Tom Brady is getting a lot of attention this week, given that he returns to New England to play the Patriots on Sunday for the first time since leaving for Tampa Bay. But one of the more interesting pieces is an interview he gives to Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal. Gay writes that glimpses of the real Brady—as opposed to the one who abided by the "hive mind" mentality of the Patriots under Bill Belichick—is for the first time emerging in public. “I feel like I’m just coming back to life in a certain way,” Brady says. Or as Gay writes: "Let me tell you about this person I just met. His name is Tom Brady." Consider that Brady actually made a joke—a political joke, no less—when the Buccaneers visited the White House. Brady himself has previously declared "that 90% of what I say is probably not what I’m thinking." But that appears to be changing.
"Part of it is: You’re in a team. When you’re in a team, it is not necessarily always what you think. It is kind of what 'we' think. ... I’ve been a little bit trained to say, you know, this is what 'we' think." Now, however, two factors appear to be at play: the looser vibe of the Buccaneers and the fact that Brady is now 44. He mentions how younger people tend to obsess about what others think of them, something that usually fades with age. "You think people care what you think, and then you care less what people think, and then you realize no one cared, anyway," he says. As for his playing days, Brady figures he's got a few more seasons left, though he's already begun the transition to his post-football days. A "activewear" fashion line, called Brady, launches in December, and his 199 Productions (named for his spot in the draft) is also ramping up. (Read the full interview.)