A military deployment typically warrants between three to 15 months in-theater, away from home, families and ordinary creature comforts.
In a recent interview, legendary NFL quarterback and chin-dimple king Tom Brady suggested that a professional football season is essentially the same thing.
“I almost look at like a football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military, and it’s like, ‘Man, here I go again,’” Brady said during an interview with the ‘Let’s Go’ podcast, one that featured Kevin Durant and Jim Gray. “There’s only one way to do it.”
And while no one doubts the rigors of an NFL season — players face numerous injury risks, including traumatic brain injury — it is certainly no six months of hell confined to a tent or moldy barracks, eating MREs, and bathing with baby wipes.
Brady, however, evidently sees himself as a soldier in the trenches, locked in fierce combat with other multi-millionaires in a war for yet another ring — he already has seven — with nothing to eat but his free-range, grass-fed, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free lean meats and wild-caught fish. Brady’s only deployment solace is “hazard pay” that amounts to about $30 million a year.
The average enlisted service member, meanwhile, rarely sees above six figures.
And unlike most troops, when Brady has been “deployed” for the past 13 years, he has had the world’s most attractive woman — supermodel Gisele Bündchen — caring for their three children and maintaining a $26 million real estate portfolio that includes houses in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, California, Montana, and, of course, Costa Rica.
Perhaps the most realistic element of Brady’s comparison is the notion that too many of his deployments may have, as military deployments often do, ruined his marriage. Like many military spouses who shelve their dreams to support their families, Bündchen has seemingly had enough.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.