A new book by South Shore authors Casey Sherman and David Wedge details Tom Brady’s ultimate comebackBy Tom Joyce
The New England Patriots are no strangers to controversy, so it came as no surprise when a media frenzy ensued following the team’s 2015 AFC Championship victory amid allegations that under-inflated footballs had been used to gain a competitive advantage. An NFL investigation was launched, sending shockwaves throughout the league and jeopardizing the reputation of the team’s star quarterback.
The “deflategate” scandal would lead news coverage for weeks, even as the Patriots went on to win that year’s Super Bowl. In the offseason, the investigation only intensified, reopening old wounds between the Patriots’ powerful owner, Robert Kraft, and the National Football League (NFL) commissioner, Roger Goodell. When the dust settled, Brady would be able to play again—but only after watching the first four games of the 2016 season from his couch.
Not everyone was content to stand by and see the reputation of five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, dismantled. Among those eager to defend Brady’s reputation were South Shore authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. Sherman, a “New York Times” best-selling author, and Wedge, an award-winning journalist formerly of the “Boston Herald,” coauthored the recently published book “12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption,” (Little, Brown, July 2018). More of a courtroom drama than a traditional “sports book,” the book chronicles the incredible 2016 season and Brady’s ultimate comeback.
“We watched deflategate unfold and culminate with the greatest come-from-behind win in Super Bowl history,” says Sherman. “We wanted to take a look at the dark side of the NFL and decided to focus our efforts solely on this drama and found a story complete with betrayal, deceit and ultimately, redemption.”
One thing that stands out about the book is its unprecedented access to members of an otherwise exceptionally tight-lipped organization. Previously, Brady had never granted media access to a book that he did not author. Sherman and Wedge maneuvered around this obstacle by hiring one of Brady’s ex-teammates, former Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champ Matt Chatham, as their field producer. Chatham, who now works as a football analyst on NESN and ESPN, played alongside Brady for five seasons and had the quarterback’s trust and was therefore allowed to interview him. Sherman and Wedge also reached out to Brady’s legal team, the Patriots ownership group (including owner Robert Kraft) and several NFL players familiar with the situation.
The authors toiled in the hopes that their book would captivate readers much the way their prior collaborations have done, namely “Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy” (2015) and “The Ice Bucket Challenge: Pete Frates and the Fight against ALS” (2017). Their goal is to trigger the emotion and suspense Patriots diehards felt back when deflategate was still fresh on their minds, only this time, they will be equipped with more facts from Brady’s camp.
“Readers will see how the NFL unjustly tried to derail Brady’s career and we place [readers] right in the huddle for that epic Super Bowl win,” says Sherman. “It’s also a great read for business people as it examines corporate America and the quest to attain and hold onto power at all costs.”