015: That’s Tom E., Not Tommy with Tom E. Curran

Get it right and be 10 Percent Happier.  Tom read that too.  Author, sportswriter and TV host Tom E. Curran reads and writes a lot.  He’s Relentless.  Wait, he wrote Relentless.  Tom is relentlessly fascinating about deep things, mundane things, everything.  245 books on his KindleWhew!

Full Podcast Transcript

[00:00:12] Recorded live from the Sweet Tea Studios in Wellesley Massachusetts. You’re listening to the podcast, Why I Read Nonfiction. Hosted by broadcaster and author of The Perfect Catch and Follow the Dog Home. Here’s Kevin Walsh.

(Kevin) Hey what’s going on?

[00:00:31] Welcome to the program. Thank you to Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod for sponsoring Why I read Nonfiction. It’s as much about the reader and the impact that the books have on them.  Why they choose the books that they do, when they choose to read, how they go about making a book selection, and how key books stick with them for life.  To receive the show automatically be sure to hit the subscribe button in your listening directory. It’s easy and it’s free and be sure to share the podcast with a friend. Our guest today is Tom E Curran.  Tom is a sportswriter and TV personality with NBC Sports Boston. He’s covered the world champion New England Patriots more than anybody I know. He’s also the author of Relentless, which he co-authored with Super Bowl MVP and Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman.  Tom is taking a drive from his home into the workplace in Burlington, Massachusetts. Tom what’s going on? It’s good to have you on the program.

[00:01:27] (Tom) Kevin you sound awesome. This is some incredibly delightful acoustics you got going.

[00:01:33] (Kevin) Well I got the home studio set up and you’re driving in your car. So hopefully the phone is as good and clear and everything. (Tom) Does it sound that way to you?

[00:01:41] (Kevin) It sounds all right and you’re not going to.

[00:01:45] Yes. So let’s. Along the way, if we’re passing a particular landmark or whatever wanted to let me know where you are. So we feel like we’re taking a drive and we’re arriving at the destination with cool stops along the way. Good by you?

[00:01:59] (Tom) Fine with me. I’ll give you, see I live down in Lakeville, Massachusetts.  It’s kinda on its way to the Cape. I grew up in Pembroke, kind of been a South Shore guy. Lakeville is closer to the south coast, near New Bedford, Raynham, Taunton, Middleboro, all of that.

[00:02:12] So I’m about an hour from Burlington. So I wanted to get all my ducks in a row because if we’re gonna be talking for half an hour which I can’t wait to do, I want it to be in a position where I’m making positive strides towards my destination because you know how the traffic gets. We’re right now on 495 about to just about to hop on 24.

[00:02:35] So we’re good to go. (Kevin) I don’t know if you know this Tom but Boston is now considered the worst traffic town in America which to me is surprising, because I think usually most of those conversations start with Los Angeles and then maybe go to New York, but Boston Number one? I guess I can believe it. You too?

[00:02:54] (Tom) Well I read the measurement the way they did the measurement was really interesting it was the volume of traffic and the amount of time that it took to go a certain length. Whereas you might have greater density with your Atlantas and Los Angeleses.  The density of traffic in certain spots and Boston is greater than other places.

[00:03:17] (Kevin) Well I think part of that has to do with the fact that we have an ocean on one side of us.  (Tom) Good point Kevin. (Kevin) So that eliminates about half the driving area. You can’t drive your car out in the ocean right now. But I know what you’re saying.  Traffic can be absolutely brutal around this town. Let’s get in your reading. You seem to have a real reading problem. (Tom) I do.  (Kevin) Based on my calculations two hundred forty-five books on your Kindle, is that right?

[00:03:42] (Tom) Yeah, yeah, and I and I know a lot of people look down their nose at a Kindle. And I think I initially probably shared that feeling. But to me it’s been really a godsend I guess.

[00:03:57] Yeah I guess it’s been a godsend in that it’s always given me something where I can browse easily, download quickly.

[00:04:05] You can never replace the feeling of being in a bookstore and just having a volume of books and just the intelligence that is poured into all those pages that are around you as opposed to sitting on a small screen. But I never would have been able to download so many books. Not all of them are of the same genre.

[00:04:24] And the other thing about buying a Kindle book for 9.99 or 6.99  if I do get 27 pages in, and I’m like yeah this wasn’t really what I was looking for, I can always say well that’s the equivalent of two coffees.

