HEY, DUDE, haven'thad a date since the Fig Festival 12 years ago? Are you about as cool as a BobDole bumper sticker? Do girls walk by you like you're running a seminar on jockitch?
Buddy, your worriesare over. Tom Brady, coolest man on the planet, has volunteered to be your newcool coach.
You know Tom Brady,right? Three-time Super Bowl--winning quarterback of the New England Patriots?Esquire's Best Dressed Man in the World in 2007? Boyfriend of $33million-a-year Brazilian supermodel Gisele B√ºndchen, whom Rolling Stone called"the most beautiful girl in the world"? Former sweetheart of meltinglyhot Hollywood starlet Bridget Moynahan?
"You want me tohelp guys be cool?" Brady asks, after I tell him the deal. "Why me? Iwas the little sports nerd in high school who hardly ever had agirlfriend!"
The guy must haveno mirrors in the house.
Six-four with achin you can crack coconuts on. Eyes greener than the 13th at Augusta. And oneof those oh-darn-I-forgot-to-shave-and-now-I-look-like-a-cologne-ad beards. Butit's not his heroic arm or his lifeguard body or his Crest smile that makeswomen smooth their skirts and men curse their parents. It's that he seems tosee himself as a tall Milhouse.
"I get soembarrassed having everybody looking at me," he says. "I just want tostop and go, 'What are you staring at?' "
"I mean, I'mjust walking out the door, you know? And people follow me! I have to disguisemyself now. I never go out without a hoodie on. My head is always down! I nevermake eye contact anymore! It's like I'm not even myself!"
True to yourself.Check.
The one personBrady has always wanted to meet is Tiger Woods, but he's never had the nerve tointroduce himself, even after he was in Woods's gallery recently outsideBoston.
Shy is cool.Check.
His rival for topQB in the league, Peyton Manning, has done every commercial short of adultdiapers, but Brady has done almost zero, even though, with his looks and charmand game, he could sell pogo sticks to seniors.
"You realizeyou're turning down a lot of dough, yeah, but it's just not me. I'm just notgoing to go out and do a Chunky Soup ad.... Like that [MasterCard] ad Peytondid about, 'Cut that meat! Cut that meat!'—our D-line yelled that every time hecame up to the line. 'Cut that meat!' Man, I'm so glad I didn't do thatone."
Ask him: What abouta bar in Hollywood? Or a restaurant in SoHo? It would be the hottest jointsince Bachelors III! He looks at you like you're from Pluto. "You mean,like Namath's? Oh, man, my mom loved Joe Namath. But I don't think I could pulloff something like that."
See, Brady isNamath with a milk mustache. Mothers want him for supper and daughters foreverything after. O.K., you might say, but how cool is it to get one womanpregnant (Moynahan) and be dating another (B√ºndchen)? Well, a) Brady says hedidn't know Moynahan was pregnant until after they'd broken up, and b) Brady isaching to be a full-time dad. He was there three weeks ago for the birth ofJohn Edward Thomas Moynahan.
"I kind ofcuddled him like a football," Brady says, adding that it's killing him thathe can't be in Los Angeles for every sneeze. "I'd love to be out there allthe time, year-round, but it's hard to make that a reality. I live here. ButI'll start lobbying for off days throughout the year."
O.K., but how abouta few secrets? How do we get that Clooney stubble?
"This?" hesays, rubbing his cheeks. "I just hate to shave."
Dates?"Whatever you do, keep 'em short. You can't let them know you're thatinterested. I try to get this across to my best friend. He's really into thisgirl, but I keep telling him she's got to leave that date thinking, What'swrong with me?"
Machiavellian mindgames. Check.
Music back at thecrib? "Definitely not Metallica. And no girl music, like Madonna. Somethingin between. John Legend always works for me."
And that's when hehad to go. So that's all I've got. But if you're not dating at least onesupermodel within six weeks, I'll double your money back.
"This is nevergoing to work," Brady said as he was leaving.
Firm grasp onreality. Check.
If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
RIFFS OF REILLY
Watch exclusively on V CAST from Verizon Wireless and Sl.com.
If you're not dating at least one supermodel within sixweeks of taking this advice from the Patriots' Tom Brady, I'll double yourmoney back.
PETER READ MILLER