To borrow a line from one of the very best episodes of The Office, the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady seem to be playing their own separate game and it’s called, “Let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our fans.” And they’re both winning.
Brady suppled the latest salvo in the cold war on Monday night. Via Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Brady appeared at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, and he was asked the following question by (who else?) Jim Gray: “Do you feel appreciated by them and do they have appropriate gratitude for what you have achieved?”
Brady then turned to the crowd and slowly delivered an obviously premeditated response.
“I plead the fifth,” he said, nodding hard at the end for effect.
He then called it a “tough question” before supplying neither a yes nor a no.
“I think everybody in general everyone wants to be appreciated at work,” Brady said.
Gray then asked Brady whether he’s happy.
“I have my moments,” Brady said.
This implies that he has moments where he’s not happy. Even if Brady’s effort to take the fifth was a joke (and it possibly was), he should have made it very clear that he was joking — especially since he didn’t ultimately answer the question regarding whether he feels appreciated with something like, “Yes, they appreciate me. They pay me great money to do something I’d do for free. They give me everything I need to be successful.”
And so what has become a very bizarre offseason in Boston, featuring Rob Gronkowski‘s 11-week delay in committing to play followed by a passive-aggressive reference to pliability to the nagging sense that Brady truly isn’t happy to the lingering frustration over the Super Bowl LII benching of Malcolm Butler, will continue to have a weird vibe to it.