Tom Brady’s refusal to discuss concussions is hypocritical
Picked-up pieces while waiting for quarterbacks of every Patriot rival to sustain season-ending injuries . . .
■ We all love Tom Brady. Great leader. Great champion. Greatest quarterback of all time. Maybe greatest football player of all time. But his answer about his wife’s televised contention that he had a concussion last year (and that he’s had concussions pretty much every year) is unacceptable in light of his nonstop promotion of the “TB12 Method.’’
When asked Friday about his wife’s statement that he had a concussion last season, Brady answered, “I really don’t think that’s anybody’s business, you know, what happened last year.”
Baloney. Everyone knows that NFL players and teams hide concussions. Given the gravity of this issue — and Brady’s status as the face of the sport — his evasion is disappointing but understandable.
The NFL injury report is something of a joke, and Brady and the Patriots are not much different from other teams when it comes to dodging disclosure. Players and teams hide injuries. Got it. What separates Brady in this matter is his mixed messages. How can Brady promote the TB12 Method (in which the message is effectively “Do what I do and you won’t get hurt playing football”) while simultaneously telling us that his own concussion history is none of our business?
As outlined nicely by WEEI’s Alex Reimer last week, Brady pushes a $200 nutrition manual, $100 recovery pajamas, and TB12 Performance Meals. His $29.99 self-help book will be released in September and will promote cognitive fitness, “right choices,’’ and the TB12 Method.
Brady’s training guru is Alex Guerrero, who has falsely claimed to be a doctor and produced Neurosafe, a beverage — endorsed by Brady — that was billed as a supplement that could help prevent concussions and head trauma. The Federal Trade Commission shut that one down. Apart from the phony elixir, Brady is urging you to follow his method to prevent injuries.
When asked about concussions at the Super Bowl, Brady said that prevention was part of the issue. But now he’s telling us that his own concussion history — introduced as fact by his wife — is none of our business?
None of our business? Swell. Then stop selling the TB12 Method, pushing brain exercises, and suggesting that you have found the secret to avoiding concussions and other common football injuries.
■ Terry Francona was mildly offended that the Red Sox held their 2007 championship reunion at Fenway one day before the Indians got to town.
■ Even by his lofty standards of team-killing, Adrian Gonzalez has outdone himself this year. The Dodgers are 40-7 since the Cooler went on the disabled list June 13. Yikes. Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson should trade Gonzalez to a Vegas casino.
■ Yes, Chris Sale is having a great season. But it does not compare with Roger Clemens in 1986 or Pedro Martinez in 1999. Clemens was MVP and Pedro would have been if a couple of writers hadn’t decided that a starting pitcher could not appear on their ballot. Sale’s ERA is 2.70. In 1968, Luis Tiant’s ERA was 1.60 and he didn’t even win the Cy Young Award.
■ Thumbs down to the Celtics for dumping longtime trainer Ed Lacerte and massage therapist Vladimir Shulman. Strength coach Bryan Doo left on his own when it became evident that the Celtics are now all about “sports science.’’
Is there not still room for institutional memory and the human touch? Lacerte served 30 seasons for the Green. He was trainer for the US Olympic Dream Team in Barcelona. Doo worked 14 seasons with the Celtics. Shulman goes back to the days of Larry Bird.
■ QUIZ: Name two prominent folks in Red Sox history who were born on Aug. 4, 1962 (answer below).
■ Too little was made of the passing of former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian. Ara was coach of the Irish when they played in “The Game of the Century” against Michigan State in 1966. Parseghian famously went for a tie with the score 10-10 late in the game and was rewarded with a national championship in the polls.
Here’s former Patriots general manager Upton Bell on the Notre Dame-Michigan State game:
“I scouted that game, and more players were drafted from those two teams than any other game in college history,” he said.
“In my opinion, it was the most important college game played because it changed how great African-American athletes were recruited. [Michigan State coach] Duffy Daugherty saw that the South had great athletes and brought them north before Alabama and Texas, who did not recruit those great players.’’
By Bell’s count, there were six first-round picks and three second-round picks in that game. Bell’s biography, “Present at the Creation” (penned with Ron Borges), is due out in November.
■ Bet you didn’t know there’s a residence hall named for Al Cowlings at USC. That’s right, folks. A $15 million anonymous private donation resulted in the college naming a building after the guy who drove O.J. Simpson in the white Ford Bronco back in June 1994.
Must make a parent proud to fork over tens of thousands of dollars so his or her child can study in Cowlings Residential College. Maybe the Juice will get his own building when he’s freed later this year. O.J. has always been welcome at USC, most famously by Pete Carroll.
■ Speaking of O.J., inimitable pool boy Kato Kaelin, a Milwaukee native, went to a Brewers game recently and won the 50/50 raffle, splitting a pot of more than $12,000. That’ll buy a lot of chlorine.
■ Tough year for baseball in the Bay Area. The A’s and Giants are both in the basement. The last time they finished last in the same season was 1995.
■ Make room for Jay Jaffe in the Bill James/Keith Law/Rob Neyer Mount Rushmore of “We Know More Than You” analytics geeks intent on sucking all the joy out of baseball. Jaffe’s intriguing new book is “The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques.’’ According to Jaffe’s skull-imploding rating system, Sandy Koufax is the 87th-best starting pitcher of all time. Nuf Ced.
■ Many of the boo-birds for Bud Selig in Cooperstown were Montreal folks attending in support of former Expo Tim Raines. Canadian fans are still angry about the Expos leaving town for Washington, D.C. They may be back in Cooperstown next summer, when Vlad Guerrero is expected to be inducted, along with Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, and Jim Thome in all likelihood.
Meanwhile, back in Montreal, the Expos’ old Olympic Stadium has been opened to house a new wave of asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the United States.
■ In the wake of the Red Sox’ PR disaster after the David Price ambush of Dennis Eckersley, a reader suggests that Anthony Scaramucci be brought on board to clean things up. Mooch is available.
■ The Cavs might really be coming apart. They picked up Mr. Passive Resistance, Jeff Green.
■ Quiz answer: Roger Clemens and John Farrell.
■ RIP Don Baylor. He came to the big leagues as an Oriole prodigy. He could never throw. Longtime Globe baseball scribe Clif Keane once teased Baylor, telling him, “The umpire called the infield fly rule when you threw the ball home from left field.’’
But Baylor was a stand-up guy and a feared slugger who knocked in 139 runs for the Angels when he was American League MVP in 1979. His arrival in Boston on Easter Sunday in 1986 completely changed the Red Sox and propelled them all the way to the seventh game of the World Series.
Baylor died Monday at the age of 68. Tremendous loss for baseball and humanity.