Jokes fly at Brady roast; Kraft, Belichick reunite

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Three months before Tom Brady gets roasted by critics as Fox Sports’ top NFL analyst, he took his share of barbs from comedians, former teammates and his longtime coach Sunday night during a made-for-streaming comedy live event on Netflix.

And it is safe to say after the one liners and jokes Brady heard during three hours of “The Greatest Roast of All Time” at The Forum, he will do just fine.

“It’s like a football game. You run with a game plan, and then you get to see kind of how the strategy goes, and then you adjust on the fly,” Brady said before the event. “This is what a locker room has been like for me for all these years. So it’s not like I’m used to people not making fun of me.”

Comedian Nikki Glaser, whose monologue was among the funniest of the night, termed the roast as “the comedians’ Super Bowl” and how the competition level was ramped up because everyone wanted to one-up each other.

Brady sustained more blitzes and pressure than he did during an average NFL game as an impressive lineup of comedians, former teammates and opponents took the stage. Host Kevin Hart said before the event that no topic was off limits, and Hart went on the offensive early with jokes about Brady’s ex-wife, Gisele Bündchen.

“Gisele gave you an ultimatum. She said you retire or we’re done. When you got a chance to go 8-9 and all it will cost you is your wife and your kids, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Hart said, referring to Brady coming out of a brief retirement in 2022 for one more season.

The only time Brady objected to a joke was when Jeff Ross made a reference to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and massages. In 2019, Kraft received a misdemeanor charge that he paid for sex at a Florida massage parlor.

Brady walked up to Ross and said in his ear “don’t say that (stuff) again,” but it was caught on the microphone.

Later, Kraft and former Patriots coach Bill Belichick did a shot together on stage after some coaxing from Hart.

Belichick left the Patriots in January after 24 seasons with the team, and there has been reported friction between the six-time winning Super Bowl coach and owner over the past couple years.

After joking about this being like a reunion and “unlike many family reunions there are some people I am desperately trying to avoid,” Kraft praised Belichick for what the two accomplished.

“I want to say this is the greatest coach in the history of the game that did what no one else has done. And having Tom Brady and him was the greatest honor the good Lord gave me,” Kraft said.

It wasn’t the first shot (of alcohol) that Belichick took. Rob Gronkowski got Belichick and Brady to do a shot together after his monologue. Gronkowski celebrated by spiking his shot glass.

Even Peyton Manning got in on the action, coming out late in the show and throwing some tight spirals at his longtime rival.

“Honesty, it is great to be here with a bunch of people sitting around talking smack about Tom Brady,” Manning said. “Or as we call that in the Manning family: Thanksgiving.”

Belichick appeared at the beginning of the roast during a pre-taped segment when he told Brady that he was “starting the roast” instead of Drew Bledsoe. Brady replaced Bledsoe in 2001 when Bledsoe was injured in a Week 2 game against the Jets and led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title that season.

“I want to say this is the greatest coach in the history of the game that did what no one else has done. And having Tom Brady and him was the greatest honor the good Lord gave me.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft

“For all of you out there who think about who’s responsible for the Patriots success during the time Tom and I was together — was it Tom or me — in reality the truth of the matter was it was both of us because of me,” Belichick said.

Brady did have some fun at Belichick’s expense though near the end of the show.

“I’ve been out of the game for a minute, so I’m curious, how many Super Bowl rings have you won since I left?,” Brady said. “Maybe it’s not just the guy on the sideline. When I go to the Indy 500, I don’t ask the winning driver, `Hey, you gassed up your car?;

Hart said before the show that he thought Brady was in a great mindset going into the event. Brady did come in well prepared, going over his monologue with a group of people, including those at Fox Sports.

“You have to be able to laugh at yourself and I love that he is doing in this forum,” Hart said. “I love that he is embracing the things that some people think he runs away from. It is a celebration of greatness and we are doing it in a fun way.”

Bledsoe also said that Brady has had a sense of humor, but that this was a different stage.

“I thought he was very brave. There’s plenty of material to make fun of him on,” Bledsoe said. “The truth is when you’re a professional athlete, roasting each other is kind of what we do every day in the locker room. And so, you better have thick skin going in. Now, people get to laugh along with it.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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