Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports


ESPN+ original documentary Man in the Arena drops its 6th episode this Tuesday December 20th, 2021.

#ManintheArena was executive produced by Tom Brady.



imdb: 8.6

Tom Brady, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports
Tom Brady, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports

Tom Brady

Tom Brady starts his seven Superbowl Championship quarterback career outside of Boston, Massachussets.

Tom Brady, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports

“We had different working titles for it and I always thought that was a really cool name for a show. That particular quote was a Theodore Roosevelt quote and that was in the weight room in Michigan when I first got there and I saw it every for five years that I was there, four and a half years. And always thought wow, that– you know, in so many ways you become that man in the arena and there’s always the eyes focused on you as a player and all these microsecond decisions that you’re trying to make. It takes a lot to be, you know, put in that position. To deal with a lot of that intense scrutiny over a long period of time, and I thought it fit very perfectly with what the purpose of this project was really supposed to be about.” — Tom Brady

“Realizing my potential has been what my career has been all about. Things have happened in my life as I kind of hoped they would happen. It’s been just a complete evolution. You know, how I just kept fighting. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you keep trying to make progress. The wins, the losses, the god, the bad, 20 years of heartbreaks and heartaches, sleepless nights, and the greatest victories. I think about those things and how they’ve impacted me in every aspect of my life. And the people that have come on the journey with me, my coaches, my teammates, my friends, and how all those relationships and all those memories have shaped the person I am today.” — Tom Brady

“Let’s see what time it is. The reality is for me, you know– you need a lot of luck. You could do the right thing. You put yourself in the right position. But I believe I’ve had a lot of good fortune and a lot of commitment from a lot of people that allowed me to be the best version I could be of myself. I was a kid growing up that went to every 49er game that I could because I just loved playing football and I– I drew up plays in my notebook. The dagger, the secret weapon. Everybody tells me I have a pretty strong arm which is– which is good. I’m pretty accurate with it. I always wanted to be a football player.” — Tom Brady

“I think my senior season in Michigan, to play pro football, you know, I was hopeful ’cause I was starting for my second year at a big-time program, I thought, yeah, I got a shot. I went to a college that was very focused on the team. And the roots of the Michigan program were built from what Bo Schemechler said, ‘the team, the team.’ ‘It’s about the team.’ And we ran out as a team and celebrated in the end zone as a team because a team is a culmination of talent and what can you add on the daily or weekly basis to get your team to win. If we go out and play our type of football, I mean, we don’t lose that football game and uh, we just continue to be ourselves and championship teams don’t do that. Whereas, before that, I didn’t– really didn’t know what my strengths were. Were they physical? Were they mental? Were they emotional? Where did they lie and how did I influence other people around me? By the time the draft came around every night I was checking. Updated mock drafts. Every night I was going– I was looking at where– where am I slotted? And I knew I wasn’t going to be picked on the first day. So on the second day, I was, like, this is my day. And after the fifth round, I would look and I was like Oh, my God, these teams don’t pick again like at least in another two hours before I even have a chance. Finally, the phone rang. And it was the Patriots. Sitting downstairs in my– my living room with my parents and everyone was excited and I remember my dad opened a bottle of champagne, not even realizing where New England was. I mean, I was like New England Patriots. I mean I don’t know where is that.” — Tom Brady

“I had a lot of, I don’t know if it was confidence in myself or just being naïve that I was like, ‘yeah, of course I’m gonna play.’ ‘I went to Michigan, I played. Of course, I’m gonna go play pro football.'” — Tom Brady

“Love Under. I like Sticks. I like Ten Seam– I like Double Seam, I don’t like Six Day Slam. Goddamn it! He connected with the locker room and he used to have locker that he’d sit right at the end as you were walking out. It was almost like you had to pass him before you left and you had to pass him when you walked in every day. Because he was the guy that was always going to dictate how things were going, both on offense and on defense. Working hard is a very sustainable trait. Part of your character. If you don’t have that, the talent does wear off at some point and you’re drafted based on your talent or your potential, but the sustainable part about talent and potential was working hard. Guys who were ahead of me were always physically way more gifted than me. I had to make up a lot of ground physically in order to catch them.” — Tom Brady

