Hours after winning a record fifth Super Bowl — and winning it the mind-boggling way he and the New England Patriots did — Tom Brady didn't sound like his list of things to do in the NFL has been exhausted quite yet.
After the obligatory awkward photo op with commissioner Roger Goodell to begin the Super Bowl MVP's traditional Monday-morning news conference, the New England quarterback exuded his typical positive outlook as he contemplated what comes next.
"I don't feel 39," Brady said. "My body never hurts. Even when I get banged up, I know how to take care of it.
"And I hang out with a bunch of 20-year-olds, so that keeps you young."
Brady singled out one of those youngsters for particular praise. As he spoke under the auspices of his fourth Super Bowl MVP award, Brady made it clear he thought the honour should have gone to James White, the third-year running back who scored three touchdowns and caught a record 14 passes in the game.
"James White is like my oldest son, he does everything right," Brady said. "You can't ever get mad at him. I'm so proud of him."
While the argument for White was compelling, the Brady storyline was irresistible — particularly when viewed through the lens of the path he and his team took to get to this point.
The four-game suspension the QB served at the start of the season as punishment for Deflategate has been on everyone's mind since the Patriots clinched their Super Bowl berth, and the interactions between Brady and Goodell in the last two days bore out the strangeness of the entire affair.
But the notion that Brady was particularly motivated to stick it to Goodell and the NFL this season because of the way he had been treated shows a lack of understanding about what motivates the quarterback.
"To insinuate that this year is different... is insulting to the kind of effort and competitiveness he's brought us," coach Bill Belichick said. "He always gives his blood, sweat and tears."