I don’t care what you say. I don’t want to be Tom Brady. Forget the Super Bowl. Forget the glory. Forget the money. Forget the goddess.

Don’t even try to tell me about Patriots fans. I was there at the beginning, at Fenway Park, at Harvard Stadium and Boston University Field. I saw a very young Joe Willie Namath destroy the hapless Patriots at BU Field.

I have never been to the new, snazzy stadium. But I made many visits to the old Gillette Stadium when those moron fans gave drinking a bad name. They were so bad, swearing and screaming, that Blue Eyes would never set foot in the stadium again. She missed Bowie, The Stones, and a dozen other acts.

We had other quarterbacks. Jim Plunkett, who later won a Super Bowl with the Raiders. We had Steve Grogan who took a fearful beating. And we had Drew Bledsoe, who took such a beating against the Jets that he almost died.

Then, and only then did we get Brady, an obscure second-string quarterback from Michigan. Most of us never heard of him when Brady took over the Patriots in that fateful Jets game on Sept. 23, 2001. Now, he is considered the GOAT, or the Greatest of All Time, maybe even better than his boyhood idol, Joe Montana.

I won’t argue.

But I would still rather be fat Emmet in Cobb Manor than be Tom Brady.

Certainly, he makes something like $14 million a year, is married to the most beautiful (and one of the richest) woman in the world. He is the idol of millions with his handsome face and makes still another fortune on commercials. He could not spend all the money he and Giselle have. He is in fabulous, Olympian shape.

Not me.

Have you seen his diet and lifestyle? That is a high price to pay, my friend.

Our boy Brady hired a personal chef (natch) to keep him and the goddess in top shape. Allen Campbell is the chef, with a personally designed menu based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s Mediterranean diet. You won’t like it. I don’t.

If we want to be like Brady, we must seek “anti-inflammatory” foods, starting with fruits and vegetables (cool) with tons of leafy greens and antioxidant berries, lean organic meat, tons of whole grains along with fatty fish like salmon. If you really must, you can splurge on a piece of dark chocolate. Cooking with coconut oil is a must.

The only alcohol you will be allowed is occasional (I mean occasional) sips of red wine.

Here is what you must avoid for the rest of your natural life, if you want to start in the Super Bowl: Coffee (aaaaaiiiiirrrrrgh!), margarine, partially hydrogenated oil, shortening, white flour, white rice, white bread and, obviously all kinds of that fast food. No Whopper Jr. with cheese, please. NO FRIES! Not one Dunkin’ Donuts doughnut. If you must, you can have dairy, but it must be organic and used very, very occasionally.

Our boy, Killjoy Campbell, told Boston Magazine that he does allow the Bradys organic yogurt, high-quality cheese, and omega-3 eggs. But there are no “nightshades” allowed in those omelets including mushrooms, (eek) eggplant, peppers, or even tomatoes. Those nightshades are inflammatory, Campbell said (No tomatoes in an omelet?)

You wash that “breakfast” down with green tea, with half the caffeine of coffee. Neither Tom nor the Goddess consumes coffee.

That alone makes life not worth living. I will live in carbohydrate Heaven at Cobb Manor, thank you.

To make up for all these vital losses, you may splurge on avocado, olive oil, and nuts. Big deal. The Brady diet is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which help you stay energized, alert, and lowers your risk for inflammation-related illnesses.

Not everyone is applauding, including me.

“It’s true that some people can’t digest some of these ‘nightshade’ foods and may actually have a sensitivity to them, but to say they’re not part of a healthy diet for the general population is overstepping,” says Dr. Holly S. Andersen, a cardiologist at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at The New York Presbyterian Hospital. Inflammation is a complex biological and biochemical process that isn’t easily measured, she explains.

Nightshade vegetables could cause inflammation in some people, but it depends on the individual, says Sonya Angelone, a registered dietitian in the San Francisco Bay Area and American Dietetic Association spokeswoman. Similarly, coffee, which often needlessly gets a bad rap, can lower your risk for diabetes and isn’t bad for you unless it causes reflux or other health issues.


The upshot: The anti-inflammation diet is a solid, healthy way of eating, but be wary of claims that any diet can prevent disease. And never eating dessert or drinking alcohol would be difficult for many people, including me.

I don’t want to be Tom Brady … especially if he loses that Super Bowl. For God sake have a beer and a hot dog, Tommy. Live a little.

Emmet Meara lives in Camden in blissful retirement after working as a reporter for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland for 30 years.