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Friday, January 23, 2004

More on Brady and Steroids

Since Kriston and I have an irrational obsession with the Tom Brady/SOTU/steroids thing, I'll post once more on the topic. I admit, I was half tongue-in-cheek (or the typing equivalent thereof) when I first noted this, but there is a semi-serious point to be made too.

My response in a comment below to this post was that the White House must have known that Brady would be on TV during the steroid line. No, they didn't explicitly plan for this, but when the Patriot Act comes up, obviously John Ashcroft will be the one in the crowd shown on TV. Similarly, when the president chides pro sports over performance-enhancing drugs, it's rather predictable that the only pro athlete in attendance (other than the WNBA's Tamika Katchings and ex-jocks like Steve Largent), who was invited by the first lady, would be the TV shot. Given how careful this White House is about imagery, I think they must have thought of this. And as the post I just linked notes, the NFL was pretty unhappy about the insinuation that the visual (Tom Brady, NFL player) somehow had something to do with the audio (Bush denouncing steroid use). Indeed, when audio and video appear simultaneously, viewers will presume there's some connection between the two.

Brady didn't seem upset at all about it at his news conference today. On the audio file, at 3:15 Brady is asked if he got to speak with the president. He says their words were "brief" since Bush is "a busy man", though he "wished us well, hoped he'd see us back there in a couple months." At 13:30 Brady is asked again about the SOTU and says "you can't turn down the first lady." Finally, right at the end, an ESPN guy asks if we might see Senator Brady down the line at 15:05. "I've got a long football career, hopefully. Get back to me in about ten years," te Pats QB replies, leaving the door open and lending to the credence that Brady does indeed harbor political ambitions.