On Holidays, Heroes and a Patriot Named Brady

In this Memorial Day edition, we’ll cover Tom Brady’s future, the punishment for Jim Irsay and Ray Rice, Super Bowl site voting, the continuing hoo-hah over a team name and a small-college baseball player with big-time patriotism

On this Memorial Day, we pause to remember the 1.3 million American soldiers who have died in war since our founding, and the 1.5 million who have been wounded. Thank you. Thank you again, to all who have served and sacrificed, and to those who now serve and sacrifice.

And to those who will serve, thank you in advance. I want to tell the story of one man in particular this morning: Joe Grimaldi of Hawthorne, N.J., a senior relief pitcher for the St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) college baseball team, which opened NCAA Division II College World Series play last night in North Carolina … without Grimaldi. He has always had twin passions—baseball and military service. He pursued baseball hard, getting cut from two college teams before making the roster at a community college and enrolling at St. Thomas Aquinas for his last two years, and making the back end of the bullpen there. Knowing he was never going to be Mariano Rivera, Grimaldi decided to enlist in the Marines, with his reporting date coinciding with the end of his senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas. Grimaldi threw 7.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the team this year, and St. Thomas Aquinas earned a spot in the World Series. But Grimaldi’s report date is May 27—Tuesday—and his enlistment officer said it could not be delayed.

Grimaldi has been playing baseball since he was 6. Local teams, travel teams, high school teams, college teams. He loved being on a team, banding together every spring and summer and being part of a team, trying to beat whoever his team was playing. Now, before the biggest week of his baseball life, it was over. He didn’t seem to be mourning about it. With the Marines, he said, he would get to be a part of a similar brotherhood, at a higher level.

“Being at the College World Series is the thing I wanted to do second-most in the world,” Grimaldi told WINS radio in New York. “And the thing I wanted to do first-most is to be a Marine. So … I’m okay with it. What they’re doing is so much more important than baseball.”

Good luck, Private Grimaldi.

* * *

Tom Brady has stayed busy this offseason (from left to right) at a charity event in Texas, a pro-am in California and with wife Gisele Bundchen on the red carpet in NYC. (Getty Images: Bob Levey/Jeff Gross/Ray Tamarra)
Tom Brady has stayed busy this offseason (from left to right) at a charity event in Texas, a pro-am in California and with wife Gisele Bundchen on the red carpet in NYC. (Getty Images: Bob Levey/Jeff Gross/Ray Tamarra)

Tom Brady, not in the twilight.

Sometimes, Tom Brady gets slapped in the face that he’s still a pretty big deal, even with no Super Bowl titles for going on a decade now. His charity of choice, Best Buddies, which fosters relationships and employment training for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, asked him to make a trip to Houston for a private Best Buddies dinner and auction. “I sat next to this man’s wife at dinner, and it was a really good night,” Brady said. “He’s been very supportive of Best Buddies, and he was that night.” I should say: The man bid $100,000 for a spot to play in Brady’s touch football game this Friday as part of the 15th annual Best Buddies Challenge, part of a fund-raiser that brought in $850,000 in one night for the organization. Not bad: Half a day in Houston, almost a million bucks for the charity he’s passionate about. Which left him grateful, and a little dazed about raising that much in Texans country, half a country away from his team.

“I shake my head about a lot of things these days,” Brady said.

Not much changes for Brady, except the calendar. He goes to some horse races in the offseason, squires his famous wife to A-list events, throws the football with his receivers, is very serious about this charity venture, works on his throwing motion with mechanics doctor Tom House and tries to beat his fellow Patriots to offseason workouts at Gillette Stadium. Time marches on, and he’ll be 37 in August. The other day he used his 6:20 a.m. drive from Boston to Foxboro to talk about his present and future, but not to dish very specifically about anything.

My favorite Brady line from our 40-minute chat, talking about longevity: “You know, you don’t have to suck when you get older.”

Said Brady: “It’s hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy. I feel better today than when I was 25, and I know that’s hard for people to believe, but I do. I work at it. Basically, I work all off-season to prepare my body to not get hurt. I can’t help the team if I’m on the sidelines. I’ve got to be durable.”

I’m not here to be king of the weight room. I do things to make me a better quarterback, whatever they are,” Brady says. “Does it work? You be the one to judge. Watch me play. Then draw your own conclusions.