[00:04:38] I tried, I didn’t like it, on onto the next one.

[00:04:41] It doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens,  (Kevin) And there’s also the space saver. I mean if you were to have two hundred forty five books you would almost need another bookshelf in the home office or whatever. It’s always there. You can sync it up with your phone however you do it. I go back and forth. I have no problem with Kindle and I think the people that are technology resistant, if they do it enough, or if you take the hardcopy option away from them, which is going to happen eventually to everybody, they’ll be fine with it. Words are words. But Tom clearly reading is a huge part of your life. I’d just like to know how much? What it does for you?  Because clearly, it’s something that you make the time to do.

[00:05:22] (Tom) Yeah it’s just something I look forward to.

[00:05:24] Whereas a lot of people will watch television and just digest series whether it be Game of Thrones or The Wire or any other the number of shows I read in place of that. Not that I haven’t watched Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or any of those. But I don’t have the same volume of moviegoing or television consumption that others do. I really shouldn’t admit this but I don’t watch as much live sports as I do reading over the course of a week. And I do it at night.  Sometimes I’ll do it in the late afternoon.  If I’m not going up to do television I’ll read probably you know five to seven.  And then when I go to bed I’m going to read for another hour, hour and a half. But it’s two different things.  In one way it’s to relax.

[00:06:11] The feeling that I get and I go to bed late, but the feeling that I get, my wife’s a teacher she’s in bed before me so I sneak into the room quietly. I find my Kindle with my phone light.  I open the Kindle and once I set the Kindle on my lap in front of me and prop goes up behind me so I’m not going to wake her up, and that’s why I probably started on the Kindle so I could read in bed.  That 45 seconds of where was I in the book? Oh here I am, is probably the most contented and releasing part of my day.

[00:06:43] (Kevin) You need it in your life. I’m the same way Tom. (Tom) Yeah.  (Kevin) Because if I don’t read I feel like I’m not holding up my end of something and maybe that’s being the perpetual student that I think I want to be and need to be. It’s a constant juice for me it’s time well spent. It gives me purpose it gives me something to look forward to. And I always feel like it’s time well spent. So when I’m done. Not only was that time well spent but I have things to think about and things to talk about.  You too?

[00:07:12] (Tom) Yeah. And I do it, but I primarily do it for relaxation. It’s funny you say that because in the books I read there’s some times where I say “all right you know what why don’t we read something about… that can,” OK, maybe this one book that we’ll mention later is called 10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris.

[00:07:30] (Kevin) I’m glad you brought that up.  When somebody reads a book about happiness I find that they’re searching for something.  Was that true for you?

[00:07:40] (Tom) Yeah it’s just I think we’re consumed by a constant, especially in our business, or in most people’s businesses regardless; improve, improve, improve, strive, strive, strive succeed, succeed, succeed, and that gerbil on the wheel feeling that you get sometimes makes it hard for you to, and we’re told not to be satisfied, but you do have to at some point turn things off.

[00:08:08] So that book really introduced me to probably a 100 level of meditation that I still can engage in right now to calm my brain down and to realize that my brain is just a part of my body the same way my finger is a part of my body.  My brain doesn’t have to dominate me.  I can turn it off and on as I want to.  The thoughts don’t have to continuously play, nor do I have to give them the attention that I believe that they need. So that book really opened the door for me in a lot of self-discovery kinds of ways as to how your mind works. It’s another book by Susan Cain. I might be taken but the name of the book is Quiet.

[00:08:53] It was a book that.  (Kevin) I’ve read that too. (Tom) Yeah yeah. Is it Susan Cain?  I think it is.  Great.

[00:08:58] And then most recently I’ve been reading a book called The Untethered Soul, which I think a lot of people read, you know maybe in the middle of last decade ’06, ’07 it was a big Oprah book.  But Jerod Mayo had kind of turned me on to that.   And I finally started reading and it was helpful to me, and my three sons are 22, 21 and 20 and they’re getting on the same wheel that I’m on.  Two are in college, one has just gotten out, There’s occasions where I can see the stress on them and they articulate to me. And I recommended Untethered Soul to my middle son and bought him a hard copy and he read it and I said “How ya feeling?  Any of this getting through to you?” He said it helped a lot. I probably have a couple of dozen of those books Kevin.

