By BROOKE LEFFERTS
Tom Brady may be really done playing football now, but his discipline and drive endure. The seven-time Super Bowl champion is enjoying retirement while staying busy. He’s preparing for his new 2024 broadcasting gig at Fox Sports, is set to become a minority owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, and is focusing on his apparel and wellness brands. He’s also dabbled in acting -– in the feature film “80 for Brady” last year and in some funny new ads for Hertz rental cars with actor-comedian Yvonne Orji. Brady recently spoke to The Associated Press about his new projects, whether he still sticks to his strict healthy lifestyle, and if that drive extends to his parenting. Answers have been shortened for clarity and brevity.
AP: You have so many interests and jobs now, what do you get most excited about?
BRADY: It’s a big year of kind of recalibrating some different things. I’m just trying to set my priorities and allow my time and energy to be focused on those. In the short term, it’s being there for my children and being the best dad I can be and being as present as I can with them. And some of these other things are probably more longer term: working with Hertz, I love doing that. I invest the time and energy in my apparel brand, my health and wellness brand obviously is so important to me. I have a small media business that I’ve been really working hard at and then obviously working with Fox and then going through this process of ownership with the Raiders. All of them bring me joy in different ways.
AP: Why did you decide to invest in the Raiders?
BRADY: I grew up in the Bay Area. My favorite team was the 49ers. The team across the bay was the Raiders. And, you know, they’re an iconic NFL franchise. When I look at a lot of the people that have impacted the NFL over a long period of time in the most positive way, (former Raiders owner and GM) Al Davis is one of them. And he’s not with us anymore but I’ve heard incredible stories. And then the opportunity came about to become a minority owner in the Raiders, it was a dream come true for me. I’ll be playing a very passive role. This is something that I’m interested in doing for the rest of my life. This is not something that I’m into it for a year or two years. You know, I’ve got a lot of responsibility with my Fox job, which I take very seriously. But if I’m looking over the course of my life, to have the opportunity to be involved in the NFL is a dream come true. And if I could help the NFL and continue to contribute in a positive way, then you know, that’s been a very enjoyable part of my life.
AP: Were the new Hertz ads fun to shoot?
BRADY: We had the best day. We literally laughed for like six hours. Yvonne was on fire. She was ad libbing. And she’s a very talented actress, very funny. So, I thought there were a lot of really cool, funny concepts that came out of it.
AP: You played yourself, but also kind of a straight man. Was that easy or hard?
BRADY: There’s an element of acting and I enjoy that part. I mean, it’s definitely not probably the most natural thing. I mean, I’ve been obviously on camera for a long time so I’m somewhat comfortable but it’s challenging to say, “alright and action (snaps)!” and now you’ve got to turn into a character. Even though the character may be me, it’s me playing me and not just me, you know? So finding a comfort level in doing that is, it takes a little bit of time, but the more I do it, the more comfortable I get.
AP: Are you the kind of dad who says “let’s get summer homework done” or “go see the fireworks and do homework later” ?
BRADY: It’s not the thing you want to hear when you get out of school after a long year, is to think about summer reading, but it’s our reality. So, let’s think about where we’ve got to be when school starts and let’s work our way back and make sure that we’re not cramming here with the last week to go. We’ll set aside some time. But the kids have plenty of fun things ahead and we’ll make sure they cover their school bases and get away from it a little bit and allow them to be kids, too, because, you know, you only get to be a kid once.
AP: Have you loosened up on your strict eating and workout regiment now that you’re not playing football?
BRADY: I’m pretty disciplined. (laughs) You know, I think it just became part of my daily routine. That was probably why I played so long was I enjoyed that process of working out a lot. I realized if I want to play football for a long period of time, I’ve got to treat my body a certain way and I can’t cut corners. And now that I’m done, retiring, my body feels really good. I feel like I still have a long life and I want to live a very active lifestyle, so I’ve got to maintain a level of discipline. There’s definitely later nights than I’ve had, maybe a few more tequilas than I’ve had in the past, and certainly less throwing footballs than in the past. Those things are all a little bit new to me, but I’m not going to stray too far from where I’ve been.