So he works with House, the former baseball pitcher and maestro to many pro quarterbacks and major-league pitchers, and he is diligent about his eating and fitness. But beyond that, he’s not going to help you with specifics.

“It’s all very well-researched,” Brady said. “But that’s for the other guys to figure out. I’m not going to give away any state secrets. I’m not here to be king of the weight room. I do things to make me a better quarterback, whatever they are. Does it work? You be the one to judge. Watch me play. Then draw your own conclusions.”

Since returning at age 32 in 2009 from his one major NFL injury—the knee reconstruction after the injury suffered on opening day 2008—Brady has started all 89 Patriots game. So the durability is spotless, obviously. And the results? It’s pretty amazing to consider that, even with the 16-0, 50-touchdown-pass season of 2007 included in the pre-knee-surgery category, he’s been better in his 30s, and after the knee surgery, than he was in his 20s. Look:

  Avg. wins Comp.-Att. Pct. TD-INT Rating
Brady, 2001-2007 (before the surgery) 12.3 2,293-3,639 .630 197-86 92.98
Brady, 2009-2013 (after the surgery) 12.2 1,877-2,933 .640 162-48 99.26

Now, Brady and his cadre of mostly inexperienced receivers suffered last year, and he had his lowest completion mark (.605) since 2003; his touchdown total (25) was his lowest since 2006. So there’s been that to focus on this offseason. As well as the draft: Bill Belichick waded into the second round to take Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, his highest pick of a quarterback in the time that Brady has been his starter. It’s the second time Belichick has spent a fairly high pick on a passer in recent years. In 2011 he used the 74th overall selection on Ryan Mallett. This year Garoppolo was the 62nd overall choice.

Mallett’s been in the witness protection program since draft day 2011; he’s thrown four passes in his three NFL seasons. Even when the Patriots are routing foes, which is often, Mallett hasn’t played. Though Brady is entering his 13th starting season, he hopes Belichick’s just wasted another pick on Garoppolo.

Don’t expect Brady to ever say that. But there’s no question that’s how he feels.

“I had a pretty good idea we’d take a quarterback,” Brady said. “Coach Belichick doesn’t care who the quarterback is here. He’s always going to play the guy who he thinks gives him the best chance to win. It’s not my role to choose players here, thankfully. And this is not the first time they’ve taken another quarterback either. There’s no entitlement in the NFL. I don’t expect to be given anything. I just hope I’m the one most entitled to play that position for a long time here.”

Three other Brady quickies:

Peyton Manning's Broncos got the best of Brady's Patriots in the AFC title game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning’s Broncos got the best of Brady’s Patriots in the AFC title game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

On wanting to play for multiple years: “There’s nothing that can wake me up at 5 o’clock in the morning on a Thursday in May like getting ready for a day of football. I want to play a long time. There’s nothing I like doing that’s close to football. What’ll I do when I’m done playing? I don’t know, but I know it won’t be nearly as fun. I can tell you neither me nor Peyton [Manning] will probably be very far from the game of football when we’re done.”

On the nine-year Super Bowl-win drought: “It’s hard to win. Thirty-two teams are working hard to try to win it every year, and we’ve been close … 14-2, the Super Bowl in 2011, the AFC Championship Game in 2012 and 2013. You get to those games, and you have to play your best to win, and we haven’t. I haven’t. We had too many opportunities we missed last year in Denver. And then what it comes down to is only one team really had a great season at the end.”

On self-scouting: “Sometimes we’ll be watching tape and [offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels will say to me, ‘What happened on that play?’ And I’ll say, ‘I missed it. I just missed it.’ Throwing a football is a very, very tough to thing to do consistently well. Other sports too. You think when LeBron tries a three-pointer he’s aiming for the back of the rim, hopes he hits the back of the rim? Of course not. On an approach shot in golf, are you trying to miss by four feet? No—you want to get it in, or within two inches. That’s why, to me, it’s so important to work in the off-season perfecting mechanics. Say you’re off 1 percent on your mechanics of throwing in one week, and you don’t fix it. Over four weeks, if you keep going, that’s 4 percent that you’re off. And you say, ‘Why am I not throwing the ball as crisply as I need to? I was the 199th pick in the draft for a reason. I need to maximize my efficiency, my mechanics and my reps to be sure I stay on top of my game.”

Now he was in Foxboro. The clock struck 7. Last question: “How’s it been to work and throw against Darrelle Revis so far?”

