Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tom Brady Speaks Out On Ugg Apparel

So, Tom Brady is endorsing Ugg men's apparel. It's a pretty huge deal, which is why the sports media is covering it. It's obvious that this could be what apparel-market watchers and total buttheads call "a game change." But it's also clear that men will never buy Ugg apparel. So, it's complicated.

I did what journalists do and called Tom Brady for comment on this. What I got was a very long statement, a lot of it about hair care and a small portion of it about the difficulties of shaving when your chin looks like his does. But I've edited the most salient bit and put it below. I think it's quite illuminating.

BRADY: And you see this happen every time someone tries to branch out and try something different, push himself. When Justin Timberlake -- close friend, we watch DVR'ed episodes of Entourage on Tuesdays, sometimes via Skype but every Tuesday since 2005 -- wanted to get into restaurants, people were like, "You're spreading yourself too thin, concentrate on your acting." That's just an example. There are a bunch of others. Bruce Willis and his vodka brand, and this one's near and dear to me because Bruce and I were co-chairs of this Anti-Death Tax Gala that Robert Kraft threw last year, but Bruce put his heart and soul into that vodka, and everyone in the media's like, "no, famous people can't have vodka brands, but maybe you can have yours as long as you don't go back to making music."

I'm maybe off topic, but my point being that Ugg clothing is a product I believe in, it's a natural fit, and so partnering with them isn't the sort of thing I really like seeing criticized. And there's this argument that Uggs, you hear this argument, sometimes: "Ugg boots are just for women, and more specifically they're just for women in certain parts of Nassau County and that Pamela Geller woman who goes around stopping up the toilets in Middle Eastern restaurants with paper towels because she hates Sharia law so much." And that sentiment is ignorant, that sentiment is stupid, okay. Because I buy the boots for my offensive lineman every season, and they love them. Logan Mankins wears them during practice. You can't see it, but Tully Banta-Cain wears this fur-lined Ugg hat that I got him for Secret Santa last year under his helmet when it gets cold. It's disgusting, by this point, it looks like a giant hairy pancake and smells like microwaved diapers, but Tully swears by it. And these are men. Tell Tully Banta-Cain that men don't wear Ugg apparel, you know?

But my point is that I'm branching out -- because I'm not just a football player, you know, any more than Bruce Willis is just an actor. He's a bluesman. He loves vodka. He's a PERSON, okay. And people have interests, and some of us have brands, and those brands need cultivating the same as any other person's brand does. So I feel like people need to get over it. And anyway, I'm trying to focus on the Jets. That's job one.

(The Awl Yakkin' About Football thing has been delayed this week, but this will be discussed, when Jeff and I finally get around to discussing things)

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