Just in time for Father’s Day: An Associated Press report that New England QB Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, are expecting their first child. Typically, this would be cause for celebration and congratulations; however, all are thus far “mum” on the topic, including Bundchen’s manager. Worse, just last month, when asked by a reporter if his wife was pregnant, Brady, who has a young son via former girlfriend (and actress/model) Bridget Moynahan, said: “One is enough. I have dogs and that’s all I need.” A heartwarming quote his current son and future spawn will be proud to read one day.
This comes on the heels, last week, of more self-centered comments by another of the NFL’s most revered quarterbacks, Bret Favre. With sports reporters speculating on his possible return to the NFL via the Minnesota Vikings, Favre initially countered with this little nugget: “If my arm doesn’t hurt.” Coming only a year after his unceremonious exit from Green Bay and rumors of giving Packer playbook insights to conference competitors (Rod Marinelli and the Lions—it didn’t help), why not a more team-oriented: “If I am healthy enough to help the Vikings, I will compete for the starting position in camp this year”?
Similarly, why wouldn’t Tom Brady, who is undoubtedly adored by throngs of young, star-struck fans, when asked about the possibility of fathering another child, say something like: “I adore my son and am incredibly blessed. Right now, he is my focus where children are involved.”? You get the point.
Is it arrogance? Do they not care? More likely when you receive incomparable adulation throughout your lifetime, you come to a point where you (a) Feel you can do no wrong and (b) Become lackadaisical in your comments. As a communications professional, I would merely recommend to these two NFL greats (and others like them) that they continually remind themselves how much they are looked up to by impressionable young fans and that their every word (and action) will be scrutinized now and in the future (as if they didn’t know this already). It merely comes with the territory of living in the spotlight of celebrity. They say: there is no ‘I’ in “team.” There isn’t one in “role model” either.