Tom Brady Opens up on His Deflategate Suspension: ‘It Was the First September That I’d Had off Since My Eighth-Grade Year’

Published 12/31/2021, 4:39 AM EST


Former New England Patriots QB Tom Brady recollects the 2016 Deflategate suspension of 4 games in his highly anticipated ESPN documentary. Episode 7 of the “Man in the Arena” documentary provides proof of Brady’s mental fortitude during his suspension.

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Brady recalls this experience to be a forced shift out of his professional livelihood. He recalls saying, “It was the first September that I’d had off since my eighth-grade year. I didn’t even know what a September was like without football.

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Notably, it was also during this period that Brady visited Costa Rica on vacation with his wife, Gisele Bündchen.

About the trip, Brady says, “A very small gesture like that allowed me to recognize the things that I need to do in our relationship to make sure that she feels supported too because she’d supported me for the previous year and a half. She held me up when I was weak and angry and sad and depressed. That was a really dark time.

Tom Brady Finds Light In the ‘Deflategate’ Darkness

Tom Brady went through a rough period both on and off the pitch. Despite winning the Super Bowl in 2015, Brady endured the wrath of both the media and riff-raff after the Patriots’ slow start. Former teammate Rodney Harrison describes Brady in 2015 to be “scared to death” and lacking trust in his offensive line.

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However, Brady displayed the heart of a true champion and led the Patriots to a 7-game winning streak. The Patriots only lost twice more and went head to head against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl XLIX. The game was Tom Brady’s redemption story as he threw for a 37/50  for 328 yards consisting of 4 TDs and 2 INTs.

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Following this, the 2016 ‘Deflategate’ suspension was seen by Brady’s family as a blessing in disguise. Maureen Brady, the sister of Tom Brady, was quoted saying, “It actually worked out awesome for them. He saw our family. We haven’t had a family holiday together since he was at Michigan.

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The “Man in The Arena” documentary really takes viewers behind Tom’s life and his No.12 Patriots jersey. The burden of the shadow of his jersey and achievements really weighed on him. It made him look human for the first time in 2016 and rekindled his personal life. The suspension became a blessing in disguise for a troubled man during an hour of much-required break.

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Anuj Tazhatuveetil

79 articles

An NFL author at EssentiallySports, Anuj Tazhatuveetil is pursuing a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Initially, he worked as a freelance content writer and later as a part of Sports404. An unquenchable thirst to learn about all things NFL and NBA, adding to a rather healthy obsession with playing outdoor sports like basketball, and soccer with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of this industry make him a sports aficionado.

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