely HATE Tom Brady.

  9. Sweet Jesus. As good as my profession has been to me I’d have taken being chosen in the 6th round of the NFL Draft with a coke and a smile.
    If his dad is okay with it that should be enough.

  10. was that his father’s wish or something? his only choices were get drafted, or work for the family business? good thing his family business wasn’t writing a blog where you have to make up controversies in the offseason!

  11. Insurance salesman are like all salesmen. Total garbage! All salespeople, lawyers, politicians, and anyone working for pharmaceutical companies are the lowest form of life even less than muslims.

  12. Option 1 – NFL Superstar

    Option 2 – “Hello, Mrs. Smith? This is Tom Brady from XYZ Insurance. It just happens that I will be in your area this week. I have openings on Tuesday at 9am, and Wednesday at 1pm. Which time works best for you?”

  13. I keep hearing how many superbowls has he won since the patriots were caught cheating? trust me i hate the patriots, but i enjoy watching Tom Brady. Football at the very least is a TEAM sport, if i remember correctly they got caught in september of the same season they made the superbowl, which of course was held in february, pretty resilient, broke every record for a qb. but enough of back then, he just lead the patriots to a 14-2 record with the first unanimous MVP decision in nfl history with deion branch, woodhead, and tate, especially after losing moss, which is the point in which everyone including me thought it was the end of the season for the brady’s…eh it doesn’t matter. lets get the season started. pft has eagles fans talking about the patriots for gods sake….

  14. Given how the insurance industry screwed so many Gulf Coast people after Katrina, given the way the insurance companies are always happy to take your payments but will challenge the slightest claim you ever make, it’s remarkable to me that now in this absurd country it’s getting to be Politically Incorrect to say, “Thank God I don’t have to be an insurance agent.”

    Things get more weird with each passing day.

  15. Why are people looking at it like this. The guy wanted to be a professional football player and he was joking about not having to go into a family business. I would say the same thing about being a teacher, but hey, I wasnt that lucky. Give the guy a break.

    On another note, that special was interesting and I wish the Browns would have drafted him instead of Spergon Wynn.

    Bradys a hard worker and a winner. Nuff Said

  16. Wow, why is this even an issue……he simply was saying, “I dont have to use the connection my Dad has to get me a salesman job at his insurance company. I get to pursue my dream with a chip on my shoulder”

  17. With all its advantages one of the problems with the internet is it can take a stupidass comment from an angry and probably scotched-up insurance salesman to a past-his-prime definitely scotched-up reporter and make it into a much much bigger thing than it is. (especially with PFT and the like insist of giving it coverage because it increases the clicks)

    Come on – 99.9999 percent of us knew exactly what he meant and those that don’t don’t really matter anyway.

  18. Let me get this straight, a carrer as a NFL QB or a insurance salesman? “LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR TOM BRADY IS THEIR!” doesn’t have the same ring to it as 3x SB CHAMP and HOF QB.

  19. Man, can’t we just stipulate that being a millionaire, multi-Superbowl-winning, married-to-a-Brazilian-supermodel, Hall of Fame quarterback is better than being an insurance salesman? Can’t we ALL just agree on that?

  20. Wonder how many Victoria’s Secret models hooking up with insurance salesmen these days?

  21. “Last time I checked my bankroll, t was gettin’ thin
    Sometimes it seems like the bottom s the only place I’ve been
    I chased a rainbow down a one-way street… dead end
    And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen”

    John Prine, Illegal Smile

  22. I’m sure the goat farmers are gonna start complaining about this line now.

    “Giovanni Carmazzi does not own a tv and declines to be interviewed. He lives 2 hrs north of San Francisco. He describes himself as a yoga exercising farmer. He has 5 goats.”

    I can’t stop laughing…. 5 goats.

  23. “Making Brady’s comments even more understandable is the fact that his father was an insurance salesman. ”

    Boy, good thing for him he never had to degrade himself and do what his dad did for a living.

  24. Rich Rodriguez getting fired made me smile.

  25. What if he said “At least I don’t have to be a sports writer!” Would that make less people offended, or would Journalists make a bigger stick about this non-issue?

  26. To all insurance salesman: Would you rather be an NFL quarterback, or would you rather sell insurance?

    Now, do you still think he needs to apologize?

  27. Funny how all the talking [and typing] heads are speaking up for Brady. My question is when is HE going to make his statements clearer? Guess he could care less right?

    Honestly, I got a huge laugh watching this whimp cry about the draft. He’s the last person on this planet for whom I feel sorry.

