fifty shades of brady

Published On August 23, 2012 | By Alice Cook

Brady baring his teeth for VMAN magazine. (photo from

Tom Brady has been on plenty of magazine covers, from Sports Illustrated to GQ. Most recently, No. 12 was captured on VMAN baring his ultra white teeth next to a fierce looking Doberman.

It’s certainly not the all American guy or even the top designer look we are used to seeing on Brady since the quarterback became a sports and fashion icon.

It’s a whole new kind of sexiness for Brady who has modeled Gap clothes, UGG boots, Under Armour, Stetson Cologne and Movado watches through the years.   Let’s hand it to his publicists – they know how to mix it up and keep it fresh.

Brady has done it all on the field, no question. He deserves to wear any look he wants, and quite frankly, he can get away with just about anything. The baby goat shoot he did back in 2005 was pushing it, and his teammates gave him a rash of grief, but if anyone can pull off a spread with farm animals, it’s Tom Brady.

The VMan photos make him look tough- and he is.  Seeing Brady in a dog collar is a bit “Fifty Shades of Gray,” and millions of women everywhere know exactly what I mean. As the saying goes, “women love Tom Brady, and men want to be him.”   It’s the best of both worlds.

Yes, in Boston we look through those Patriots colored lenses. He is “our” quarterback, and we would take him any day over Peyton ManningEli ManningAaron Rodgers or — gulp — Tim Tebow.

Back in 2001, when Brady replaced the injured Drew Bledsoe, we reporters couldn’t even find Brady in the locker room. He was a second string quarterback living in the shadows. When the spotlight finally hit Brady in the third week of the season, no one could have predicted the storyline to follow.

Brady in a collar for his VMAN shoot. (photo from

I remember Brady’s initial locker room interview during his first practice week as QB 1. He was polite, well spoken, and mature beyond his 24 years. I went back to the station that day and dropped the tape on our producer’s desk.

My words: “I have no idea how well Tom Brady plays football, but I will say this- he is genetically perfect.”

Over the next 10 years the world learned how well Brady plays football.  What never changed was the way he handled himself. There was never a time that I heard him insult a reporter or a question. And as his popularity grew, there were many irritating, silly and inappropriate questions.

Anyone could see that Tom Brady was raised right. It is a testament to his family, and I remind myself of this all the time as a parent. Tom Brady never got too big for his shoes, and he has some pretty big shoes (expensive too).

Following his third Super Bowl win in 2005, I had the chance to congratulate Brady on a great season at the team’s after-party.  It was the first time that I’d ever talked to him away from a stadium or in a “non-football” situation.

Brady shook my hand and said, “thanks for all your help this year, Alice.”

Excuse me?

Please. Brady did not have to say that, and obviously, I had nothing to do with any success he and the Patriots had on the football field. Brady and his teammates did all the work, but in some way I think he appreciated the efforts football beat reporters put into a season. For a player to acknowledge something like that is pretty unusual and cool.

Brady once again made the “best dressed” list in the September 2012 issue of Vanity Fair. When asked his favorite item of clothing, he said, “my football uniform.”


So about those Doberman photos. A shade naughty? Sure. But in a good way.

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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.