Brady broke into a big grin.
"Jets, Giants. New York, they're all the same," he said, glossing over the gaffe.
No one was more appreciative than that TV reporter from Mexico.
"He's like Mr. Perfect," she said.
Well, let's see: Dimpled, dreamy looks that someday could land him in Hollywood or the halls of Congress, a former Victoria's Secret strutter for a girlfriend and an NFL star so bright he might outshine the Super Bowl all by himself.
"I wouldn't change places with too many people," Brady said.
Certainly not on Sunday. Only 30, he will try to lead his unbeaten New England Patriots past New York - the Giants, that is - in America's biggest game. A win would mark his fourth title, matching the record set by Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.
Pretty neat for a guy who's freshman team went 0-8-1. He was good at baseball, too, and was drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos. Then again, his Bay Area high school had already produced someone who could swing a bat - Barry Bonds.
"I've never been a great athlete," the two-time Super Bowl MVP said. "I feel some of my strengths are my awareness and decision-making."
His humility is what attracts others. Take it from a guy who ought to know.
Back in 1980, country musician Mac Davis wrote a tune that he was supposed to sing in "North Dallas Forty," a football movie he starred in. The song got cut from the film - later, he wound up with a hit in the playful "Oh Lord It's Hard to be Humble."
"Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way.
"I can't wait to look in the mirror 'cause I get better looking each day.
"To know me is to love me. I must be a hell of a man.
"Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble, but I'm doing the best that I can."
"I think that's the theme song of every guy out there who wishes he were Tom Brady or thinks he is. But if I were him, I would find it hard to be humble," Davis said in a telephone interview from his home in California.
"He is a stud," he said.
That's not quite how Tom MacKenzie remembers Brady.
MacKenzie was Brady's high school coach at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. Brady came from a family of talented athletes and after playing linebacker worked his way up to quarterback and earned a scholarship to Michigan.
"His sisters tell a story about how he wrote an essay for an English class that he was going to prove to his big sisters that he would be a household name," MacKenzie said.
Busy as he's been lately, by the way, Brady exchanged text messages with MacKenzie a few days ago.
Easy to see why he's the envy of many.
"I love Tom Brady," Giants defensive end Michael Strahan said. "I'm jealous that I'm not Tom Brady."
Answered Brady: "I think he's trying to butter me up. I certainly don't think of myself that way."
Sure, his NFL-record 50 touchdown passes and 6-foot-4, 225-pound physique are impressive. But perfect? Any faults?
"There's plenty, trust me," Brady said this week. "There's plenty of people that would find some things."
No telling what Bridget Moynahan thinks. The actress dated Brady for three years before they broke up in December 2006. The following August, with Brady squiring supermodel Gisele Bundchen, Moynahan gave birth to his son.
Moynahan has not given interviews about the relationship since delivering John Edward Thomas Moynahan. Brady flew to Los Angeles for the birth, then was back on the West Coast during the Patriots' bye week in November to see his son and, he said, to change diapers.
"You accept everything that happens in your life," Brady said this week, without specifically referring to anyone or anything. "Maybe you didn't anticipate it. But you don't make excuses."
Somehow, Brady's image hardly took a hit. Another celebrity or athlete might have been pounded for being with one girlfriend while an ex-squeeze had his child. Not Brady.
"He just does so many things right," said Maria Menounos, a correspondent for "Access Hollywood" and the "Today" show. "He's like Teflon."
Hardly anyone expected Brady would make many significant tosses when the Patriots picked him in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.
"I was the fourth-string quarterback. I was eating nachos before the games, watching us," he said, "just hoping I would get the opportunity."
An injury to Drew Bledsoe gave Brady that chance and he quickly took advantage. He was MVP of the 2002 Super Bowl, leading the Patriots past the St. Louis Rams. Super Bowl triumphs over Carolina and Philadelphia came later - all three wins were by exactly three points - and enhanced his reputation as cool under pressure.
Teammates say he does not raise his voice while calling plays, though he'll occasionally drive his coaches crazy by telling a receiver to cut a route short, anticipating a blitz.
He's a wizard to watch up close, Patriots third-string quarterback Matt Gutierrez said. Competing against him in end-of-practice contests is, well, another matter.
Gutierrez, backup Matt Cassel and Brady will occasionally stand 15 or 20 yards from the goalpost and wing passes, seeing who can most often hit the crossbar. They also engage in a punting game - in fact, Brady dropped back and made a quick kick for the Patriots in 2003.
"He's good at everything he does," Gutierrez said.
That doesn't surprise MacKenzie, his high school coach. He laughed, and said he got into the same playful kicking and throwing competition with Brady back in the day.
"Oh, he thinks he's the world's greatest punter. He always did," MacKenzie said. "He'd also tell you he was more accurate than me. But I'd dispute that. I could hit the goalpost more than he could."