[00:09:43] (Kevin) And sometimes when you have that book and you have it in your hands be it the Kindle or the hard copy of it, it’s looking back at you.  And you discover it, even though somebody may have led you there, you discover the wisdom of the book on your own. It seems to me that the 10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris has stuck with you for a while. How do you incorporate that day today with the meditation and why did you think that was important for you to do?

[00:10:13] (Tom) It was important to me because the approach of Dan who works at ABC I believe still, but he works locally, and then he was with ABC.

[00:10:22] He was just resistant to the entire idea of meditation until he was introduced to it.  And when he dealt with people we said “Oh meditation is gonna make you ineffective. You’re going to be sitting cross-legged on the floor with your forefinger and thumb touching.  And he had to explain what meditation was. And that was the same thing to me.

[00:10:47] I think we all have an initial rolling our eyes at I need to get in touch with my thoughts or whatever.

[00:10:54] And the title of the book 10 Percent Happier is how he explains why he does it.  People are asking what are you doing that for? Because it makes me 10 percent happier. Nobody can argue with the idea of being 10 percent happier.

[00:11:06] So do I meditate every day? Not necessarily. But even small instances and I just did it as I was hustling to get out of the house to talk to you Kevin. I wasn’t paying any attention to anything in terms of making a sandwich, getting out of the house,

[00:11:24] I was just doing it by rote and I kept thinking myself ‘you got so much shit to do. You gotta do so much.  Hurry up, hurry up. Kevin’s going to be pissed, you’re not in the car yet. And I just finally said those are your thoughts, those aren’t you. Why don’t you step back and be the seer? Which is what the Untethered Soul says is.  The senior is the one who looks at the thoughts and divides themselves from that. And I said just look at your thoughts right now.  You’re creating a

[00:11:52] stress level that’s not necessary. So those books help me throttle back on the monkey mind that we all own.

[00:12:02] (Kevin) I actually meditated before we did this podcast. I don’t know if I’ve told you the story about meditation in my life, but my father in law (Dr. Gnap) who is a physician in suburban Chicago, he teaches his patients, he’s your regular family doctor so he will give you medicine for the sniffles and everything else, but he also helps people to use the power of the mind and what he would call selective relaxation or hypnosis, which is another one of those weird words or whatever to help people get a better handle on things.  Because if you know how medicine works the placebo effect is 80 percent as effective as the real thing. So if you can get a better handle on the mind to settle yourself down, you can reduce some of your symptoms and you can settle down from the stressful times in life. And this has helped me immensely. I’ve been doing it for 30 years almost every day. I’ll spend 15 minutes just closing my eyes breathing deeply and sort of visualizing the stress going away and how I want my day to go. And I think it’s been very impactful in my life.

[00:13:07] (Tom) Yeah absolutely.

[00:13:08] I mean books like Untethered Soul, 10 Percent Happier, The Four Agreements, you know, All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  Those self-help books again, there’s a market for them because we all are trying to improve and be better people.  And I think that those are good, they’re a building block of my reading. And there’s often times where I don’t read them front to back.  You know the subtle art of not giving up. Well, I’ll say I hate saying f word but I don’t know how your podcast works.  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is another that I’ve read recently. That was really helpful. So there’s all kinds in the genre, but they all kind of come back to your brain and your thoughts, not your brain, your thoughts aren’t real.  They’re only as real as you allow them to be. They don’t have to dominate you don’t have to think all the time.

[00:14:09] I think it was, I can’t remember which book it was that I read.

[00:14:15] It’s like so, well what about when I’m having a busy day and I have to keep all these things straight? And I think I might have been Dan Harris, and the guy goes, ‘Of course. Yes. Get your stuff ready and pack and go through a mental checklist. But you don’t have to run through your mental checklist 13 times saying ‘Did I pack my underwear?’

[00:14:34] And I think that we do do that. We seize on things and we say the same things to ourselves over and over and over again because we have what they call the “Monkey Mind” where our mind has to be doing something all time.  It doesn’t. You can shut it down and just look at the car next to you, or the trees on the top of the bedrock that get blasted out here on 24 as you drive.

