ESPN orders a Tom Brady docuseries (produced by Tom Brady)

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The Last Dance was just the opening act.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ESPN has ordered a docuseries focusing on the career of quarterback Tom Brady.

The nine-episode series, Man in the Arena, will be produced by Gotham Chopra’s Religion of Sports and Brady’s new 199 Productions. It will offer Brady’s “first-hand accounts of pivotal moments in his career, including all nine of his Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots.” The docuseries is due to be televised in 2021.

But it’s not really a documentary in the classic sense, in the same way that The Last Dance wasn’t a documentary in the classic sense. Michael Jordan had control over the content of The Last Dance, and Brady surely will have control over Man in the Arena. (He should start exercising that control by coming up with a better name for it, frankly.)

While sports fans would rather have a naturally slanted slice of Brady’s life than nothing at all, we seem to accept the inherent conflict of interest that comes from the subject of a documentary producing the documentary.

It’s the kind of stuff we’d laugh about if a third-world dictator were doing it. But since the biggest sports heroes in America basically have the same clout, why should they even consider commissioning a truly fair and balanced look at their lives, with the good highlighted and the bad not conveniently downplayed or couched in the least damaging way possible or perhaps even hidden from view entirely?

Fortunately, American sports fans are smart enough to view projects like this skeptically, forcing Jordan and Brady to inject some fairness into the final product. Still, it would be great to see a genuinely independent documentary that delves deep into the lives and minds and legacies of men like Jordan, Brady, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, and other great athletes of the last 50 years.

60 responses to “ESPN orders a Tom Brady docuseries (produced by Tom Brady)

  1. Somewhere, Bill Russell (the true GOAT of all sports) is shaking his head and laughing….

  2. Please let this happen, so that we can use it as fodder for eternity.

    Sincerely, every Brady hater

  3. I’m sure he will focus on the eternal human travesty of having to wait until round 6 to be drafted. Why is life so unfair? Sniff sniff.

  4. I bet it will show all the hard work he put in with his young receivers while with the patriots. That’ll fill the first 30 seconds of the show.

  5. All good points. But the word you are looking for is “biased” or “slanted.” It is not a “conflict of interest” for the subject of s documentary to produce it. And at least the bias is out front, so we can view the content with a grain of salt.

    And, yes, the “Arena” title has to go.

  6. Actually, the name of the series is perfect. The man in the Arena is a reference to Teddy Roosevelt’s most famous and most quoted speech, “It’s not the critic who counts.”
    I’d quote the whole thing here if I thought I could.

  7. These “documentaries” are simply long commercials for the subject. Michael Joran, now Tom Brady, please, enough. This is vanity production at it’s apex.

  8. The last Dance was Michael Jordan giving himself a pat on the back. We didnt get anything interesting or profound or hear about his father’s death or mob ties or his suspension.

    Similarly a docuseries produced by Tom and 199 productions, he will not divulge anything regarding Bill, JG, his split from Pats, deflategate, spygate or anything else. It will all be vanilla answers with no details. Not to mention Tom is STILL IN THE LEAGUE ESPN, maybe we should wait until he retires?

  9. If the subject has control over a “Documentary”, “Biography” or “Docu-Series” that makes it untruthful and not worth watching. People who watched the “Last Dance” and thought that was an accurate portrayal of Jordan were bamboozled. He had final say on everything.

  10. glad i didnt watch much of be like Mike . im sure this will be more of the same .

  11. Brady wins, he cries and thanks parents.
    Brady wins, he cries and thanks parents.
    Brady wins, he cries and thanks parents.
    Brady wins, he cries and thanks parents.
    Brady wins, he cries and thanks parents.

    There ya go, saved ya 10 hours.

  12. Here’s the key part of Teddy Roosevelt’s speech that became known as “The Man in the Arena” speech. It seems to me this makes it a good choice for the title of Brady’s story.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  13. Will he recover and publish his deleted text messages?
    ————————————-

    jurgyisgod,

    There are hundreds of reasons to destroy your phone.

