USA Today Misquotes Tom Brady in Headline

Tom Brady appeared on ProFootballTalk Live for an interview with Mike Florio and naturally the conversation turned to the topic du jour, the New England Patriots upcoming visit to the White House. Brady was quoted as so:

Everybody has their own choice,” Brady said regarding whether players should go to the White House. “There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there. . . . It really is a great experience. Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”

Shortly after this interview, USA Today posted this tweet:

In an age where cries of “fake news” are waves around the nation (and our president’s Twitter account), the USA Today committed a pretty egregious error that gives fodder to the “fake news” crowd. First off, as you can see in Brady’s quote that he is talking about “putting politics aside” for himself, not his teammates. He opens his quote saying clearly that everyone has their own choice. Sadly, USA Today ignores that quote and goes with the click-baiting quote that will cause a stir, which unfortunately works.

As Florio notes on PFT, players are weary about giving quotes because they know that their words can often get misconstrued to fit a writer’s narrative for the story they want to write, not the one that is in front of them.

USA Today did update the headline, but still missed the point of Brady’s quote:

The headline is a step in the right direction, but I would update it as “Tom Brady in favor of ‘putting politics aside’ for himself when it comes to visiting the White House”. With so much scrutiny on the media now more than ever, it is important for news organizations to report the facts and not construe their narrative to give the “fake news” opposition any ammo for their cause.


Taking a Look at the Notable Calls for James White’s Super Bowl Winning TD

When looking back at the New England Patriots’ historic Super Bowl win, one thing I like to do is check out some of the notable calls from each of the big TV/Radio broadcasts. Deadspin posted a video with all of the major calls by the networks here.

Joe Buck (Fox)- For some reason unbeknownst to me, Buck gets a bad rap as an announcer. Possibly because his father held the same role and people may feel he is a product of nepotistic practices, but I think Buck has the quintessential “big-game voice”. His call here is beautifully executed, he makes his call with enthusiasm and passion and promptly gets out of the way and lets the crowds cheers tell the story. A great couple of months for Buck and Fox as they were fresh off of calling the Cubs’ historic World Series title and got the greatest Super Bowl, dare I say ever.

Bob Socci (Patriots Radio Network)- Exactly what you would want from the “homer” broadcast, from color analyst Scott Zolak’s shouting in the background in his unabashed support of the team to a great call from Socci. Although it is radio, I would have liked Socci to let the moment breathe a little bit and get the crowd noise or at least not cut off Zolak.

Wes Durham (Falcons Radio)- Not much you can say as the team broadcaster after a comeback of that proportion, but I think Durham all-in-all handled his call pretty well. I think he got the tenor of the moment for Falcons fans while also capturing some of the excitement heard on the other sideline.

Kevin Harlan (Westwood One)- Another “big-game voice” Harlan arguably has the best call of the bunch. He is definitive with his statements and captures the excitement of the moment with his own voice. No complaints on this call.


Tom Brady Talks Trump Friendship

On his weekly spot on WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan, Patriots QB Tom Brady was going through his normal routine of navigating around the questioning of his association with President Donald Trump. Brady, most recently associated with Trump for an alleged phone call congratulating the President on his victory, answered host Gerry Callahan by talking about positivity.

“I’m a pretty positive person, so I don’t want to create any distractions for our team and so forth,” Brady said. “I just try and stay positive and actually this world could use a little more positivity. Everything’s not great in this world and everything is not great in life. But if you try and take a positive approach … I try to do that.”

After seemingly being let off the hook with questioning, Brady had a question of his own about the infatuation with his friendship.

“Why does everybody make such a big deal? I don’t understand it,” he said about the Trump friendship. “(…)I don’t want to get into it, but if you know someone it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do. You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”

It was an interesting look into Brady’s loyalty, while also seeming to imply he does not agree with certain things about Trump. The quote caught fire on the internet, prompting a NY Daily News article skewering Brady for his friendship, where Seth Walder wrote “If you’re friends with Trump, you’re friends with racism, bigotry and misogyny.”

While I agree with the fact that Trump has been all of those things throughout his campaign and into his first days in office, I do not believe that this makes Brady racist, bigoted and misogynistic.

Brady seems to clearly state above that he is a positive person and tries to see the best in each person. In this instance, it is clear that he is aware of Trump’s vast list of faults and disagrees with a lot that has come out about him. However, he still is clearly loyal to the President because of past personal experiences in his private dealings, circling back to his point about positivity. While it may always be a hot button issue, I don’t think Brady should have to rid Trump from his life. He should continue to do what he did here, stay positive and continuing to give insight to his beliefs that he doesn’t agree with everything Trump says and does.