[00:14:54] (Kevin) And then when it’s time to get your mind back in the game.  (Tom) Yes. (Kevin) It usually will get back in the appropriate place where it needs to be, better off and refreshed for that break away from things. (Tom) Yes.  (Kevin) Our guest today is Tom E Curran, NBC Sports Boston.  And he is the author of Relentless.  Why I read Nonfiction is brought to you by Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod.  A stunning beach house on a private freshwater kettle pond loaded with fish, perfect for swimming, not just summer spring and fall on the Cape are stunning and that’s when the freshwater fishing comes alive. the trout in particular. For more information on Nirvana and the books that I’m talking about here with Tom, our guest on the show, log onto our web site at Why I Read Nonfiction dot.com.   Tom, the title of the podcast is Why I  Read Nonfiction, but I will make an exception every now and then to go into the fictional Category. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Again it’s another book about the pursuit of happiness. (Tom) Mmmmhmmmn.  (Kevin) But things getting in the way.  You read it not once. but twice.

[00:15:58] Why?  (Tom) Well, because it’s in the prologue

[00:16:05] it’s described as the sentences, each sentence is really perfect,  meaning that they all advance, they’re all well written, they’re all tight, clean and they are. Because it’s beautifully written because it’s really funny, but it’s also desperately sad in some ways as well.  It’s about a fictional futuristic, futuristic isn’t really accurate, but, and I’m just doing this from memory.

[00:16:38] A kid at a prep school in suburban Boston, seemingly Brookline.  And it’s a point in time not that far in the future but probably 2080 or something like that.

[00:16:49] And the way the world has evolved that point isn’t as jetson esque as you might think but, this young phenom teen tennis player is searching for meaning in life.

[00:17:04] And it’s a book that’s turned on its ear and he’s searching for meaning and he’s searching for happiness and never really finds it.

[00:17:14] And he goes crazy trying to find it. David Foster Wallace for those people who are listening who don’t know him, you know had a tragic life and took his own life. And if you do some research on him whether or not that was related to crushing depression, or a prescription drug change that

[00:17:36] left unchecked some issues he was having. The point is, this was a deep-thinking fascinating person. It was brilliantly funny and brilliantly intelligent.

[00:17:47] And the book is as dense and confusing and brilliant and funny as it is, bears a second reading.  But I’ll tell you this: don’t read it if you’re blue.  (laughter) Because you’re going to come out the other end even more blue.  (Kevin) That’s OK.

[00:18:07] Sometimes it’s good to read a sad book because it’ll put your sadness in perspective, and I don’t think you should be, I think you should read with courage.  (Tom) Well you can read with courage but it also becomes to me, I, I was, you know, I think we all ride the wave if we’re honest with ourselves, some more than others. And I think that I was when I read it that I can remember the two times I read it.

[00:18:30] One time I read it was probably 2015 because I remember clearly not going out to Denver for the AFC championship game and just reading it.  And for whatever reason I was blue at that point. And I read it and I just remember, I feel, feeling kind of depressed.

[00:18:44] And then two weeks later we’re in San Francisco I was really depressed.

[00:18:48] So that Super Bowl and again I’m saying depressed as in not clinically, you know, (Kevin) You’re just having the blues. (Tom) Yeah I think probably somewhere in between you know short just having the blues and you know.  (Kevin) Life was a little bit heavy.

[00:19:03] You had a lot of stuff going. (Tom) Yeah.

[00:19:05] (Kevin) Look we all have families, we all have problems, right?  (Tom) All those metaphors, sometimes it has nothing to do with life being heavy, or and we all got a lot going on.

[00:19:13] Sometimes we just sink there.  But I’m telling you this book is fascinating in that realm because it’s watching someone grappling with it. So that’s why that book was important to me. But the other book and this is nonfiction.  It’s about life. It’s about humanity, that book is.  But the nonfiction book that I’ve read twice, that is nearly as dense, is The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

[00:19:36] (Kevin) Yeah. Tell me about that. Why why did you want to read it the first time and then the second time?  (Tom) because Nazi Germany to me is,

[00:19:47] you know, probably since The Crusades, probably certainly prior to that, is one of the five greatest tragedies in human history. How did that happen in my lifetime when my mother was on earth where my grandparents were sentient beings?

[00:20:05] How could 30 million people be slaughtered in Germany alone not to mention Russia and the surrounding countries?

[00:20:12] What happened? And I think I got into it first by reading a book called Auschwitz, an updated story, and it more or less tracked the guards and how they were able to suspend their morals to go along with the final solution.  And it didn’t paint them in a sympathetic light, but it explained how this happens and how it did happen with them.

