Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tom Brady Defends His Relationship With Snake Oil Salesman

Tom Brady isn't letting a shocking exposé into his personal body coach derail what he has envisioned for the pair's business, even if the story revealed a decade-long history of snake oil salesmanship by said body coach.

I don’t know the details of each of those incidences, but ... there’s no better person that I enjoy as much as Alex,” Brady said of his business partner and trainer Alex Guerrero to "Dennis & Callahan" on WEEI radio on Monday. “He’s been an incredible influence in my life. I think we’re doing something really special with our business [TB12]."  

Guerrero was the focus of a profile by Boston Magazine published on Friday. The piece details his fraudulent past, which includes a 2004 attempt to sell a cure for terminal illnesses called "Supreme Greens" and a 2011 concussion treatment called "NeuroSafe." The latter product, as Boston Magazine found, was heavily endorsed by Brady and his company TB12 at the time. Production of both products were eventually halted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after Guerrero was unable to support his claims.

Moreover, according to the Boston Magazine story, Guerrero claimed he was a doctor while he peddled "Supreme Greens" to cancer and AIDS patients, when, in fact, the only degree he holds is a master's in Chinese medicine from a California college that doesn't exist anymore. 

When asked to comment on Guerrero's history by "Dennis & Callahan," Brady said he hadn't read the entire Boston Magazine story or the FTC transcripts it cites, but was sure of one thing: Guerrero is legit. 

"I have tremendous belief with Alex and what he’s accomplished with me. In the 10 or 11 years we’ve been working together he has never been wrong," Brady said, crediting Guerrero for helping him prevent and treat injuries throughout his career. 

Personally speaking, Brady has little reason to doubt Guerrero. While he may be a medical fraud, whatever he's been doing with Brady has clearly worked -- at least in Brady's mind. Aside from his 2008 knee injury, Brady has arguably been the healthiest and most successful football player this century, and he's had a shaman-like figure in Guerrero, working with him nearly every step of the way. It puts Guerrero in a precarious position, as he's been completely disaccredited medically --- but since he's entangled with Brady's Super Bowl successes, he's got a real platform to bring his work to other athletes.

And therein lies the problem: Brady's trying to bring Guerrero's athlete lifestyle methods to market through TB12, the duo's company. Housed at Patriot Place, the commercial village outside of the Patriots' Gillette Stadium, TB12 is operating as a training facility that mainly sells the "TB12 Method":

Developed by Brady and his body coach, Alex Guerrero, their revolutionary approaches to wellness in the areas of nutrition and supplementation, as well as physical and mental fitness training, have helped athletes maximize their potential and maintain peak performance levels for more than a decade.

Damn, that's some good product marketing copy. (New rule: Anything that says it's "revolutionary" probably isn't.) While Guerrero's athlete nutrition and training methodology works for Brady, that doesn't mean it'll be successful for other players. And given Guerrero's long history of pushing extraordinary, dangerous lies and junk science on vulnerable people, the entire premise of TB12 and what it can do for non-Brady athletes should be called into question.

With or without Brady's defense, Guerrero is a proven quack -- a word that Brady himself might want to look up. Brady may think that Coca-Cola's lifestyle marketing is "quackery," as he explained in the same "Dennis & Callahan" Monday interview (and, given how unhealthy soda is, he's not totally wrong), but the real quackery in his life has been happening right in front of him the whole time.

He's just been, perhaps, blinded by the rings.


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