The Climate inside Tom Brady’s Pajamas

Craig A. Foster

President Trump barely attended a U.N. climate summit. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots look ready to win another Super Bowl. It’s a good time to talk about the quarterback’s pajamas.

Yep, Brady sells pajamas. Well, no, sorry. Brady sells “Athlete Recovery Sleepwear” (ARS). Brady’s ARS is advertised with the slogan, “When we wake rested, we rise unbeatable.” That is obvious nonsense. I can’t imagine any contemporary football expert betting on a rested Miami Dolphins over a groggy New Orleans Saints. Besides, what if both teams are rested? Wouldn’t somebody have to lose? Anyway, it’s just a tagline, and I digress.

Brady’s pajamas apparently enhance recovery because “the mineral-lined fabric returns infrared energy to your body to restore your muscles faster.” Brady’s ARS is also “POWERED BY REDWAVE.” Redwave refers to Redwave Global, a company that offers, among other things, “supercharged” clothing and bedding. Redwave products use a proprietary formula to concentrate the power of “far infrared.” These products purportedly help professional athletes with performance and recovery and regular people with sleep and general health.

I don’t want to go deep into the electromagnetism inside Tom Brady’s pajamas. The Redwave webpage says a lot about being science based but nothing substantial about the physical mechanism that makes Redwave work. Besides, the sports performance industry has many pseudoscientific products in its lineup. I would need to see pretty convincing evidence before I would pay money to get into Brady’s mineral-lined pants.

Brady’s ARS is compelling because it is so much more than just another performance and recovery product. Brady’s ARS is based on a scientific mechanism that could dictate the future of humanity as we know it—a mechanism that would seemingly belie Brady’s supposed support for President Trump.

To be fair, I don’t know that Brady supports Trump, but some evidence suggests that he does. There was the MAGA hat that found its way into Brady’s locker. Trump also claimed that Brady told him that he had voted for him. Take that for what you will. At the same time, Brady’s famous wife, Gisele Bündchen, disagreed with speculation on Twitter that she and Brady had backed Trump (see www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2016/11/08/gisele-tom-brady-donald-trump/).

I don’t envy Brady’s position. Political associations such as these force Brady to make a definitive statement about his political play calling or live with speculation—speculation that I am admittedly making. Nonetheless, considering the importance of this issue, I think I can justify the extra point I’m about to kick.

What do Brady’s pajamas have to do with Brady and Trump being possible bedfellows? Brady’s ARS operates on the premise that some forms of matter absorb and reemit more infrared radiation than others. If one adds matter that captures and reemits infrared radiation around the human body, the body will receive greater levels of infrared radiation and stay warmer as a result.

You don’t say?

That is, of course, the same premise underlying human-caused climate change. Earth emits infrared radiation. When it does, the atmosphere absorbs it and reemits it. Change the atmosphere (by adding more greenhouse gases), and the atmosphere increases the amount of infrared radiation that it reemits back toward Earth. This, in turn, makes Earth warmer.

More to the point, Brady’s pajama science sacks Trump’s climate change denial.

This does not necessarily make Brady a raging hypocrite. Even if Brady supports Trump, it is possible that Brady disagrees with Trump’s no-point stance on Earth’s climate. Brady has gently indicated that possibility. It seems odd though. To those who believe in human-caused climate change, Trump’s inaction looks terrifically tragic.

Being a psychology professor, I also understand how somebody could discount global climate change while promoting pajama climate change. The concept of motivated reasoning describes how this can occur. Individuals frequently use different reasoning strategies to arrive at desired conclusions. Accordingly, Brady could find ways to dismiss the importance of atmospheric changes but simultaneously believe in the science behind his ARS.

Brady might believe that he has innovated the infrared-reflecting capabilities of pajama wear while also believing that Earth’s atmosphere has not changed meaningfully. Alternatively, Brady might believe that his pajamas trap more infrared radiation than the atmosphere, because his ARS is solid, not gaseous.

Perhaps Brady believes that human-caused climate change isn’t all bad. Brady could read scientific reports about climate change and conclude that people all over the world are reaping recovery and performance benefits from our new and improved atmosphere.

I would love to hear Brady’s thoughts on this topic. It looks to me like Brady can either support climate science or discredit his pajama science. Personally, I would like to see Brady use his pajamas to educate the public about human-caused climate change. Brady has so much more influence than I do. His ability to make Earth a safer place could cement his legacy not just as a football player but also as a humanitarian.

For my part, I would be thrilled to know that I helped Brady tackle global climate change. In fact, I would feel like I won the Super Bowl.