[00:20:41] So I read that and I’ve read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, as dense as it is, if you hold it up, you know, it’s like a brick.  But it’s incredibly readable.  And it’s an important book because it explains the courage and bravery of England and Winston Churchill.

[00:21:01] It explains our resistance here led really by Joe Kennedy and the isolationists’ mentality of the United States at that time, our hesitation to get involved in World War 2. And then the role we play. But it also just talks about how normal people how did they get to where they got?  Well, they got to where they got because of what happened in World War One and the fallout from that. How did they become such as disaffective? How did they get to a place where lives were disposable? And the book explains that.

[00:21:38] (Kevin) Does it get into the power of persuasion? Because that was the other thing.

[00:21:44] How how could the guards be convinced that this was good and suspend as you say morality? But I think people can be very easily persuaded when they live in fear, or when there’s a charismatic figure. I mean look at Jim Jones and the people that walked all the way down to South America and then drank the punch, right?

[00:22:03] (Tom) Yup.  It’s exactly right. They have to be a disaffected, disenfranchised group. You can go from Jim Jones to Adolf Hitler to Charlie Manson.

[00:22:13] I mean it doesn’t take its charismatic leader dealing with disaffected people can do a lot of damage.  And Auschwitz which I would also,  An Updated Story, I think this is what the title of it is.

[00:22:29] I can circle back with that but that that was a book that dealt more with you’re referring to.  Those two books were fascinating to me.

[00:22:38] (Kevin) Our guest is Tom E Curran, NBC Sports Boston, host a Boston Sports Tonight. He is the author of Relentless. For links to what he’s reading, books we’ve talked about here, log onto our web site at Why I Read Nonfiction dot.com. And many thanks to our sponsor Nirvana on beautiful Cape Cod. Have you been to the Cape? If you’re looking for a great spring, fall or summer getaway check out Nirvana.  The fishing there is fantastic. I fished there just a couple of days ago, and I’ll be fishing there this weekend. It is terrific. Tom, let’s talk about your book Relentless by Julian Edelman. I read it. I loved it. (Tom) Thanks.  (Kevin) In some ways, I see parts of you with Julian Edelman his story, a scrapper in life. (laughter) How did you arrive at… how did that business relationship…what’s the genesis behind it? Did you approach him, or the other way around?

[00:23:29] (Tom) Really actually more convoluted.

[00:23:37] Michael Holley had written a number of books with a publishing house called Hatchette.  And he had just finished doing a book with them, and their main guy Moro DiPrenter reached out to Michael and said “Would you be interested maybe in doing a book with Julian Edelman?”  And Holley just having finished a book said you know what? Not really. But I think I have a better fit for you with a guy work with, Tom Curran. So I’ve got a good relationship with Julian’s agent, Don Yee, and Steve Dubin so they obviously take care of his affairs to a large extent.

[00:24:15] And they dealt with Hachette.  Hachette talked to me a little bit.   Michael gave his imprimatur.  (Kevin) And then you’re up and writing a book?

[00:24:30] (Kevin) Yeah.  Julian Julian and I have always had a good relationship, kind of understand each other.  We would, you know, I had, he’s almost between my kids age and me.

[00:24:38] So he’s almost, you know it’s not a little brother by any stretch, but I related to his dad really well. I went out to San Francisco to Redwood City and met with his dad.  He and I hit it off. We had a great weekend together playing basketball, driving around looking at college at San Mateo where we went for prep school, And all the high schools that he played at, the baseball fields so we had kind of a little bit of kismet that really existed between the two of us as we did the book, and we had to do the book really quickly because the turnaround was about five weeks.

[00:25:12] So I got 80,000 thousand words done in about five weeks.

[00:25:15] (Kevin) Well you did a good job.  (Tom) Thank you.  (Kevin) It didn’t seem like a rush job. And what I liked about it more than anything, it didn’t read like a typical jock book. I think the outside world may know Julian Edelman as this chronic overachiever; all true. This was a guy that was 4 foot 9 98 pounds when he was a freshman in high school. How how did he possibly grow into a body that could be NFL ready?  And he had to fight to get a division one scholarship, he was a quarterback then was converted to a wide receiver. And when he was drafted by the Patriots Tom, I didn’t know that he was really gonna make it. Certainly not become the star that he has become.

