GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Super Bowl media day has its own gravitational pull. The media is drawn to certain members of certain teams for reasons that don't need much explanation.
And then there's Tom Brady.
For the better part of an hour during Tuesday's media day Brady existed in his own vacuum, and unless you were inside of it you were invisible. At times the star attraction was invisible to everyone else. Brady, sitting on a riser, could not be seen 20 rows back in the stands of University of Phoenix Stadium.
Certainly other Patriots, including head coach Bill Belichick and wide receiver Randy Moss drew crowds.
But they were nothing like Brady's. The NFL Network thought so much of it they installed a point of view camera over Brady's riser, giving the home viewer a taste of the crush that faced the eight-year veteran.
As he so often does, Brady handled the throng with a smile and his easy-going manner ("Zen-like," he called it at one point). He fielded a marriage proposal from a TV Azteca reporter wearing a wedding gown (with a mini-skirt) and red high heels.
That led to a question, naturally, about marriage proposals.
"This beautiful woman from Mexico just did (ask me)," Brady said with a smile. "How many (proposals)? Not that many. That's in the future."
Ines Gomez Mont of TV Azteca asks quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots to marry her during New England Patriots media day for Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 29, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
One must wonder what Giselle Bunchden, Brady's supermodel girlfriend, is aware of this. Lord, the furor that would cause. Who would be angrier - the men at Brady for taking Bunchden off the market, or the women at Bunchden for taking Brady off the market?
Discuss amongst yourselves.
Yes, there were football questions, and plenty of them. First came the requisite questions about his ankle (he said it "feels good"). Then about his place in the pantheon of Super Bowl quarterbacks (a win on Sunday may make him the best ever, and certainly places him in an exclusive block of quarterbacks, limited to Terry Bradshaw and one of his idols, Joe Montana, with four titles). There were questions about Randy Moss and his other receivers.
About making history. About his focus. About previous Patriots teams.
But with Brady - even if there wasn't a throng of national media surrounding him - there's always more.
He exists as a latter-day Joe Namath, squiring young lovelies about town (sometimes in his very own walking boot). It's hard to think of a quarterback since Namath that existed as a celebrity and a football player concurrently, and at times found his celebrity overshadowing his play on the field (which, considering Brady's record, is a feat in itself).
Why else would TMZ.com follow him around New York during his off week, carrying flowers and wearing a boot? Surely Paris Hilton was doing something, um, semi-important, right?
Maybe Brady handles it so well because he knows what he must deal with on Sundays.
Guys like photographers he can handle. Guys like Michael Strahan are a different story.
|Defensive end Michael Strahan #92 of the New York Giants speaks during Giants media day for Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 29, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)|
"Michael Strahan is much bigger and much meaner and much faster, and I sure as heck can't outrun Michael and that's the problem," Brady said. "Everyone else I can probably outrun."
Except fame, it seems.
Brady is a Celebri-back, like Namath. There's the NFL and then there's Brady. He exists on his own plane. If it were warm enough here in Arizona, I wouldn't be surprised if Brady lay by the pool, bathing trunks on and predicted victory.
He is an "A-List" celebrity - despite his own protesting. He seems totally at ease with it all, his California cool seemingly allow him to smile, joke and grin through it all.
And on days like this - when there's only one game and one story - the stars have the greatest gravitational pull.
So Brady sucked in everyone on Tuesday - the reporters, the hot Latin women and the onlookers.
And like a crowd of rubber-neckers watching an accident, all we could do was watch.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is covering the Patriots for Patriotsinsider.com during the Super Bowl in Arizona. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.
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