ATLANTA — There have always been two Bradys.
First, there was Tom Brady the son, brother, father. You know the one. The gee-whiz guy with the permanent smile, like he's trying to sell you something (of course, now he is, with TB12). The guy who doesn't want to offend anyone and exudes class, to the point that he is a pitchman for brands that service the 1 percent.
I'm not sure (the way he dispels a good, but tough question).
I don't agree with calling me the greatest of all time.
I don't believe so (when asked if was a cheater).
That's not an act. Brady is that nice, to people from all walks of life. I'm often asked if Brady is the real deal in terms of the person he is, and I say yes every time. He's a credit to his parents and family. He's the kind of guy you hope your daughter will marry. He's the guy that will help you out in a pinch.
That Brady will be trotted out again Monday at Super Bowl Media Night. He'll be up on a podium and asked all sorts of mind-numbing questions. He'll even be pushed a little bit. But Brady won't give in. He'll keep smiling and deflecting, and leaving everyone listening thoroughly impressed.
But there's another side of Brady that has enabled him to be playing in his ninth Super Bowl, and going for his sixth ring this coming weekend. There's the ultra-competitive, trash-talking side, one that hasn't exactly been hidden as of late. It's been talked about a little bit over the years, usually in the lead-up to another Patriots Super Bowl appearance because every media outlet is trying to find a newish angle on the Patriots' signal-caller.
What's different this time around? Brady is allowing that side of him to get a public viewing during this postseason run.
There was the We suck interview.
Brady telling his teammates that he's the baddest MFer.
"It's un-(bleeping) believable bro," to be going back to the Super Bowl.
This side of Brady has always been there. It's essential to who he is as a player, and the heights he has achieved on the field. But he's done a pretty good job of keeping it hidden from fans ... until now.
The question: Why are we seeing this side of Brady now?
I've talked to a few people close to him and they keep coming back to two things.