On Saturday night, the Houston Astros finally put the Philadelphia Phillies to bed, securing the 2022 World Series title with the help of pitcher Justin Verlander. On hand to help the team celebrate their win was Verlander’s wife, supermodel Kate Upton. Throughout the series, Astros fans crowned Upton the “First lady of H Town” and “Ms. Houston” for her rabid support of the team—flipping off Phillies fans, giving more than a couple post-game interviews to gush about the team and Verlander, and generally exuding eccentric fangirl energy. But one particularly pointed interview had me wondering if Upton had suddenly erected a beach umbrella…because I’m sensing a little shade.
After the game, Verlander was chatting with Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Kevin Burkhardt and Frank Thomas on camera, holding the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, when Upton pranced over and crashed the live interview. Ortiz, snickering, asked Upton whether Verlander should play another year of baseball or hang up his hat and retire, making an obvious reference to the ultimatum that sent Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s marriage into a death spiral.
“I love watching my husband do what he loves to do, to see him do what he loves is to see him do his craft,” Upton gushed. “He’s such an artist out there. When he’s pitching, it’s truly so creative, it’s such an art, and we are so honored…”
The entire group burst into laughter and quieted Upton before the bit went too far. But the joke had already been made, and fans and Twitter users happily gobbled it up as an excuse to taunt both Brady and Gisele. Upton was quickly labeled the “anti-Gisele” and applauded for being “such a supportive wife,” while others suggested that Gisele “take notes.” Some began tagging Gisele’s account directly, while one TikTok user wondered whether Brady ordered the wrong “package for the supportive super model.”
Of course, while the supermodel to wife-of-aging-athlete pipeline certainly lends itself to easy comparison, we don’t need to pit two entirely different women—and two entirely different relationships—against each other. Upton is 30, has one child, and is married to a 39-year old who has not expressed any interest in retiring and who doesn’t get repetitively thwacked in the head by defensive tackles. Bündchen is 42, has two kids and co-parents a third, and is married to a 45-year-old who plays a concussion-prone sport and publicly went back on his word. They are not the same! Besides, Gisele sat through dozens of football games over their 13 years of marriage, religiously showing up for him for over a decade.
“He is the best example to our daughter. He is working so hard every single day,” Upton gushed in another interview on Sunday. “He has wins, he has losses and he shows up every day for our daughter as a father as a husband, and that is the reason I love you is you show up for your family. Also, guess what? He shows up for his team.”
How nice for you, Kate! If only every woman wanted what you have.