    Don’t pull “My daddy is a man, therefore every man is my daddy.” OK?

  14. wow. alot of hate for a 6 time super bowl winner who has never done anything wrong to anyone and is good role model. but then again, people who cannot do and or afraid of doing, are quick to critic

  15. It will chronicle his evolution from being one of the guys to the present day weird snake oil salesman.

  16. Will he recover and publish his deleted text messages?
    ————————————-

    jurgyisgod,

    This is your logic : “My daddy is a man, therefore every man is my daddy.”

  17. Lifelong Pats fan …

    I didn’t watch Tom vs Time (not even 30 seconds of it) and I have no plans to watch this either.

    Somewhere along the line, people start to lose the impression that this is Brady trying to educate, inform and enlighten his fans about how to succeed in whatever it is you’re working at by showing how he succeeded for all of these years and it becomes increasingly clear thats its about capitalism, making hay when the sun shines and being opportunistic.
    The instant the scale tips toward the latter is when you lose everyone. The scale has already tipped for me.

    He has become a punch line, a la Tony Robbins, who by the way did this whole dog and pony show LONG before Brady ever played in the NFL.

    If you need either of them to motivate you and “show you the way”, you’ve got much bigger problems than this pandemic and the state of the world.

  18. The best thing that could happen on game one is to have Tomasina Brady knocked out of football forever. He’s getting a little too precious.

  19. It’s amazing how money changes all things. ESPN was at the forefront of the slanted Deflategate reporting that resulted in a four game suspension yet TB will put that all aside for a few million. Not sure how he could even answer a call from ESPN let alone do business with them.

  20. Awesome now I dont have to worry about getting my Ambien script refilled I can just watch the first episode and I’ll be asleep in minutes!

  21. In the docuseries Brady could claim he didn’t cheat and the Earth is flat. Every patriot fan would then believe the Earth is flat.

  22. There’s been plenty of people wanting a Last Dance series on their favorite athletes. The 1990s Cowboys, the Derek Jeter Yankees, the Shaq/Kobe years, etc.

    But I think the only athlete that can fill ten episodes with compelling content is Muhammad Ali.

  23. ajsjr40 says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    It’s amazing how money changes all things. ESPN was at the forefront of the slanted Deflategate reporting that resulted in a four game suspension yet TB will put that all aside for a few million. Not sure how he could even answer a call from ESPN let alone do business with them.

    WORD.

  24. I wouldn’t watch it even in quarantine.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    But you’ll comment on an article about it……in quarantine?

  25. Probably because they don’t want SJWs to jump down their throats at every perceived little thing.

  26. fishfan77 says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm
    If the subject has control over a “Documentary”, “Biography” or “Docu-Series” that makes it untruthful and not worth watching. People who watched the “Last Dance” and thought that was an accurate portrayal of Jordan were bamboozled. He had final say on everything

    ______________________________

    I get your sentiment. I wouldn’t say untruthful.. You just don’t ge the whole picture.. slanted and biased, probably.. It shouldn’t be called a Docu-anything.. There needs to be a new word for The Last Dance and Brady’s thing. Or, basically they are autobiographies..

  27. Even though the Jordan documentary wasn’t a true documentary I still enjoyed it. Michael Jordan had to sign off on the footage being used or it couldn’t have been made so yes he got editorial control but I was surprised at the stuff he left in. His father’s death, the gambling, some of the fights with teammates. His divorce and the conspiracy stuff with his Dad was about the only thing left out. It also helped that 20 years have passed since Jordan played. I think a Brady documentary shouldn’t be made until well after he retires and we have some context.

  28. remizak says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm
    Here’s the key part of Teddy Roosevelt’s speech that became known as “The Man in the Arena” speech. It seems to me this makes it a good choice for the title of Brady’s story.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    _____

    Jeezus.. that’s inspiring, but the guy throws a ball..

