1. According to Sportrac, Tom Brady has made $235 million during his 20-year NFL career.
He also seems like a decent all-around person. Just two weeks ago, he was part of the Players Coalition that sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting an immediate federal investigation into the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
This is why I can't understand why Brady insists on sullying his reputation by pushing...let's just say...questionable products.
Selling a "TB12" cookbook featuring bizarre recipes like avocado ice cream is pretty much harmless. Selling $55 "recovery" shorts is unseemly and cringeworthy, but not the end of the word.
However, peddling a new "immunity" supplement in the middle of a pandemic is just gross.
Via the supplement's description: "Research shows that everyday stress can limit the production of white blood cells while high-intensity training can reduce levels of key antibodies — leaving your body susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and outside threats."
A bottle of pills costs $45. Does the greatest quarterback in NFL history who has won six Super Bowls and is a future Hall of Famer need $45 so bad he's going to support a company that's preying on people's health fears?
What is the upside here? When you lay out the pluses and minuses of doing something so seedy, what exactly are the pluses?
The company is too smart to mention Covid-19, but the timing of releasing this new "immunity" supplement is obvious to anyone with a brain.
It would be one thing if TB12 was doing this without Tom's knowledge. But Brady is out here pushing the stuff on Twitter and Instagram to his millions of followers.
So disappointing. So disheartening. So depressing
Normally, I think we expect way too much of athletes. They should live their lives how they want. But when you see a legend and an icon who has accomplished so much in his career do something so cringeworthy, it just hits a nerve.
2. The Last Dance went out the way it came in: A ratings bonanza for ESPN. The final two episodes Sunday night were watched by 5.9 million and 5.4 million viewers, respectively. Overall, The Last Dance averaged 5.6 million viewers, easily making it the most-watched documentary ever on ESPN. Here are the viewership numbers for all 10 episodes (in millions).
Episode 1: 6.3
Episode 2: 5.8
Episode 4: 5.7
Episode 5: 5.8
Episode 6: 5.2
Episode 7: 5.3
Episode 8: 5.0
Episode 9: 5.9
Episode 10: 5.4
3. While the sports world has been wrapped up in The Last Dance, the wrestling world has been treated to The Last Ride, a docuseries that takes an in-depth look at the man behind The Undertaker, Mark Calaway. There probably isn't a person in all of wrestling who fans know less about that Calaway, so the series is a must-watch. It's also, through two episodes, lived up to the hype. For my money, the most powerful moment so far came in Episode 2, when Vince McMahon cut the cameras after tearing up when asked what Calaway meant to him.
That's not a Vinnie Mac we see too often.
4. If you're a New Yorker who has listened to Mike Francesa over the years, this will crack you up.
5. The latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features a conversation with Peter Schrager from Good Morning Football and FOX NFL Kickoff. Topics discussed include two-person booth vs. three-person booth, possible Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland replacements for Monday Night Football, the fun of watching games from the '80s and '90s, NFL's Christmas Day and Thanksgiving schedules, NFL teams not being on an even playing field when/if the season starts, critiquing The Last Dance, kids causing havoc during live quarantine shows, quarantine foods we're eating too much of, and much more.
6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: I should've posted this Monday, but screwed up. One of the highlights of Sunday's Last Dance was Dennis Rodman blowing off the Bulls so he could appear on Monday Night Nitro. Rodman eventually ended up in a pay-per-view match teaming with Hulk Hogan against Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page.
7. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Here's a 1998 inside-the-park grand slam by Mariners catcher Dan Wilson, with Seattle announcer Dave Niehaus giving us one of his vintage calls.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.