“Drew obviously was, I mean, the franchise quarterback. He’s got incredible arm strength and accuracy and a great demeanor about him. He’s very calm, very calm nature.” — Tom Brady

“Tuesday was my off day. I was driving in. I lived in Franklin, Massachusetts, which is about 15, 20 minutes from the stadium. And I was driving in and I heard on the radio. So I turned around and I drove home. So I thought, ‘I’m not going to the stadium. I’m gonna drive home and see what’s going on.’ I got in the house and my two roommates were sitting there watching the TV. And by that time the second plane had crashed into the tower. And, you know, we just– just watched. It was. The nation was in mourning, and the nation was under attack and everyone was trying to get their lives in order before the NFL could come back. And we all went over to Drew Bledsoe’s house. He had the phone on speaker and the decision ultimately was made to not play that next week.” — Tom Brady

“Electric atmosphere in the stadium. We had Joe Andruzzi whose brothers were right there at Ground Zero. He symbolized what we were all about. We were the underdogs. But we were going to stick together and we were gonna fight through adversity.” — Tom Brady

“I was 10, 15 yards away from him, probably. He was running toward the sideline and it was late in the game. We’re losing. He was trying to make a play and he kind of got a little shove from behind and just as he got shoved from the lower body, he got hit by Mo Lewis. And it was up. Holy shit. He stood up and you could see, he just kind of glossed over, face mask bent. And at that point it was like, ”all right, Drew’s finished, Tom. Get ready to go. You know, I just strapped my chin strap on, got a little loose, and then got the ball got a little loose, and then got the ball on the last drive of the game. I think the first play I hit it was a little angle route to Patrick Pass. There wasn’t a lot of time left. It wasn’t, like, spectacular football I was playing at all, by any means.” — Tom Brady

“After the game, you know, it sucked we lost. But most importantly, like, where’s Drew? I remember driving up to Mass General. You know, just kind of hoping and praying not really realizing, again, the extent of the injuries or what was happening, which turned out to be internal bleeding.” — Tom Brady

“I think there was a press conference where I was learning as much as anyone else. I remember listening to what his medical update was. Once I realized he was good, like, I thought, I just gotta fill in and do my job. Because certainly I didn’t think I was going to, like, take over and be the quarterback of the Patriots. There was very little expectation that I had. People didn’t even know who I was, and it was really about just playing football. And there was a purity in that.” — Tom Brady

“I think the work that I did in 2000, 2001, where I could gain the trust of the coaches, of my teammates, where I could build some confidence in myself. When I got the moment. You know, I felt like, okay, I’m ready.” — Tom Brady

“So on offense we had to recognize what we had. Bill always used the line, ‘You can’t win until you can keep from losing.’ And what was a good lesson for us. If we could keep from losing, I think our defense was gonna keep us in every game. And, uh, we ended up beating them pretty good that day. You know, we were making our way, but our defense was really incredible. We would just kind of scrap together these wins. Like this! Keep it moving! Let’s go! I’m sure it’s been tough for him seeing someone else out there, but at the same time being the selfless guy that he is, he– you know, he put the team first, and he’s done everything he could to continue to help us win.” — Tom Brady

“If you talk about turning points in the season, I think we were 5-4 at that point, and in come the Rams, Sunday Night Football. No one really expected us to win, obviously. We probably didn’t think we were gonna win. Just ready for a big day today. It actually was a hell of a game.” — Tom Brady

“That was the game that showed us that we’re no longer this team that’s forgotten. Like, we’re a team that’s ascending. When you’re the leader of the team, like Drew was, he never made it about him and he never created any distractions that made it more difficult for me.” — Tom Brady

Willie McGinest, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports

Willie McGinest

“When you talked about the Boston area it was the Boston Celtics or the Boston Red Sox. The Patriots wasn’t really on the map at the time. The reason why I did know a little bit it’s because Drew Bledsoe, who I played against at SC, he was at Washington State. He was drafted number one they year before me. He was definitely one of the staples of the team.”

