At the top of this weekend’s New York Times Magazine cover story on Tom Brady, Mark Leibovich maps out the personal X’s and professional O’s that led him to finally score a profile of the NFL’s most frequent big game quarterback:
Last July, a few weeks before the New England Patriots started training camp, I got a call from Donald Yee, the agent in Los Angeles who has represented Tom Brady since he entered the NFL in 2000. It had been four years since I first told Yee that I was interested in writing about Brady, even though I typically cover politics.
I grew up in the Boston suburbs, rooted for the Patriots as a kid and even possessed vague memories of watching the team play at Fenway Park, one of their homes before they settled into the nowhere-land of Foxborough, MA, in 1971. My friend Josh and I once wrote a letter to the team’s young quarterback, Jim Plunkett, inviting him to dinner at Josh’s house. (Plunkett never responded.)
Yee offered Leibovich a lunch meeting with Brady, that same summer week. The day of the meeting, the reporter received an email with the subject line: “Tom Brady Here.” In short order, Leibovich was in the back of a taxi cab, headed to 23rd and Madison for almonds, water in a blue bottle and conversation with a subject who never slouches.
For the piece, Leibovich also spoke to Brady’s father, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the quarterback’s ever-present personal body coach Alex Guerrero, a “practicing Mormon of Argentine descent with a master’s degree in Chinese medicine.” Read the full piece here.