The Thorough Investigation into Tom Brady’s White House Alibi

The quarterback didn't attend a White House ceremony, citing a family commitment. The press is determined to find out more.

Tom Brady, where were you on the day of April 24, 2015? Do you have any eyewitnesses? Who did you vote for in the last election?

These are just some of the questions to which the press craves answers this week. Even days later, there remains a good deal of interest in Tom Brady’s whereabouts during the Patriots’ visit to the White House. The quarterback declined President Obama’s invitation, because he had, like, a, um, thing? Yeah, a thing. (Specifically, the Patriots cited a “prior family engagement.”) This very, very unspecific excuse was not good enough for many people—people best represented by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who went on a vigorous (but not racially charged) rant about Brady’s act of disrespect. So now, the media has launched an energetic investigation into Brady’s whereabouts. Here’s what we know:

Before: We can put Brady pretty concretely in Brazil to cheer on his wife for her final trip down the catwalk as a professional model about a week before the White House event. His movements become hazy after that, mostly because no one has much reason to care where Tom Brady is when he’s not in public, it’s not football season, and he isn’t maybe injuring himself doing reckless things like cliff diving.

After: Brady emerges, though, a day after the White House visit, this time in New York City. We can put him there pretty concretely thanks to some ample photographic evidence. Here he is looking at an Apple Watch with an Apple Store employee who is either very uninformed about football celebrities or very calm under pressure.

Here he is taking photos in some custom TB-12 sneakers and a Red Sox hat.

During: Here’s the real question. Where was Brady while his teammates went to Washington, where Bill Belichick did his best Emperor Commodus impression? The best evidence suggests that Brady spent the day in the Boston area. ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss says he went to Gillette Stadium that day to work out. Gisele (or someone she pays) meanwhile, spent at least five minutes of her day posting vague inspiration memes to Instagram.

Se você estiver lendo isso agora, espero que algo maravilhoso aconteça com você hoje. 🙏

A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:09am PDT

The theories:

Brady’s workout obviously doesn’t fit into the “family commitment” category. So the sporting world has taken way too deep a dive to decide what might have happened. The best conjecture as to the nature of his actual family commitment comes from internet sleuths who discovered that April 27 was his parents’ 46th wedding anniversary. There’s no evidence they celebrated this with their son, but it is, at least, an occasion someone in his family was marking on that day.

Others suggest the couple spent at least part of the day dealing with their New York apartment, for which they had just recently found a renter. The New York Post reports that the couple listed the apartment for two days before renting it last week. (They bought the luxury unit for $14 million in 2013 and they asked for $45,000 a month.) But we also know that at least part of the day was spent in Boston. Also, let’s be real. If you can pay $14 million for an apartment, you can probably also pay someone else to prepare it for the renters.

But still, these are the most concrete theories about an actual commitment. Of course, the interest in Brady’s whereabouts comes because the press suspects that there was *gasp* no commitment. Drama! This presents a range of juicier theories, summarized by Maybe Brady lied about his family commitment. Maybe he doesn’t agree with President Obama’s politics! (He attended all three White House ceremonies when George W. Bush was president.) Maybe he’s mad at Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest for making fun of him during the Deflategate thing. Maybe the Illuminati had a meeting that day. Or maybe he’s Tom Brady, he’s already seen the White House three times and he just wants the day off.

Either way, it’s no surprise that the investigative energies of the media engine that helped turn Deflategate into a major story when they had just two weeks without an actual football game could go this deep on Brady’s whereabouts during the much longer off-season. So far, neither Brady nor the White House has offered any more information. But hey, if Stephen Smith can keep the outrage dialed up just a little longer, maybe Brady will be goaded into speaking out.