Nov 15, 2021 - Sports
Tom Brady's (not-so-secret) secret revealed
Tom Brady throws the ball during the first half against the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
Tom Brady throws the ball during the first half against the Washington Football Team on Sunday. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tom Brady is on pace to throw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns this season — a feat worthy of "gaping incredulity."

  • That's according to the great sportswriter Sally Jenkins, who tried to puzzle out what makes our 44-year-old seven-time world champion QB1 so freaking good.

The intrigue: Brady wasn't born with an unattainable genetic gift the rest of us don't have, Jenkins writes.

  • Tom Brady is very good at working hard right now for a payoff that may not come for years. His secret is not a secret at all.

Driving the news: Brady completed 23 of 34 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Bucs' 19-29 loss to the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

  • Even with the loss and turnovers, Brady is still a frontrunner to win league MVP for the fourth time.

🏃 Jenkins relays an anecdote: In spring 2020, Brady was set to play in a televised golf exhibition down here with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. It was hot and rainy, but Charles Barkley caught Brady running sprints in the parking lot a few hours before tee-off.

  • "What the hell are you doing?" Barkley asked.
  • "I'm trying to win a Super Bowl," Brady told him.

The difference: Banal as it sounds, great players — in all walks of life — are simply better than the rest of us at disciplined, rigorous method.

  • His current form is the product of thousands of little decisions to do a difficult thing that will pay off later, rather than doing the easier thing that will feel good immediately.

🏈 Ben's thought bubble: Give Jenkins' column to the kids and show them Tom Brady wasn't born a prodigy. He just made a bunch of small, smart decisions.

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