“We just prided ourselves for being extremely tough and physical. And Belicheck was on that staff. He knew that defense inside out, he knew every single position. On the field, he makes it seem like everything is deja vu. He was kind of that common ground for every position. So, yeah, we knew we had pieces.”

“In ’96, we went to a Super Bowl, so we did experience some success. Honestly, the Super Bowl to me was a blur. As a young player and you’ve never been to one you don’t know what to expect. You can get pulled in a lot of different directions. You know, I had a lot of family there. If I ever got back to the Super Bowl I was going to focus on the game.”

“The first time Belicheck addressed the team we knew this team was about to get in order. The style of play that he demanded, you know, he made it clear, if you don’t fit the mold, if you don’t understand and you’re not on the same page of what we’re doing, you’re not gonna be here.”

“I don’t think a lot of people was talking about the sixth-round pick or the fifth-round pick or, you know, for that matter, except for the guys maybe that went to Michigan. We always had to hear that, you know, hear that from him, so we– we heard from Tom’s name because Ty, ‘oh, we’ve got another Wolverine in the building,’ you know, and he’s bragging about that. But outside of that.”

“At the time, our defense was, like, the foundation spirit of the football team. After about the third year I kind of– I kind of catapulted myself into the upper echelon of leadership that guys– who guys respected. What do you say, fellas? Let’s do this on Monday, right? This is where we win the game, on both sides of the ball. And a lot of times when we were working on and doing certain things, with the defense Tom– Tom was working out with the defense and we noticed that he was always working.”

“At that time, he’s just, you know, he’s just Tom. He’s just Tom Brady. Back up, you know, second or third string quarterback.”

“When Drew signed, that was like one of the first $100 million deals, so we’re all blown away. You get that much money, it’s saying that the organization believes in you and you’re gonna be there, and we was like, ‘all right, well we got our quarterback.’ My feeling is that we were talented and we can compete, we’re tough, we’re physical, everybody is starting to buy in, you know, to what Belicheck wanted as a team. And so when we came to the camp, it didn’t matter what our record was the year before. It was, like, all right, we’re on our way, we’re gonna be good.”

“We felt like we were playing for our country. We had the colors in our uniform. We’re called the Patriots. I think we wanted to play. We wanted to do something to represent our country and we decided to stop getting introduced individually. We said we will run out as a team to represent our country and togetherness and– and one. So we started to change and put a lot of things together and… think a little bit different just because of what our country has, you know, had went through.”

“And he didn’t pop back up. Everybody kind of got quiet, a little docile, like– immediately on defense, I said, ‘hey, let’s go guys. Like, we gotta do our part…’ Ty, let’s go. Let’s go, let’s go. We gotta take this game over, we gotta create turnovers. We immediately started to figure out what we needed to do to help win the football game. We didn’t even think about who was going in the game on offense.”

“Our defense at that point was the foundation. There was nothing wow about our offense. You know, we’re running the ball better. Antowain Smith was having a good year. Our passing game was coming around.”

“You know, he was very sound. He took care of the football. Our thing is he’s doing what he’s supposed to do as the backup. He’s holding it down until Drew gets back. We started talking about that game as we were leaving the field. The Rams were a little cocky. Of course, they had won the Super Bowl the year before and it was a little chirping going on. If you wanna be a championship team, you have to be able to win on the road. We just bought our show on the road. And we told them if we see you guys again, which we probably will, we gonna beat your ass.”

“All the questions, of course, circling our team is, when’s Drew gonna be healthy? When is he going to be back?”

Bill Belicheck, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports

Bill Belicheck

“I’m thrilled to be part of this organization and– and to be able to have the opportunity to lead this team, but I’m going to demand from the players and from the people in the organization this– that they make the commitment towards a championship.”

