Four-week vacations are usually the stuff of employee dreams.
Four weeks of unpaid vacation? Still a good break from the daily grind, as long as you can handle the financial hit.
Four weeks of unpaid vacation where you can’t even play catch with Julian Edelman coming after a 544-day battle that spread from a restroom near the field at Gillette Stadium, through the halls of NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in New York, to the U.S. 2nd District Court of Appeals and across the football universe?
Tom Brady will no doubt begin to feel the bitter sting of his four-game Deflategate suspension when the Patriots and Cardinals kick off Sunday night.
Five days into his suspension, Brady did his weekly Thursday night interview with Westwood One’s Jim Gray. His 2021 campaign as head of the NFLPA (just a guess) against Roger Goodell has begun in earnest. Brady agreed when asked when asked if the limits of Goodell’s power needed to be curtailed.
“I think the system can always be improved,” Brady said. “Not just for my situation because my situation is obviously in the past, but for everyone’s situation in the future. I think we as players need to stand together so collectively we can be as strong as possible and the NFL can continue to provide and be as great of a game as it is.”
Back in Foxborough, the Patriots placed a banner featuring Brady upon Gillette Stadium that can probably be seen from the moon – if not Goodell’s house in Maine.
So, what is a suspended NFL QB to do for the rest of his time off instead of just sitting around with Gisele Bundchen and the kids?
Here a few real and imagined suggestions.
— Judy Farah (@newsbabe1530) February 29, 2016
10. Retrace the steps of Hugh Glass
Portrayed by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio (man, that sounds strange), Glass’s character had a rough ride in “The Revenant” before exacting justice on the man who killed his son. Brady’s injustice isn’t quite that extreme, but racing across the Canadian plains and spending the night in the carcass of a horse should keep him mentally tough. Of course, things may get a little wacky when he crawls into the horse and Gronk is already there with two female friends and a keg of Bud Light. One other side note: DiCaprio once took Gisele to the Oscars. She wasn’t HIS good-luck charm.
Tom Brady says he is working to stay in shape, enjoys picking kids up from school. Come back with this hair, please. pic.twitter.com/jxFyT0SvHJ
— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) September 9, 2016
9. Do SOMETHING with his hair
Anything, actually. His 1990s boy band/Megyn Kelly mane made his departure from the Foxborough stage just a bit easier for Patriots fans to stomach. Which hair do should Brady have upon his return? Well how about this mashup pictured above? It worked in Super Bowl XLIX.
— Matthew Peabody™ (@MatthewPeabody) November 14, 2014
8. School crossing guard
Brady also told Gray that he enjoys being able to pick up his kids from school. Why not raise his game a notch and become a school crossing guard? Brady’s town of Brookline, Mass., is advertising for school crossing guards. Those kids would be the safest anywhere with Brady guiding them across the street. After all, he’s led the Patriots to the AFC championship game 10 times in the last 15 seasons. Even the notoriously bad drivers of Greater Boston would happily stop and wait while Brady marched the urchins to school. “Hey, crossing ghad, can I get an autograph?”
— Boston.com (@BostonDotCom) March 27, 2016
7. Tour Guide
Brady and Bundchen this year have been spotted smooching while strolling on the beach sands of Costa Rica and frolicing in Cuba after skipping out on the Met Gala in New York. On Father’s Day, Gisele posted an image of Brady and their two children – Benjamin Rein, 6, and daughter Vivian Lake, 3 – building a sandcastle on an unnamed tropical beach. There is tremendous on-line and social business potential here. Brady is taking a $250,000 salary haircut thanks to the suspension. This could help ease his monetary pain.
— NESN (@NESN) September 3, 2016
6. Play Catch With Aaron Dobson
Wide receiver Aaron Dobson was dogged by injuries, dropped passes and an inability to run the correct routes during 24 games over his 3 seasons with the Pats. Dobson logged 53 catches for 698 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was cut last week. Dobson was taken with the 59th overall selection in the 2013 draft. He remains a 6-foot-3, 205-pound example of Belichick’s struggles at drafting wideouts. However, he’s got the time and opportunity for redemption. Brady will need an NFL-caliber receiver or two with whom to play catch this month. Dobson may not be quite “NFL caliber” but Brady is familiar with him and he’s got some speed. Maybe Gronk will need a two-week stint on the DL to help out, too
— Kirk Nawrotzky (@KirkNawrotzky) September 3, 2016
5. Contain Jim Harbaugh’s Ego
Impossible? Probably. But Brady is scheduled to be honorary captain at the Big House when Michigan plays host to Colorado next week. Brady’s tenure at Michigan was highlighted by the Wolverines’ victory over Alabama in the Orange Bowl after the 1999 season. He’s given back to his college program and does well in returning to help inspire current players in the offseason. Michael Jordan was UM’s honorary captain last weekend. Jordan is best remembered for retiring from the NBA in the early 1990s and leading the Fab Five to 3 straight NCAA titles. Actually, Jordan went to North Carolina and has no real connection to Michigan save for Nike. Perhaps it takes the likes of Brady, Jordan and Derek Jeter to both satisfy Jim Harbaugh’s immense ego and keep it in check.
— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) September 9, 2016
4. Work on ‘Game of Thrones’
Brady and former New York Giants defensive end (and Super Bowl XLII nemesis) Michael Strahan have teamed up to co-executive produce a show called “Religion of Sports.” We’ll be sure to catch it somewhere on the internet in the offseason. Brady’s television production time would be far more fruitful if he would team up with “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin and get Martin (a noted Giants fan) to finish up the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” that inspired the popular HBO show. Among the rallying cries among Patriots fans during the Deflategate saga were “Defend the Wall” and “Protect the North.” Meanwhile, “Winter is Coming” and is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland at 1 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Crazy that they got Tom Brady on this season of House of Cards pic.twitter.com/JjI7OO3j63
— Philip Cosores (@Philip_Cosores) March 7, 2016
3. Zone out on Netflix
There’s some major-league binge watching opportunities these days on Netflix and elsewhere. Among our recommendations for Brady: “BoJack Horseman,” “House of Cards,” “Daredevil,” “Scrubs,” “Mad Men,” “Archer,” “Orange is the new Black,” “Sherlock.” Let’s not forget “Breaking Bad.” That show could give Brady some tips on how to deal with Goodell and company in the future.
— Bruneau (@luckybagette) August 5, 2016
2. Big Papi Day
The last weekend of Brady’s suspension coincides with David Ortiz’s regular-season finale at Fenway Park. Ortiz and Brady have shared a perch atop the Boston sports pantheon for the past decade. They have combined to power their respective teams to seven titles since 2001. It is entirely reasonable to expect Brady to surprise the gathered masses at Fenway Park on Oct. 2 and present Ortiz with some Patriots-themed swag. Perhaps Ortiz will re-pay the favor by reminding the world that “this is our (bleeping) quarterback.” Let the celebration commence.
1. Time Travel
Fifteen years ago on Sept. 24, Mo Lewis flattened Drew Bledsoe and conceived the Legacy and Legend of Brady. NBC’s time-travel new show “Timeless” premieres Oct. 3. That’s Brady’s first day back at work. It would be a perfect time for him to step back 15 years and return to the NFL as the 24-year-old Hall-of-Fame quarterback to be. Imagine, another 15 years or so of Brady. That would keep him around just long enough to give his No. 12 jersey to Benjamin. When Brady and the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI in February of 2002, Brady was the youngest QB ever to do so. After that game, which was a mere five months after 9-11, Robert Kraft said “we are all Patriots” and Brady was “going to Disney World” for the first time as an NFL champion. New Englanders would love for that last part to happen again.