While the quarantine-era Super Bowl Week rolls on from Tampa, the fans and media hope for someone to guarantee a victory – or just say (or do) something reckless.

It’s not happening just yet, so we’ll take a deeper look into exactly what a few NFL newsmakers are saying – between the lines of their stagnant quotes.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, talking retirement.

What he said: “I don’t know when that time will come, but I think I’ll know, and I’ll understand that I gave it everything I could. … I can never go at this game half-assed. I think I’ll know when it’s time. …  When I put it all out there and I feel like I can’t do that anymore and I can’t commit to the team in the way that the team needs me, then I think that’s probably time to walk away.”

What he meant: I’m pretty sure I’ll be better than just about every QB in the game when I turn 50. Have you seen this body? And the hair? Never better. All I need is for you to doubt me (pointing to his live and virtual audience). And you, and you, you and certainly you. I’m Tom Brady, you hear me? Never angry; just enjoying my best life.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, talking about Tom Brady.

What he said: “The way he’s able to dissect defenses before the snap is something that I truly admire. I’m trying to get to that level … As I continue in my career, I’m trying to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he’s doing it the right way, and you can tell by … the rings on his fingers.”

What he meant: He’s old. I mean, really old. Of course, he knows a lot; he’s seen a lot. Probably was scouting the Chiefs when we won Super Bowl IV in 1970. That doesn’t mean he’s better than I am. And the man can’t move; he’s a statue – always has been. I can run. I’m quick and can make every throw he can make. Rings? I need six more to tie him – and it’ll be down to five after Sunday.

And, what big-time media event would be complete without the incomparable Rob Gronkowski?

What he said: “I’m doing real well, man. Real well. Haven’t missed a practice, haven’t missed a game. … Overall on a general basis, this year has been very well for me in terms of my health.”

What he meant: Well, I played through basically a compound fracture in my leg, found a great way to avoid concussion detection – as you know, I’m a little different anyway – and jumped on a grenade to save Tom Brady’s life last week. I’m good.

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