Imagine that you are an average American man. You work hard and love football. Your present is a highway of unbounded opportunity, your future a far horizon unclouded by doubt. Then comes middle age. Who can you look to when the highway begins to crack, when opportunity shrinks to the size of a cubicle, and the horizon looms close? For Richard J. King, the answer is clear: Tom Brady. The legendary quarterback of the New England Patriots is not just a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time MVP, and certain Hall of Famer. Despite all this Deflategate nonsense, he is a male epitome. Gifted but humble. Driven but balanced. Aging but youthful. Devoted to both career and family. At the pinnacle of success but somehow still one of us. If anyone can point the way to living a worthy life, Tom Brady can. And so, at the start of the 2013 football season, King sets off in an ’88 Volkswagen minibus in a time-honored quest to answer life’s pressing questions—and to meet his hero. From training camp to the playoffs, from Spygate to Deflategate, King takes us on a tour of stadiums and bars across the country. Along the way he talks with players, sportswriters, and Patriots management, and poses the existential question, “What would you ask Tom Brady?” Meeting Tom Brady is funny and wise, a memoir of an eventful season in both King’s life and Brady’s—a determined pursuit, with uncertain results.
Praise for Meeting Tom Brady
"Though he casts himself as a mix of Ahab, Don Quixote, and Prufrock, ultimately Rich King is a modern everyman who takes Mick Jagger's advice and finds he gets what he needs. Meeting Tom Brady should occupy a spot next to Fred Exley’s A Fan’s Notes on every thinking sports fan's bookshelf.”
—Sean Glennon, author of Tom Brady vs. the NFL
"A well-penned tale of hero and hero-worshiper, charming and smart.”
—Mark Edmundson, author of Why Football Matters
"This isn't just for Patriots fans. I related so much to the book being a 48 year old Jewish football fan from Long Island. Meeting Tom Brady is a fun read and easy to relate to in so many ways. Intelligent and witty."
—Brad Kurtzburg, STN Sports Report, Cleveland
"It's a great book. A lot of fun. I breezed right through it. If you're a sports fan, you're going to love it. If you love the Patriots you'll love it. If you hate the Patriots you'll love it. And if you're a middle-aged man, you're going to love it."
—Jim Parisi, PowerTalk1210, Tucson
Reviews of Meeting Tom Brady
"[King] projects self-awareness of the somewhat silly aspect of his mission to meet Brady and writes with engaging wit about it, in addition to illustrating the text with charmingly simple cartoon depictions of his experiences."
"Brady becomes King's 'Great White Whale,' his great obsession. He goes to games in Gillette. He watches the away games, in a sports bar in [Mystic], Conn., where many of the other Pats' fans wear their colors, scream adolescent boy's fantasies. He does a road trip. The season goes on. And what will he ask him if they ever do meet? What would others ask him? Connecting with Brady dominates his thoughts. And through it all, Brady floats just out of reach. Isn't that what true celebrity is, right in front of us, but just out of reach, too?"
—Bill Reynolds, Providence Journal
"Ultimately, middle-aged or older fans of professional football, especially the Patriots, may find a bit of themselves within the text which may reflect their own questions about their place in the world and what their life might be like among fame and fortune. Fans of Tom Brady will enjoy King's perspective as a fan on the 2013-2014 season and the various interviews the author conducted with those connected to Brady. This book will be of most interest to others like King who spend time thinking about why sports are important to them beyond the simple entertainment value of individual games."
—Charmayne Mulligan, The Sports Literature Association