Game over. The lid has been blown off the conspiracy. The cold, harsh light of reality is bearing down on this ruse.
Call it Normalgate.
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are just a couple of human beings who, six-plus years in, may be having marital problems. And whether that's true or not, there's no going back. They're just people from now on.
Wasn't all that hotness and money and fame supposed to protect the couple from just this sort of thing? What's Gisele doing all that yoga on the beach for if not to ensure the kind of lithe flexibility that makes her Teflon in times that would prove traumatic for regular wives?
And shouldn't Tom's handful of Super Bowl rings pack enough of a punch against the domestic drama that can afflict regular husbands?
It has to get extra-hot, but even gold has a boiling point. And any diamond, if hit hard enough and in just the right place, will crack.
Tom and Gisele have easily been reigning as one of the most esteemed couples in all of celebdom, if not the most. (We're going to guess, in fact, that more guys would rather be Tom Brady than, say, Brad Pitt or George Clooney, thanks to his day job as the one of the most successful NFL players of all time. Having your nickname—"MVP"—chanted by thousands of rabid fans, and then you go home to Gisele? Gives whole new meaning to the idea of Fantasy Football.)
Billy Farrell/BFANYC/Sipa USA
But is the bloom off the rose?
Us Weekly reports that the atmosphere in the Brady-Bündchen household has taken a turn for the toxic in the wake of Deflategate, with Gisele supposedly threatening Tom with divorce and Tom acting like a petulant child because he's in a bad place.
But we paraphrase.
Because, without even reading about any of this, we could have guessed that the four-time Super Bowl winner and the Brazilian supermodel were going to hit a rough patch in the wake of his four-game suspension and ongoing battle to have it overturned.
Brady's obviously still got the skills to win championships (although his many, many critics—funny how the most beloved are also the most despised—would argue that he's a cheater), but at 38 he's entering the twilight of his Hall of Fame career whether he's ready or not.
And Gisele, at the ripe old age of 35, retired from the runway earlier this year, that leg of her Gisellion-dollar career over (for now, until her eventual comeback at the behest of some fashion icon or another), the arc of her top-modeldom resembling that of a pro athlete's prime, i.e. post-retirement they remain young and perfectly fit for anything other than what they love to do.
First off, we're going to guess that this has been a weird time for her. Despite being as stunning as ever, she's got to be feeling a little...deflated, if you will.
So Gisele strutted her last catwalk in April, and then Tom got all tangled up in this football scandal. So here they are. Put each spouse's quirks, idiosyncrasies and, yes, flaws aside (not that they have any, but let's just assume for the sake of argument), and still you've got the makings of a big bump in the road regardless of their usual dynamic.
Tom's got the support of his team and the New England Patriots' rabid fan base, but his ego has taken a mighty hit (that courtroom sketch alone...) and if he's anything like, hmm...a man, he's not been the most pleasant guy to be around lately.
Some possible scenarios:
He may be more touchy and uncommunicative than usual, and while Gisele—who already was going through her own thing—wants to be there for him, he's caught up in his own head and eschewing her offerings of support.
Or, he's been out of sorts and she's not having it because...well, she may just be at a loss. Aside from the time the Patriots were dinged by the NFL for recording other teams' private signals, Brady's had a pretty smooth go of it and this is hitting harder and closer to home than your average Super Bowl loss to the Giants after an undefeated season. Maybe even Tom doesn't recognize himself lately. And Gisele wasn't married to him yet during either of those trying times, so perhaps Brady's football issues have never darkened her doorstep in quite the same way.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Or...Hubby's been out of sorts and she's not having it because anything less than usual championship-caliber Tom, all golden-boy confidence and secure in his invincibility, is no good. What's she supposed to do with some vulnerable football star? (Which would make Gisele pretty terrible, but it's just an all-too-human-scenario possibility.)
Or...Maybe Tom is the worst and you just try dealing with him when he's got football on the brain. Which is all the time.
Or...Things have been pretty damn near perfect up till now, and they'll either weather this storm or decide that imperfect isn't for them.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Either way, the golden couple have been knocked down a peg, unmasked forever as just two people.
Two people (albeit sexier-than-thou) who bicker and nag. Bickering and nagging probably sounds the same in English or Portuguese, behind closed doors or 20,000 feet up in a private jet.
Two people trying to do their best in the face of odds that are stacked against them because, despite being normal on the inside, they're still super-famous.
And whatever they end up doing, they won't be the first couple to choose that path, nor will they be the last. Welcome to being mere mortals, Tom and Gisele. Luckily, there's plenty of room for you down here.