“Did you watch the film this morning? So we’re looking for better.”

“Run it again. I can’t stand it. Huddle up and run it again, Brady.”

Drew Bledsoe, Man in the Arena, ESPN+, 199 Productions, NFL Films, Religion of Sports

Drew Bledsoe

“Well, there was some excitement around the Patriots when I got there. You know, Parcells was the coach, you know. And we had a pedigree.”

“Let’s go play some games. That’s what I’m saying. The team had not been very good. You know, they had the number-one pick for a reason. You know, they’d earned it. A loose ball, the Bills pick it up, touchdown!”

“You know, we realized coming in that it’s not going to happen for us right away, and it’s not going to happen for me right away. You know, it’s a– it’s a learning process.”

“Those years, kind of from like ’96 through probably 2001, 2002, that’s probably when I was at the peak of my ability. And we weren’t winning. Not good enough. Not good enough.”

“You know, I think the one downside to the ’96 season that was playing out was that we were playing good football, and made it to the Super Bowl and that wasn’t the story. The story was all about whether our coach, you know, was leaving and going to the Jets.”

“I really didn’t pay much attention to the draft in general you know and he got in the room with us. You know, he was a guy that– that immediately liked. I figured that he was probably going to be a guy that was going to be around the league for a long time but probably as a backup.”

“He was also extremely inquisitive, sort of annoyingly so. You know, he’s always in my ear asking about this decision, that decision, and, you know, I shared everything with him freely as much as I could. Talk to me about your favorites ’cause– yeah, just tell me about– Love Under, okay. Okay. All right, okay. No, that’s a good job trying to make sure we get points here, you can’t force anything down there in that situation. He’s just a skinny little twerp out of Michigan. I didn’t perceive him as a threat. You just want to throw so you can get on TV, huh?”

“When I signed my– my 10-year deal loading up to that season, that was it. It was going to be a Patriot for life and play out that contract and then, hopefully, ride off into the sunset successfully. When we started training camp that year, the 2001 training camp, I remember stepping into the huddle and I looked at my offensive line. I said, wow, we got a chance. We got some dudes. So I really had great high hopes for that season going in. Really did. I really felt like with the offensive line that we had, we had a chance to do something special.”

“I was initially of the opinion that we should play and start that healing process and start to have some normalcy. I’m glad we didn’t, in retrospect. I do remember after that saying to myself, ‘all right, now you gotta settle down and play football.'”

“After the game I was walking off the field and Ron O’Neal, our– our trainer, uh, grabs me, he goes, ‘hey, bub, why don’t you come with me? You don’t look so good.’ I’m like, ‘all right, let me just go in for a team prayer and then I come see you.’ He goes, ‘yeah, I think you need to come with me right now.’ On our way to Mass General I just remember being in a lot of pain and my brother was riding up with me and he’s just kind of looking at me. They said, ‘we got about an hour.’ We were just sort of on the outskirts of Boston. That’s when I went lights out.”

“I was pretty out of it. I didn’t know how serious it was until probably a couple days later.”

“I’m working as hard as I can to hone my skills and to get back in shape everything I can and– and I’m gonna do to be ready to play whenever that opportunity comes again. And for me it was pretty obvious that the right thing to do was to show up, go to work, support Tom, support the team. It didn’t occur to me that not having my job there when I got back was a possibility for probably like four or five weeks. And at that point it’s sort of dawned on me like, man, geez, maybe that seat’s not gonna be warm when I get back.”

Lawyer Milloy

“Because of our– our preparation.”


“Oh, those New England Patriots, 0-8, now their coach in on IR.”

“Today, Tom Brady, sixth-round draft pick year ago from Michigan, starts for the 0-2 Patriots. All Indy has done in going 2-0 is score 87 points.”

Bill Parcels

“Don’t get discouraged. You did a good job. No, that’s right.”

Bo Schembechler

“No man is more important than the team, no coach is more important than the team. The team, the team, the team.”