    I hope that in his next life he’s an Insurance Salesman. A bald one at that.

  28. Go ahead, laugh at Carmazzi’s goats. But they are the most limber and supple goats in the land. All sporting beautific smiles.

  29. Insurance salesmen contribute nothing of value to society. At least athletes provide entertainment.

  30. Hobartbaker says:

    “Go ahead, laugh at Carmazzi’s goats. But they are the most limber and supple goats in the land. All sporting beautific smiles.”


  31. I hate what some people have become. Sensative, crybaby wusses!!
    But enough about Brady.

    I’ll talk about the people who were offended by Brady’s insurance comment in my next post.

  32. Thanks for the programming note!! I missed the first airing–forgot to set the DVR. Will set it for Sunday right now.

  33. I work in the insurance industry and I don’t get all the hate on here for the profession. I’ve been doing it for 10 years and have changed a lot of people’s lives. For the people that talk about Katrina and people getting screwed by insurance companies, ‘you’re ignorant and you don’t don’t know what you’re talking about. You probably have a grade 5 education and watch MTV all day long!’. I have a University education and I’ve had to take many courses to carry out my profession. If you knew anything about the industry you would know this. I make a good living for myself and I’m not part of the ‘fishbowl lifestyle’ most of you are probably a part of.

    By the way, I have NO problem with what Brady said. If I could live his life instead of mine, I would in a heartbeat.

  34. awdlmd,

    ‘Insurance salesmen contribute nothing of value to society’. Geez, you’re a smart person!! I’ve yet to have a client turn down a cheque from me yet. Families shattered at the loss of a loved one, whose lives would have been changed forever, would have lost their homes and all possessions if not for ‘insurance salesmen’. You should know your facts before you open your big mouth pal… sound ignorant.

    Yes, I realize they might not be exciting as a professional football player but you should realize the ‘value’ that someone in the insurance business can offer people.

  35. He could of became an insurance salesman after he retires, but not now. That’s ok though, insurance salesmen have just a slight edge over used car salesmen, lawyers and politicians.

  36. I hate Tom Brady and the Patriots, but I could really care less about this none story. He didnt want to sell insurance, who cares?

  37. pretty soon every athlete is gonna answer with the zip the lip motion so he won’t be taken out of context

  38. And further – no self-respecting sales person of any kind is that weak. Insurance salesmen probably get told “No” more than anyone else on the planet. They have to be thick-skinned. Peter King’s reader needs to pick back up his shovel, finish the ditch he’s digging and let the adults give their opinions about sports.

  39. giantrealist says: Apr 13, 2011 3:33 PM

    Funny how all the talking [and typing] heads are speaking up for Brady. My question is when is HE going to make his statements clearer? Guess he could care less right?

    Honestly, I got a huge laugh watching this whimp cry about the draft. He’s the last person on this planet for whom I feel sorry.

    I hope that in his next life he’s an Insurance Salesman. A bald one at that.
    He hasn’t clarified his statement because there’s no need to clarify it. If you can’t recognize a light-hearted statement made in reference to his fear at the time that everything he worked his butt off for the better part of his life was slipping away and that he’d have to enter the family business while he made other plans, then you’re completely clueless and there’s really no point in trying to explain something to someone who is never going to understand.

  40. “childressrulz says:
    Apr 13, 2011 2:45 PM
    Insurance salesman are like all salesmen. Total garbage! All salespeople, lawyers, politicians, and anyone working for pharmaceutical companies are the lowest form of life even less than muslims.”


    Huh, what do you have against people who work in the pharmaceutical companies who produce life-saving drugs or your asprins or your cough and cold medicine?

    Oh wait, I just read your bigoted comment about Muslims. That explains what an intolerant and uneducated inbred you are. I’m going to to go out on a limb and take a wild guess that you vote for the Teabagger Party, childressrulz .

  41. Seriously, we needed an entire article on this? Its offensive for Brady to say that he’d rather play professional football than have a boring job like an insurance salesman? I’m sure if you asked insurance salesman, 99.99999 percent of them would say they would rather be playing professional football and getting paid like a professional football player.

  42. Darn it.
    Where are The Al Sharpton’s and Jesse Jackson’s of the insurance industry to really around them during this tremendous injustice !
    By the way, any a-hole that knows anything about football should know that the players made such little money during the season that many of them did indeed sell insurance in the off season.
    God forbid any of those screaming meat heads did any homework.
    I saw it and Brady was indeed talking about a great sense of relief not slamming anyone… if you didn’t see it on tv please don’t comment because you’ll be taking it out of context.