“I’m tired of throwing against him, that’s for sure,’’ Brady said. “I did tell him, ‘Hey, we plan on building a couple of hotels on your island over there, so don’t be offended.’ “

The 15th annual Best Buddies Challenge takes place this weekend, beginning Friday night in Boston and culminating on Cape Cod on Saturday. There’s a touch football game, with Brady quarterbacking and mates Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork and others playing, Friday night in Boston, followed by a Guy Fieri-led cookout; a 20-, 50- or 100-mile bike event from Boston to Cape Cod Saturday with Tour de France veteran George Hincapie (Bill Belichick has ridden the past couple of years); and a five-mile run/walk with Olympian Carl Lewis on Saturday. Best Buddies is aiming to set a fundraising record for the Massachusetts event this year—$4 million.

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435 comments
سلطانالشراري
سلطانالشراري

Turlough's first song? A hilarious and rather touching rendition of I'm Calm from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, with him offsetting his character's obvious nerves by frantically blowing into a paper bag in between phrases. A must-listen in the run-up to Christmas.

يوتيوب اهداف دوري عبداللطيف جميل
http://www.btls-photo.com/?video=class&class=51

سلطانالشراري
سلطانالشراري

Turlough's first song? A hilarious and rather touching rendition of I'm Calm from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, with him offsetting his character's obvious nerves by frantically blowing into a paper bag in between phrases. A must-listen in the run-up to Christmas. 
يوتيوب اهداف دوري عبداللطيف جميل
http://www.btls-photo.com

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

Peter - talk about these nuts with the guns.  Nothing wrong with them mentally except that they want their 15 minutes of fame, simply put.  I have that people try to cover for them saying they have mental defect which is complete BS.  They are just evil and heartless.

Edward George
Edward George

Peter......I have a question. Since the NFL wants to be popular on a National and International stage, why then is the Super Bowl ONLY played at NFL team facilities? For example, why not allow a game to be played in a wonderful tourist destination such as San Antonio or some large college football facility? If the 'good ole boys NFL ownership click' (because of the almighty dollar) will not allow such a concept, then at least rotate the games to each NFL town. Should towns like Pittsburgh never get a game while towns like New Orleans get the game a disproportionate number of times!!?? Just a thought!


Ed George

balo030869
balo030869

Brady OVERRATED, can not win a SB not knowing in advance what the defense' s play is going to be.  Life is hard after Spygate

Knowitall
Knowitall

Peter - FLASH. Topics for next week's MMQB

1) Shameful, disgraceful treatment of REAL Patriots in our VA system - and no explanation or action to correct it from the Adminstration. No clever Obama quote so far, but I'm sure you can find one.

2) Gross incompetence in disclosing the identity of the Head of the CIA in Afghanistan

3) Critcism of Hollywood's promotion of a depraved, moral-less culture and it's corruptive affect on mentally disturbed people like the Santa Barbara killer. (see the Washington Post).

You might have to pass on football entirely next week, Peter. Just too damn much going on in your sweet spot.

mike202
mike202

“While [native Americans’ interests] might not be front and center in mid-Atlantic states, I guarantee they are a very integrated part of our economy in the Pacific Northwest and in other parts of the U.S.,” Cantwell said. “I just think that the NFL is out of touch with that and is just parroting the line the team has, which is definitely a very out-of-touch perspective.”


As the former Chairwoman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Maria Cantwell should be well aware that of the 29 tribes in her home state of Washington, 11 have schools whose nickname is Redskins.

vince2
vince2

PK has become increasingly political, when he talks about anything!!!  He's driving me crazy.  I won't use the Washington franchise's nickname.  Ray Rice should have [insert PK's own views - including apologizing to his wife in public - when he obviously is dealing with her in a real way, not some bs public relations way.] I'm getting so tired of his preaching and moralizing and telling us how a gay draftee is the most important thing in the world and on and on and on.  The worst part is that I share some of his views, but I think it's offensive for him to act holier than not only thou but everyone.  Can't wait until he tells us why the Pope is wrong on birth control and what Muslims should really be concerned about and how women should have equal rights, but should always be treated differently (never, ever, ever, not ever hit a woman, even if she's about to split your head with a crowbar).  PK - you've made me a hater.  Luckily it's confined to you. 

vince2
vince2

Brady's math is the best.  Hate to tell you, Tommie, but 1% four weeks in a row still works out to 1%!

mike.stevey23
mike.stevey23

In Peters 10 things is think i think


Does anyone know what article he is talking about in terms of soccers impact on the northwest?


