Five-time Super Bowl champion, three-time NFL MVP, and master of both quarterbacking and the grinning non-answer Tom Brady brought his customarily smooth A game to The Late Show on Monday. Sitting down for a couple of segments with host Stephen Colbert, the Patriots signal-caller, there to pitch his new diet, exercise, and painful massage superhuman ageless living guide, The TB12 Method, was his usual, politic self for much of the interview.
Asked about politics—specifically, the issue of NFL players kneeling in protest of racial injustice—Brady gave the exact response the marketable face of the perennially on-message Patriots would give, offering up the blandly noncommittal assessment that the issue “brought up a lot of healthy discussion in the locker room.” Colbert didn’t press Brady on the QB’s thoughts on pal Donald Trump’s attacks on vocal (mostly black) NFL players—including some of Brady’s teammates— as unpatriotic “sons of bitches,” letting his guest run safely out of bounds with platitudes about that locker room being filled with players from “different backgrounds and cultures,” and that it’s “great to hear their stories, too.”
Brady was a lot more forthcoming and almost human when he got into Colbert’s prankish spirit, playing along with a gauntlet of host challenges involving, in order, a deep-tissue forearm lotion massage, his supposed first ever strawberry (still not a fan), and, finally, a chugging contest with a forbidden glass of beer. Brady claimed that he used to drink plenty of the stuff back before he transformed himself into a messianically Tom Cruise-esque paragon of physical perfection, and, indeed, he cleaned Colbert’s clock, even going back to finish off the backwash he’d left in his glass before Colbert managed to choke down his own drink. Sure, Brady is probably doing an extra set of 500 crunches to work off those carbs, but, as Colbert demonstrated with his series of dietary transgressions, life can’t all be about football, hydration, and not enjoying things.