  43. Insurance: A legal Ponzi scheme. (other people’s premiums pay your protection)

    Fact: Insurance is a creation of one of the largest type of criminal operations in history – gangs.

    The only thing worse than the insurance industry is lawyers.

  44. Doubt Brady meant it as a specific knock on insurance salesmen, but probably just on the idea of having to take a regular job. Used to always tell my folks I couldn’t be an “accountant.” Love my accountant and wish I had his money 🙂 Just meant I couldn’t take a traditional career path.

  45. First, no one should be offended by the remark. He was simply stating he preferred to pursue his dream. He wasn’t slagging being in insurance sales.

    However, some of you are just drop dead ignorant. How does ne get through life being so stupid? All salespeople are scum? No one wants to be insurance salesmen? Insurance salesmen add no value? Insurance companies don’t want to pay claims?

    Okay. Let’s deal in facts. Insurance is a wide ranging term meaning everything from home, auto, critical illness, disability, life insurance and even investments. Insurance companies want to pay claims. Legitimate claims. How many Katrina claims were legitimate? 100%? Really? Guess again. What? Are you telling me the hillbillies spilling their filth on this site and others have never padded a claim? Get real. And as a previous poster said, no one who has ever received a death, disability or other insurance benefit has said “no thank you”. The insurance industry helps millions of people every day. Is it perfect? No. But tell me which industry is.

    As for who would want to be an insurance salesman. Well, lots actually. I know many who make seven figures. I even know a few who make ten figures. And not just for a three year, four year or five year or even ten year contract. I mean year after year for many, many years. Are they rare? Yes. But actually it is probably more common to find a millionaire insurance salesman than millionaire athlete, never mind millionaire QB. And do they run with interesting crowds and marry beautiful women? Yeah. Money tends to do that for you.

    But do some still wish they could be a star QB? Sure. Why not?

    So before you speak, at least try to get a grip on what you are speaking about rather than reverting to your Neanderthal ways and spewing invectives about people, roles and issues you know little about. Remember, IQ and bigotry are related. The lower the one, the higher the other.

  46. Insurance salesmen have a problem with this comment really? An NFL QB is the dream of just about every American boy. Hell if Tom said, “now I don’t have to be president of the United States” after being drafted, I would get it. And add the fact that his father was an insurance salesman. This is a non-issue and just about ever insurance salesman quit and be an NFL QB in a heartbeat.

  47. i don’t have issue with his comments towards the insurance profession, I am a sales agent, I have MAJOR issue with his “OH WOE IS ME” melo dramatic , shedding of TEARS, being hurt by being drafted in 6th rd….this would have come off better if he’d done it after the 1st SB win, not years later, come on now
    #1…3 SB rings,
    #2…married to SUPERMODEL
    #3….could retire now & be a HOF
    #4…..has enough $$$ to be set for life
    #5…wife makes good living too
    90% of americans would gladly exchange your troubles, justin beiber, oops, i mean tom brady… cry me a river

  48. @southyank7 – I can’t believe I actually have to stick up for Tom Brady because of you…

    He said this piece right away during draft day. He isn’t the one still harping on it. Some production company realized that it is a good time to make a disney type story out of it. He isn’t stating anything new, only the same feelings he had BEFORE #1-#5.

    Keep diggin though, you’ll find something to hate on.

  49. I’ll just revel in the fact he’s getting older by the day, he’s lost his last 3 playoff games, (1 SB, 2 strait @ home )…& the belicheats are getting long in the tooth….i know when he retires, he’ll pose in playgirl as mike honcho…..lmao……

  50. Judging by his “hard to watch” break down over being drafted a 199, I really can’t see him handling being an Insurance Sales-man…It doesn’t appear as if he handles rejection very well. And AS we all know Insurance selling is rejectionville.

    Good thing the NFL hires pretty boys with over-size but fragile egos or else, that interview would have been way more harder to take.

  51. Anyone who criticizes the insurance industry and its sales people hasn’t lost a spouse to a premature death. Shame on you all.

  52. No one’s criticizing insurance salesman and if any salesman is offended taht someone would rather be a Super Bowl winning QB rather than their job then they are high.

    As for Brady crying about that story, that shows that Brady doesn’t take his status for granted and still thinks of himself as the young man who almost missed out on his dream of playing for the NFL. Patriot fans should feel good about that.

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