I would love to give it a read but cant seem to find it.

Robert Karp
Robert Karp

Hi Peter, I know you're a big Red Sox fan, but didn't they sign Drew, because Will Middlebrooks is on the DL and Bogaerts is being moved to 3B?

BlackDog
BlackDog

TroyBoy, you write:


"And I still think that, unless a man or someone he cares about is being physically threatened by a woman, striking her is cowardly and wrong. End of story. I suspect that was what Peter meant with his statement."


Peter King is an accomplished writer who chooses his words with care. If that's what he meant, he would have said so. Instead, he stated, "There is no excuse for hitting a woman. None. Never."


I, and many other commenters, have pointed out the fallacy of this mantra. That's the purpose of discussion boards like this -- to arrive at a deeper understanding of an issue, and to move closer to truth.


Frank 

TroyBoy
TroyBoy

I love how any viewpoint posted on the internet can cause outrage and people scrambling to disprove it. Men hitting women is disgusting except in extreme circumstances. In most cases, a man is physically stronger than a woman. Are there women who fight, who are great athletes, who are into bodybuilding? Sure. And I still think that, unless a man or someone he cares about is being physically threatened by a woman, striking her is cowardly and wrong. End of story. I suspect that was what Peter meant with his statement.


The upshot? To commenters trying to make yourself look clever with extreme scenarios: it isn't working.

BlackDog
BlackDog

Peter,


Great column, as always.  But you write, in connection with Ray Rice, that: "There is no excuse for hitting a woman. None. Never."


What if the woman outweighs the man by 100 pounds, and is choking him to death?

What if the woman, crazed on drugs, is slamming her infant's head against a wall?

What if the woman is a terrorist, and about to detonate a bomb on a crowded street.



Politically correct mantras  don't always stand the test of the real world.


Frank

Brig
Brig

So.......they're slow on the draw to punish Irsay and Rice because of the legal process being played out,  I get that.  But what's the hold up on Aldon Smith?

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

"To me, it just doesn’t make much sense for Snyder to keep fighting a fight that’s on the wrong side of history." 

And to me, it just doesn't make much sense for a sportswriter to use such a weak argument to claim that the debate is now closed. This reads like a sound bite from a political press conference. Why not just write, "the science of naming teams is now settled"?

armagecko
armagecko

"And there is no excuse for hitting a woman. None. Never." 


Gone to insensitivity training lately, Mr. King? How can a liberal journalist have missed the last 40 years of the women's rights movement? While I'm sure your misguided comments make you feel all chivalrous inside, they only continue to perpetuate the subjugation of women in our society. Women can be just as dangerous and as lethal as any man (google Maria Jiminez, Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester or even Calamity Jane). You've probably never heard of Renne Toney, Rhonda Rousey or Becca Swanson. If any one of these women were to hit you, you wouldn't remember your planet of origin. I'll bet none them think they need protection from a pudgy old man with an overactive guilt complex. In addition, women have proudly served in battlefield operations for over a decade. Insurgents in other countries have used women in combat for centuries. Brave men (and women) in our armed forces have not only hit - they have killed - other women. Now, you say that this was in some way less of an appropriate or "manly" action. On Memorial Day, no less! 


Women don't need your "protection", creep. They need and deserve equal rights under the law, equal opportunities in education and the workplace, and equal treatment in the media. You are ignorant and pathetic, and you should apologize for being a chauvinist pig. After your apology, I think you should resign for your offensive, insensitive and troglodytical comments. I hope that the feminist voices prosecute you as you and the self-assigned "media morality police" have done to the "offensive" Redskins. 



FranklinMint
FranklinMint

"To me, it just doesn’t make much sense for Snyder to keep fighting a fight that’s on the wrong side of history."


You don't make history by bowing to it. You make it by bucking it. I think there's a real potential here for the NFL Redskins to rehabilitate the term from a slur to at least a neutral term, if not an honorific. That might not be their actual goal, but I think it's a potential one. 


Maybe, just maybe, with the Redskins' help, at some point in the future no one will remember that the term had negative connotations and no one will use or consider the term a slur, and the word will lose all power to harm. That should be the ultimate goal, and if there being a very popular team with that name can help that process, we should definitely take that into account when deciding what should be done.