  29. The final score is the truth. Outside of that, I think there is a lot of room for entertaining sports stories. Stories like Babe Ruth’s called shot have always been a part of sports. The exact truth does not always need to come out.

  30. patriotmaleorgy says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm
    In the docuseries Brady could claim he didn’t cheat and the Earth is flat. Every patriot fan would then believe the Earth is flat.

    —————-

    Brady fans are definitely not flat earthers. They cheer for Peyton.

  31. The Last Dance was 10 episodes. This one is 9 episodes? The 10th episode will air live from Tampa on Sunday February 7, 2021.

  32. murraysons says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm
    I bet it will show all the hard work he put in with his young receivers while with the patriots. That’ll fill the first 30 seconds of the show.

    Edelman alone could take 30 minutes.

  33. patriotmaleorgy says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm
    In the docuseries Brady could claim he didn’t cheat and the Earth is flat. Every patriot fan would then believe the Earth is flat.

    Rigghhht.

    Because citing established science like the ideal gas law is exactly like denying science.

  34. It’s the kind of stuff we’d laugh about if a third-world dictator were doing it. But since the biggest sports heroes in America basically have the same clout, why should they even consider commissioning a truly fair and balanced look at their lives, with the good highlighted and the bad not conveniently downplayed or couched in the least damaging way possible or perhaps even hidden from view entirely?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So your point is that autobiographies are irrelevant? This is a video-autobiography of moments of his life. If this was a book, there would not be peep because only Ken Burns writes the rules of documentaries.

  35. This could be a super interesting show but with Brady in charge you know it won’t. There won’t be anything about conflicts with BB or McD, nothing about any of controversies, but I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about how his diet and training regimen are great and have made him impervious to age and injury.

  36. So he wants the Jordan treatment as an ego stroke. Ugh.
    You’d think a friend or family member would pull him aside and point out how ridiculously egocentric he looks during a pandemic of the century.

    My goodness. Make it stop.

    Does everyone see why BB walked? He has a primadonna qb who couldn’t see his play was declining.

  37. redclaw1314 says:
    May 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm
    I used to think that Brady was a humble guy!

    1 0 Rate This

    ——————-

    He was. He met Giselle, went all LA, and BB has fought to rein that ego in for 10 years.

    NE lost 2 sbs to the Giants over it. Only when Garoppolo was drafted did Bb get Brady to snap out of the all about me garbage he had been showcasing, so poorly managing big playoff games and sbs.

    This has been going for years.

    Pats Haters are in for a rude awakening with a humble, smart, talented kid named Jarrett Stidham.

  38. patriotmaleorgy says:
    May 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm
    In the docuseries Brady could claim he didn’t cheat and the Earth is flat. Every patriot fan would then believe the Earth is flat.

    11 9 Rate This

    ——————-

    Yet the science, fabricated evidence and Goodell caught lying in court again absolved Brady.

    You sure sound like an intelligent person. lmao

    Then again, you’re from Baltimore and your qb scored an 11 on his Wonderlic.

  39. Should probably wait until he’s retired, and I say this as someone who likes Brady. There’s a lot he can’t/won’t say while he’s still a player.

  40. That’s like a Waco documentary told by a branch davidian. Probably not gonna get the entire story.

  41. “Tom Brady”
    A Tom Brady Production
    starring Tom Brady
    Screenplay by Tom Brady
    Adapted from an original idea by Tom Brady
    Casting by Tom Brady
    Produced by Tom Brady
    Directed by Tom Brady

    Such a humble man!

  42. There are hundreds of reasons to destroy your phone.
    —–
    Really, I’m coming up real short on that.

  43. Brady is no Michael Jordan.
    ———————–
    agreed. basketball is only 5 players such that one superior athlete can dominate just with raw athletic ability. playing qb requires a quantum leap of leadership (53 guys looking to you) and being a great athlete isn’t near enough; much more of a mental game than jumping the highest to jam a ball in a hole.

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