Tom Brady won his second championship during the 2003 NFL season, but Super Bowl XXXVIII is probably more remembered for its controversial halftime show.
During the last episode of his Let’s Go podcast on SiriusXM this season, Brady discussed halftime shows, specifically citing Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction from Super Bowl XXXVIII which was broadcast by CBS. And Brady’s assessment of the incident may have shed some light on his future as a broadcaster.
“When we beat Carolina in 2003, we came off the field and that was when we had the wardrobe malfunction with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson,” Brady recalled. “And they were asking me about that! I couldn’t even understand what they were telling me about.”
For anyone who doesn’t remember, the halftime show was produced by MTV and the finale featured Timberlake’s Rock Your Body. After singing the last line, “gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson’s costume, exposing her right breast. MTV and CBS both issued apologies for the incident after the Super bowl.
“I think in the end, it was probably a good thing for the NFL,” Brady said of the wardrobe malfunction. “Because everyone got to talk about it and it was just more publicity and more publicity for halftime shows, so, is any publicity bad publicity?”
The NFL knows as well as any organization that the answer to that question is ‘Yes.’ But Brady seemed less certain.
With his broadcasting career looming, Brady said he watched Super Bowl LVII more intently than any other Super Bowl that he had not played in. Although he didn’t mention the Fox broadcast featuring Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen once during his podcast. Brady is slated to begin his broadcasting career with Fox in the fall of 2024 where he’s supposed to bump Olsen from the booth and take over as the network’s lead NFL analyst. Olsen, however, is putting pressure on that network decision by performing so well as he keeps Brady’s seat warm.
One of the biggest questions about Brady as a future broadcaster is whether he’ll be willing to say anything interesting in the booth considering his desire to avoid making headlines when talking into a microphone. But if he’s going with the ‘all publicity is good publicity’ approach, maybe Brady will be more apt to be interesting than we thought.
Brady plans on taking a gap year to prepare for his 2024 debut in the booth. Maybe ‘all publicity is good publicity’ has been part of his early training with Fox.
Last week, Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw really leaned into the notion by fat-shaming Andy Reid and revealing his hope to give the network a ratings boost by eventually dying on-air. Despite his assessment of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, it’s hard to imagine Brady reaching Bradshaw’s level of being provocative at Fox.
[Let’s Go; photo from Frank Micelotta/Getty Images]