[00:25:55] Did you?  (Tom) (inaudible) (Kevin) Tom say that again.  We just lost connection for a second.  Go back to training camp.  (Tom) The beginning of training camp in 2009 he burst in such a pronounced way that it was unmistakable that, OK, this isn’t a normal seventh-round draft pick. He’s got electric physical ability and suddenness in his movements that are unique. So you knew they were going to find someplace for him.  He returned, the first time he touched the ball in a preseason game he returned it for a touchdown. It’s unusual and it showed up. But I didn’t think that he would be able to assimilate and it took him years to assimilate into the offense, in part because Wes Welker was ahead of him.  But also in part because he had to grow up and he did do that over the course of time. So and he also dealt with injuries. But you can see it and you honestly could see you could see it with him. You could see it with (Danny) Amendola. When you go to those training camp practices and you watch some athletes move, they look different than other ones. And Julien definitely did look different.

[00:27:09] (Kevin) The backstory I like because the family had to make a lot of sacrifices.  It was his grandmother there was a move from Oklahoma out to California?  So the story started long before Julian really came on the scene, correct?

[00:27:24] (Tom) Yes, Frank Edelman’s mom had…

[00:27:34] this is how they got to California.

[00:27:37] She moved to California because she was married and she had a couple of deaf children. (kevin) Right.

[00:27:44] (Tom) And the only place she was going to be able to get schooling for them was at a school for the Deaf in California which wasn’t really an institution. So they moved out there.   Frank in turn really raised himself, almost like a feral child in San Francisco, Redwood City, in that area.

[00:28:05] So he didn’t have really a very stable upbringing, but he had an unbelievable work ethic.

[00:28:11] And when Julian came along and Frank had been a mechanic and started his own garage and made all the sacrifices he did to get to that point when he realized he had a prodigy and a pretty intelligent kid as well as his daughter and his other son Jason.

[00:28:33] He parented them the way he thought that they should be. Which was as hard as possible, drive them as hard as you can.

[00:28:41] Because he didn’t have a handbook.  And there were times when he and I would talk, and he’d tell me a story about you know chasing Julian onto the stairs after he walked out of the room and grabbing him and jacking him up against the wall by the neck and having Julie just stare at daggers at him.  And he would stop and say to me “I did it all wrong Tom.”

[00:29:00] I did it all wrong. I had no idea what I was doing.  I did it all wrong.”

[00:29:04] (Kevin) Well I appreciate that honesty that he would make himself vulnerable and admit that I made mistakes. (Tom) Yeah.  (Kevin) Because a lot of that is missing in society, I think, where people say you know what? “Look I messed up. I’m sorry. I’m going to try and be better.” But in the end Julian and his dad, despite what was kind of a rough upbringing, he is his father’s son, isn’t he?

[00:29:27] (Tom) Oh 100%. Yeah. I mean, the drills that, and Julian and that’s the other reason he and I did able to relate well. Julian as we talked about would be in the terrible on the wheel he strives and strive and strives and strives and strives.  He needs to shut his brain too.  And there got to a point after the 2015 season, where he was going to kind of a dark place and he needed to have some intercession to start figuring out who he was, what it was all about, and growing up.  So he’s a proponent of being in touch with

[00:30:11] your thoughts and keeping keep them clean.  And that’s why I think Tom Brady is such a great influence.  Not just on Edelman, but on that entire team. Because he’s (Tom Brady) very much mixed mixing issues, you know the stability of reason and logic that comes with Catholicism being raised a devout Catholic as he was, with the Eastern philosophies of spirit that are present as well.

[00:30:35] So I took all of that stuff helps people negotiate life.

[00:30:40] (Kevin) And I think Julian getting in touch with his Jewish roots, which he wasn’t he was born Jewish but was really one who went to temple on the Sabbath and everything. I think that’s been very important to him and we’ve seen that in his choices of what he wears.  He has yarmulkes with the.

[00:30:57] JE 11 on it which I think is fantastic, and if somebody wants, you always have time to go back to discover your roots. You mentioned… how much of it did he write?  Is this him telling you the stories and then you’re ready, or would you write?

[00:31:13] (Tom) I wrote all of it.