The5wineFlu
The5wineFlu

It is BS to say there is never a reason to hit a woman.  There can be a reason.  What if she pulls a weapon on you and is intent on doing serious damage to you or another?

Wolfpack
Wolfpack

Since we are changing names that offend us, I'd like to change the New England Patriots name.  It offends me that only New Englanders are recognized as "Patriots".  I want to change all team names that represent animals because I'm offended that they didn't ask permission to use animal names and I'm sure that PETA doesn't like it and will organize protests.  I'd like to change the Raiders and Buccaneers' names because I'm offended that it glorifies a terrible time in our nation's history.  I even want to change the San Diego Chargers name even though I don't know what a Charger is other than a plate at the dinner table, and as a guy, it offends me that I know that!

WhateverItTakes
WhateverItTakes

"Say you’re off 1 percent on your mechanics of throwing in one week, and you don’t fix it. Over four weeks, if you keep going, that’s 4 percent that you’re off."  Really?  No, Mr. Brady, it's still 1 percent, just 1 percent of a bigger number.

Kevin1
Kevin1

@ProfessorGriff  you do know that he stabbed 3 of his victims, don't you ??? oh that's right, the media (including Peter) didn't tell you that. I wonder why ?

blynder
blynder

@Edward George

I thought there was some discussion maybe 2 years ago about having a Super Bowl in London or some other venue.  The revenue does play a huge role in it; the "but" statements were about people getting there (affordably - which is kind of ironic when you look at who goes and how much tickets actually cost) and putting butts in the seats. 

Having it at a venue like San Anton or one of the larger College venue's is interesting - but working in Higher Ed I have doubts as to whether or not they'd go for something like that.  The $$$ would have to be pretty enticing.

VanHayhow
VanHayhow

@balo030869 Ever try logical thinking? Reading your post, I would guess not. In the last two superbowls the Pats lost, they had a lead into the final time period which the defense could not hold.

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@vince2 Here here. I couldn't agree more. The funniest part was defending Cuban (as would I) and his right to free speech, while castigating REDSKINS fans and ownership.

Jeff1992
Jeff1992

@vince2   Actually, you're wrong.  The formula would be:  (100% - 1 %) ^4   and the answer is 96.06% !! Or a 4% cumulative degradation is performance from 100%.


FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@The5wineFlu What if she's actually the she-hulk and turns all green and muscled and comes at you with a sledgehammer?


Sure, you can come up with all sorts of hypotheticals from the unlikely to the ridiculous, but I think you and anyone with a functional brain gets his actual point. 

rwill27
rwill27

@Wolfpack  There is only one team that uses a racial slur for their name.

Hienieken
Hienieken

@WhateverItTakes C'mon man.  It's athletes and numbers.  These are the same group of guys that are always giving 110 or 120% effort.  How do you give more than 100% effort?

ShaunSterling
ShaunSterling

@WhateverItTakes Actually, your analogy only works of 1% from a bigger(or smaller depending on framework basis) number if your talking about the change the last week from the previous week, but his point was from the starting point, not from the 3rd week to the 4th week. 

ShaunSterling
ShaunSterling

@WhateverItTakes What?


What do you mean 1% of a bigger number? Actually, if your mechanics drift 1% each week, at the end its ALMOST 4%. Because each time 1% is of a SMALLER number if your using an absolute accuracy percentage, but if your talking about drifting 1% each week from a geometrical range, like 1% left or up or what have you and you don't backtrack in any direction then you could justify the 4% comment. Either way it depends on the basis, but 1% of a bigger number I am not sure how you are coming up with that, maybe it works but in what framework of comparison?

Ron5
Ron5

@FranklinMint @The5wineFlu his actual point is about as sexist as you can get, I wonder if no-neck has heard that women box, wrestle and play football? They don't need a lard-a like King to protect them.

mike202
mike202

@rwill27 @Wolfpack The Cleveland Indians is also a racial slur if will.  Indians is as much of a slur as Redskins is

Tbone5150
Tbone5150

@Ron5 @FranklinMint @The5wineFlu Its actually a little funny that by supporting Rice's girlfriend, Super Lib Peter is actually being sexist in thinking that she couldn't handle her business. Hitting anyone male, female or other is never OK. Sex has nothing to do with it PK.

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