“What does it take to be number one?”

Rams 1

“Every Sunday we show it.”


“And the Patriots”

“The Patriots select Drew Bledsoe, quarterback, Washington State University.”

Second down and six, a fumble by Miller! Well, I’ve seen it all today. Everything bad that could happen is happening today.”

“Bledsoe is smoking hot.”

“The Patriots are the American Football Conference champions.”

“The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl!”

“Bledsoe back to throw it, here they come after him again, and he does throw it up the sidelines and it is– oh, my God! Oh, intercepted! Intercepted! Brian Williams. And now, baby, it’s over.”

“I would guess that this is the last game that Bill Parcells will coach for the New England Patriots. Pete Carroll, as we told you, was fired today. The Patriots have to expand their search for a new coach. Pete Carroll fired today after three seasons, each one worse than the year before.”

“No doubt a lot of Michigan fans expected a season-long battle at quarterback between prized recruit Drew Henson and 4th year junior Tom Brady.”

“And we’re back on Sportscenter for news concerning Drew Bledsoe. His contract with the Pats is redone, $103 million over 10 years, the richest deal in the history of the NFL. Virtually assures Bledsoe will be a Pat his entire career.”

“A plane was hijacked and there are indications that it may have been a Boeing 767. Two airplanes crashed into both 110-story– I just saw a second plane coming from the south and hit the South tower, halfway between the bottom and top of the tower. It’s gotta be a– a terrorist attack–“

“The resolve of our great nation is being tested.”

“And welcome back to Foxboro. Fans here echoing the spirit on this NFL Sunday, respecting football for its players while honoring our real heroes, the firefighters and police. Yes, it’s going to be hard for all of us, but the players are here because they want to be here. They want to play.”

“Vinatieri gets it started. Oh! Oh, my. Look at Drew. And Drew Bledsoe is on the sideline. Tom Brady, the second-year quarterback. Patrick Pass. The final play of the game… fires to the end zone. And it is incomplete.”

“8:31 to go here in the third quarter, Brady to Kirby at the 20. …first, and we’ll find out what kind in his first NFL start. When we watched him in practice Friday, he made all the throws, has strong enough arm to hit that out route. Really feels confident.”

“In fact, wasn’t nervous at all. And he’s sacked on the first play of the game. Brad Scioli.”

“…second and 18. Fires to the right. It is intercepted! Patriots 44, Colts 13. And Tom Brady just being California cool. Just like he was when we talked to him. Brady drops straight back to throw, looking, looking, goes to the end zone… oh! Touchdown! Tom Brady’s first NFL touchdown pass. Going over the middle. Oh, you gotta be kidding me! It’s Troy Brown! Troy Brown! To the left is Tom Brady… it’s a throwback. He’s got it at the 30!”

“Brady back to throw. Looks. Puts it long and deep. And caught! Going all the way! Brady. Play action. Back to throw. Fires to the end zone. It’s time for the Patriots to come on out. Fires over the middle. Intercepted by Terrell Buckley. At the 45, 40, 35… Brady back to throw. Looks, looks. Fires end zone. Touchdown! To David Patten! Final score St. Louis 23, the Patriots 17.”

Linda Cohn

“Well, Monday we got word that Bledsoe will miss at last six weeks, perhaps the season, with internal bleeding in his chest. This following a hit by the Jets’ Mo Lewis. It was a hit that resulted in Bledsoe losing two pints of blood internally.”

Sportscenter Anchor

“Bledsoe has been cleared to play, and he talked today about gaining back some of the weight that he’s lost and how he’s itching to get back. But he is downplaying any quarterback controversy.”

Mel Kiper Jr.

“The question is going to be mobility. He only runs a 5.25, 40. New England’s offense is already designed for Bledsoe…”

Brady Footage

“Look at that. Tom Brady over here.”

“Oh, and then we have Tom Brady is a star– star quarterback, University of Michigan. He’s honoring us with his presence today.”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. — Teddy Roosevelt

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