Extra Points

Tom Brady's White House Absence: The 10 Most Interesting Theories

As you know by now, the earth spun off its axis Thursday with the news that Tom Brady skipped the Patriots' trip to Washington, D.C. and a meeting with President Obama.

Now the question on everyone's mind is: Where was Tom and why didn't he attend the White House ceremony?

In addition to the opportunity to shake hands with the president, Brady also missed the chance to visit with combat veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Thursday would have marked Brady’s fourth trip to the White House to be honored as a Super Bowl champion. The Patriots’ last trip came in 2005, when they were hosted by President George W. Bush for the third time in four years.

On Sunday, ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss reported that Brady was at Gillette Stadium while his teammates were being honored in Washington.

"For what it’s worth, I’m told Brady was present at the stadium for a stretch of time Thursday while many in the organization were at the White House," Reiss wrote in a blog entry.

Brady himself has been silent on the matter (but keep checking his Facebook page as he could give us an update any second now). The Patriots have only said that Brady missed the trip due to a "family commitment." Late Friday, Darren Rovell shared a photo that appeared to be Brady trying on an Apple Watch at an Apple Store in New York City.

While some fans at Thursday night's Celtics-Cavaliers playoff game stood by their man and proclaimed "family comes first," others were not so sympathetic and found Tom's absence at the event to be "disrespectful."

So where was Brady on Thursday while his teammates were being honored? Here are the most popular theories.

1. Tom is upset with the White House for panning his Deflategate presser

There is speculation that a previous comment by White House press secretary Josh Earnest may have contributed to Brady's decision to skip the Washington trip.

After Brady's less-than-polished press conference defending himself on Deflategate, Earnest took a shot at Brady from the White House.

"For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots," Earnest said. "But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either."

A report in the Boston Herald said the Earnest comments may have played a role in Brady's decision and this was payback time for Brady.

2. It was Gisele's call

There's a segment of fans who believe Brady's supermodel wife makes the family decisions. And if Brady's absence was indeed a "family commitment," then there's a contingent out there that think she's behind Tom's decision to stay away from the White House.

Gisele kept it vague Thursday, when she posted a message: "If you are reading this right now, I hope something really amazing happens to you today."

Se você estiver lendo isso agora, espero que algo maravilhoso aconteça com você hoje.

Posted by Gisele Bündchen on Thursday, April 23, 2015

3. Brady just wanted another day for himself

According to a report in the Boston Herald, Brady "has so few free days, he didn't want to use one."

File under: More vacation days in next contract

4. Brady was in California celebrating his parent's 50th wedding anniversary

A woman at TD Garden for Celtics-Cavs Game 3 was convinced that Brady was away honoring his parents Tom Sr. and Galynn for the landmark celebration. This theory has also been floated about on social media.

But it turns out that Brady's parents were married on April 19, 1969, making last Sunday the 46th anniversary of the matrimonial event.

5. Brady's a Republican and was making a political statement a la Tim Thomas

There is no definitive evidence that Brady is a Republican, but he has indicated that he might want to get involved in politics when his football career is over.

In 2005, Brady told 60 Minutes that he was not averse to running for political office someday. "It would be something I think I could do a decent job at,” he said. Asked what political party he belongs to, Brady said: “I’m actually independent and I have been for some time."

In January 2004, Brady attended President George W. Bush's State of the Union address and was recognized for the community work put in by the Patriots after personally being invited by the president.

Brady reportedly switched from Republican to unenrolled in 2004. The Patriots star QB visited the White House all three times the Patriots won the Super Bowl during the Bush administration.

6. Brady was busy showing his Manhattan pad to potential renters

The Bradys this week rented their 3,300-square-foot apartment at One Madison after listing the property for only two days. The power couple purchased the 47th-floor unit for $14 million in 2013. They were asking $45,000 per month with a $2,500 discount if you took the place unfurnished. Tom was spotted in New York checking out the Apple Watch on Friday.

The Bradys have been putting their real estate focus on Brookline where they are constructing a new mansion.

7. Brady was out of the country

Possible, but doubtful.

Brady was spotted working out at Gillette Stadium on Monday and just returned from Brazil a week earlier to watch his wife take her last strut down the runway as a working model. And he was spotted at the Apple Store in New York City on Friday.

8. Brady was writing his speech for upcoming Salem State appearance

Brady is joining the lecture circuit and will speak on May 7 as part of the Salem State University speaker series. The plan is for Brady to sit down with reporter Jim Gray -- who does a national radio show with Brady during the NFL season -- for a 45-minute interview, then take questions for 15 minutes.

9. Brady is getting ready for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop reports that Brady will be attending the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas on May 2. According to the report, Brady appealed directly to CBS head honcho Les Moonves to get his tickets, and he's also been FaceTiming with Mayweather.

“It’s always about the ‘Money’ [Mayweather]!” Brady is shown saying in a fight promo video distributed by Showtime.

10. Brady doesn't respect Obama

Yep. It's out there.

On Friday's First Take show on ESPN2, co-host Stephen A. Smith went off on Brady's decision to skip the White House trip and since the show's airing,

"So Tom Brady couldn't attend, huh? So Tom Brady couldn't attend," Smith said on Friday's First Take. "But was he there in 2001 when George W. Bush was president? Yes. Was he there in 2003 and 2004? I'm not sure about anything, I'm just simply presenting the question because I got a problem with the fact that the franchise quarterback... the face of New England Patriots, the future Hall of Famer and all of this other stuff. Tom Brady can't do anything wrong. He passes gas as perfume, OK. That's how untouchable Tom Brady is but when George W. Bush was president in 2001, 2003, 2004, Tom Brady was there. Tom Brady was there at the White House celebrating.

"But Barack Obama is president of the United States and Tom Brady's got family commitments. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm simply saying, how come you couldn't... it's the president. It's the president. You know what? I am of this mindset. I got news for you, let me get slightly political here. I don't agree with every little thing our president does, but he's the president. Respect the office. And the same respect that you would accord to George W. Bush or anybody else, you should accord to president Barack Obama. He is the president of the United States. Robert Kraft, I'm sure he had other things to do. He's the owner, he was there. I'm quite sure Bill Belichick had other things to do. He was there."

Smith went on to say that unless there is an emergency, "There is no excuse. Especially when you showed up for the other president on three occasions. But Barack Obama is president of the United States and now you busy? I'm just telling you that this rubbed me the wrong way."

One thing is certain. Brady is going to feel pressure to give more details on his absence and the bet here is he speaks out sooner rather than later.

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