Super Bowl week began on Monday night when the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons met with the media at the scrum formerly known as "Super Bowl Media Day" and now known as "Super Bowl Opening Night."
The event is still the usual swarm of mostly quasi-media members sticking their cameras in the faces of the players and coaches and asking mostly ridiculous questions. But the usual sea of slime had one touching moment on Monday night.
Trent Dilfer of ESPN helped a young reporter named Joseph get close to Tom Brady to ask a question. The question was simply, "Who is your hero?" Brady said his dad, but when he tried explain why, Brady had to stop as tears built up in his eyes.
The elder Brady has been in the news quite a bit recently as he ripped NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for saying it would be an "honor" to hand the Lombardi Trophy to Brady if the Patriots win the Super Bowl.
"It should be an honor, because somebody that has Roger Goodell's ethics doesn't belong on any stage that Tom Brady is on," Tom Brady Sr. told KRON-TV in San Francisco (via ESPN). "He went on a witch hunt and went in way over his head and had to lie his way out in numerous ways, and the reality is that Tommy never got suspended for deflating footballs. He got suspended because the court said that he could — Roger Goodell could do anything he wanted to do to any player for any reason whatsoever. That's what happened. The NFL admitted they had no evidence on him ... For what the league did to him and what Roger Goodell constantly lied about is beyond reprehensible as far as I'm concerned."
The younger Brady later joked during an interview with WEEI that he had "banned" his dad from speaking with the media. He was also better able to explain what his dad means to him.
"I love my Dad," Brady told WEEI. "As any parent knows how much you love your kids. My Dad has been my best friend my entire life. He's always been my No. 1 supporter. Hopefully he's at the game cheering me on. He's great man and I love him to death. He's taught me everything about life. Certainly about how to be a father because he's been the best one a son could ever ask for. I try to pass those things on to my kids because he was so supportive of not only me but my three sisters were all great athletes in their own right. My mom, they're still married after close to 46 years. I've been very, very fortunate."
It is clear from "Super Bowl Opening Night" that Brady was not just blowing smoke.