Whether you love him or hate him or are somehow completely indifferent, you’ve probably spent the last 20 years thinking about Tom Brady. Brady has altered friendships, families and communities. He’s changed the trajectory of careers and reputations, enabled fairy tale dreams to be both realized and dashed. This 10-part series looks at those two decades of Brady through the eyes of the fans and the haters, those in the arena and those outside. As host, Gotham Chopra grapples with these big themes, while grounding the podcast in his personal relationship with Tom and his journey from a Brady fan to Tom’s friend.
There’s an old saying that pro athletes die twice. First, when their career ends. Second, of course… when they actually die. The transition from pro sports to regular life is so extreme that it feels as terrifying as dying. And what’s especially scary about that transition is that you’re facing … the unknown.
Tom Brady has figured out the formula to keep playing football for at least the foreseeable future. In some ways, you can look at his time in Tampa as a kind of second life. But even Tom refers to whatever comes after his NFL career as… “the void on the other side.”
This episode, the last of our series: Post Game. What do you do when you no longer have the very thing that has given your life order and purpose? We’ll look for answers from athletes, as well as another group with some surprising similarities to organized sports. And, we’ll hear from someone who has interviewed hundreds of Americans about their own moments of doubt and pain.
All to answer the big question: How do we face the void on the other side?
Guests: Tony Gonzalez, Nate Boyer, Denver Morris, Bruce Feiler
Football vs. Football
This episode looks at how the NFL and Tom Brady are viewed by the “other” football—AKA soccer. Can American football ever speak the language of international sport, become truly global, expand its appeal across the pond... and even beyond? Or is there something about the game that makes it... too American? And what can football tell us about who we are as a country?
Guests: Harry Kane, Roger Bennett (Men In Blazers), Brendan Hunt (co-creator Ted Lasso)
When Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl, social media barely existed. But now Brady is kind of a master of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Tik Tok. For Brady and other athletes, the key to success is making people think they're seeing the real you—something that is a lot harder than it sounds.
And we’re now in a world where pretty much all of us can share something about our personal lives online. But is this online version of ourselves really true to life?
And what do the differences between how we present ourselves—and who we actually ARE— show us about what is and isn’t “authentic?”
Guests: Doug Sanders (Sanders Sports and Entertainment), Jennifer Szalai (New York Times)
At one point during Super Bowl 51, the Pats had a .02 percent chance of winning the game.
But that game wasn’t the first time that Brady faced long odds. In fact, in a lot of his previous playoff games he’d had win probabilities in the low single digits: 7 percent, 4 percent. But Brady and the Pats kept winning, and in Super Bowl 51… they did it again.
So is Brady magic? Or do we just have the idea of probability all wrong?
This episode looks at how probability - and risk - influence how we make decisions, especially… when the odds are against us.
Because as Tom has shown us again and again and again, there is a difference between impossible and improbable...
GUESTS: Neil Paine from 538, Doug Kezerian from Daily Wager, Alessandro Bonatti, game theorist from MIT, plus two coaches from the "greatest high school football game ever played."
Thanks to ESPN and Eddy Clinton for the clips used in this episode.
Time just seems to move differently in football. There are 60 minutes on the game clock, but the games take three hours to play.
For the players, time can seem to slow down at certain moments, during certain plays. But then... the whole season seems to go by quickly. And most careers are over in only a few years.
And it's not just football. For all of us, time flies, it crawls, it stands still, and when we look back we think... Where did it go?
This episode looks at what “football time” can show us about time itself, why we perceive it so differently depending on what we’re doing, and how we may be able to change that…
GUESTS: Chris Matthews, Sport and Performance Psychologist Mike Gervais, Mike Reiss
Thanks to ESPN and the CFL for the clips used in this episode.
When you’re taught that winning is everything, losing the Super Bowl can be a significant blow. And after a dynasty that saw three titles in four years, a decade-long championship drought can hit hard. But sometimes the biggest failures can ultimately lead to success.
GUESTS: Rich Ohrnberger, Xiaodong Lin-Siegler from Columbia’s failure-studies research center
Thanks to ESPN and The JFK Presidential Library for the clips used in this episode.
This is soo boring omg