He didn’t come alone. In addition to the “amazing group of players” he credited for the Super Bowl LV victory, the decorated quarterback brought back-up in the form of a couple of lighthearted political zingers.
“It didn’t look great there at one point,” Brady said, recalling a moment in the season when the team had just seven wins and five losses.
“Not a lot of people think that we could have won,” he continued. “In fact, I think about 40% of the people still don’t think we won!”
President Joe Biden grinned at the joke and added from the side of the stage, “I understand that!”
Brady was of course referring to former President Donald Trump’s continued and baseless insistence that he won the 2020 presidential election, a lie many of his followers nevertheless believe. The reality is that Trump lost decisively, much like the Kansas City Chiefs’ 9-31 loss to Tampa Bay.
But Brady wasn’t done.
“We had a game in Chicago where I forgot what down it was,” he recalled moments later. “I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing and they started calling me ‘Sleepy Tom!’”
“Why would they do that to me?!” Brady asked, feigning anguish.
That joke, too, was a Trump callback: On the campaign trail, the former president tried to cast Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” with questionable results.
Brady’s quips are especially notable given his prior support for Trump, whom he described as a “good friend” during Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
The quarterback appeared to distance himself from Trump in 2017 when he criticized his “divisive” treatment of NFL players who chose to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and systemic racism.
He also skipped a visit to the White House after the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2017, reportedly angering Trump, who was pacified only after Brady attributed his absence to his ailing mother.