Was Pete Carroll the Patriots Sex Symbol Before Tom Brady?

Pete Carroll: The original New England Patriots hearthrob?
Pete Carroll: The original New England Patriots hearthrob? –The Boston Globe

The cleft chin, those broad shoulders, the signature pompom perched atop his just-tousled-enough hair. The perfect white teeth. The determined eyes—set under a strong brow and above defined cheekbones—that watch his troops do battle until he can once again go on the offensive.

That’s Tom, of course—Tom Brady. New England’s sex symbol. Hell, our nation’s sex symbol. A man who looks as good on that Met Gala red carpet as he does on that green Foxboro turf.

But Tom isn’t the first heartthrob that Patriots owner Robert Kraft has hired. No, before there was Tom, there was Pete—Pete Carroll.

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That’s right, the coach of the Seahawks, the team our beloved Patriots have to beat in order to hold the Lombardi trophy and their heads up high, was the OG (that’s “original gangster,’’ Mom) Patriots sex symbol.

Don’t believe me? Look:

MC Hammer called, he wants his pants back. —The Boston Globe

Okay, so the pants are more pleated than you ever thought pants could be, and they look like they’re inflated to at least 13.5 psi. But if you can get past the fact that he borrowed them from MC Hammer (and the aggressive tuck-in), he’s pretty sexy, right? He’s got that windswept, slightly disheveled look that Brady has. Even decades apart, both men have swagger up the wazoo.

“Hey Drew, do you think I’m sexy?’’ —The Boston Globe

In addition to swagger, another thing Brady and Carroll share in terms of sexiness is their sweatshirt game. Carroll’s was, and Brady’s is, strong to quite strong. Brady garnered attention for the laid-back crewneck he wore to address Deflategate (a word we should banish from the English language). Carroll, seen above with former Patriot Drew Bledsoe, held his own at practice in a royal blue hoodie that Belichick would probably love to get his hands on. And cut the sleeves off.

Pete Carroll ridin’ dirty. —The Boston Globe

Carroll was nine years older than Brady is now when Kraft hired him to coach the Patriots. So the comparison isn’t entirely fair, since at the time Carroll was already rocking a salt-and-pepper head of hair. It’s also not fair because comparing anyone besides Gisele to Brady is a losing proposition (someone I know who met her described the encounter akin to “staring at the sun’’). But Carroll’s vibe is similar to Brady’s: They both are dudes. They are cooler than you will ever be, or any guy you will ever date.

Another really impressive sweatshirt (and throw, by the looks of it) from the 1990s. —The Boston Globe
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Perhaps, in addition to their nice bone structure and self-assurance, the fact that these men aren’t from here makes (or made) them more interesting and attractive to fans. They’re decidedly un-New England-y. Both being from California, they exude West Coast easiness and attitude that stands out in our uptight, all-the-way-buttoned-all-the-time, slightly puritanical region of the world.

Let me be clear: I’m not on Carroll’s side or anything. I hope he and his still-full-head-of-hair suffer a huge defeat at the hands of the Patriots on Sunday. But, seeing as he was once our fearless (well, maybe a little fearful) leader, it seems appropriate to tip our (top) hats in his sexy direction. Because that sideline swagger? It only gets better with age—and a monocle and a cane:

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