[00:31:14] (Kevin) Yeah, okay. (Tom) I wrote all of it.  (Kevin) A lot of time on the phone with him?  (Tom) An incredible amount of time.  A lot of times we would meet at his house and he could know I would just run the I would say here’s what we’re going to get through today.  You’re going to take me through elementary school, and pop warner, into X; and we would talk about those things and I would interject about you know the non football things to talk about how we were shaped.  And that’s how we did it because again, we didn’t have a long time.

[00:31:44] So we did a bunch of in his apartment in Beacon Hill, Comm Ave. And then it became the middle of June and early July and that’s when the NFL kind of goes on break. So, I did a lot of it by phone too and it was funny because he was out in Montana with Brady and Danny Amendola you can see some of that stuff from the Tom Versus Time (facebook). There was that period of time when he went out there and winning incommunicado on me and I’m like ‘Dude we gotta get this done!’ we gotta get this done.  You can’t not call.  (Kevin)

[00:32:17] He doesn’t understand the pressures of the deadline with the publisher.

[00:32:21] (Tom) No, no, but he did. But he would say.  “Dude Tom gets us up at 7 in the morning and he has an itinerary we’re going all day.  I have to sneak out to make these calls. It’s ridiculous.”

[00:32:34] So a few different masters he was trying to serve.

[00:32:39] (Kevin) That’s, see that’s why I like asking the question. There’s always more to it. And I think my takeaway from the book is it really lives up to its name Relentless. Because if he didn’t have that relentless desire to succeed and push himself and have some outside forces I don’t think he would have made it. And I don’t think anybody can say he didn’t deserve it based on the effort that he’s put into it. And Tom Brady I’ll tell you Julian’s fight for everything in his life.  And it just read very interesting and I felt like I was along for the ride the whole time from his childhood all the way through which is what a good book is all about.

[00:33:13] (Tom) Yeah and I was happy when I finished it. You know the first time you do a book, and I’ve read so voraciously there’s parts of me that would love to write a fiction book, or a book that is not in someone else’s voice but in mind that’s reported out.

[00:33:28] I’m a big fan of William Manchester and I think one of the great books is Michael MacCambridge’s I think it’s called America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation is the history of pro football takes you about 2004-2005. Incredible book, must read for any NFL fan, Michael MacCambridge.

[00:33:50] But I’d love to do some kind of book like that at some point. (Kevin) Well, you should do it. (Tom) Yeah, I look at the Patriots really Kevin from 2010 to now, this team in so many ways is it’s not the same story as the two thousand to two thousand nine story. It’s a different story.  And it’s much more layered.  In many ways, it’s much more sensational and fascinating.

[00:34:17] (Kevin) Because it’s evolved.  (Tom) Because there’s murder, there’s sex, there’s intrigue, there’s you name it enmeshed with the most historic professional sports team of the last 50 years most likely.  (Kevin) Well I tell you what, why don’t you write that book?  And you got to come back and we’ll talk some more because there were far more things that I wanted to talk about as well as far as your fascination with world history and also the Pacific theater of World War 2. But let’s just call it a day here Tom. (Tom) Okay, bud.  (Kevin) Anything you need to promote?

[00:34:56] (Tom) Oh just keep following our draft coverage on NBC Sports Boston now.

[00:35:00] My Twitter is @tomecurran. We got a Quick Slants on Tuesdays occasionally on Wednesdays but that’s always at 6:00. Phil Perry and I are going to be doing that.  Jerod Mayo has flown the coop back into coaching, but I feel good about that show every week.  When I finish and I say that I did something that no other show, no other radio show in Boston does. And I think we go to detail into each other on things in a different way and we get people out there voice just like I love the show.

[00:35:27] We do a podcast about half an hour.  Find that by following me on Twitter as well.  And the draft coming up so bang it on the NBC Sports Boston blog for all of our draft coverage.

[00:35:40] (Kevin) You got it, and read Relentless as well. Hey, Tom always good to talk to you. For more books that we talked about with Tom. Log on to our Web site at https://whyireadnonfiction.com There is information about upcoming episodes. You can visit our bookstore. Join the nonfiction network, an exclusive private online community for our listeners to keep the conversation going. And thanks to Nirvana. The perfect spring, summer, and fall getaway with world-class trout and bass fishing on Cape Cod. Subscribe to the podcast. It’s easy it’s free. Share the podcast with a friend.  For Tom E Curran, I’m Kevin Walsh. We’ll see you again next time on Why I Read Nonfiction.

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