As a tribute to Tom Brady on his 40th birthday, ESPN published an incredible behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Tom Brady from coaches and former teammates. Earlier today, we posted the story about Brady’s sneaky beer chugging skills, but most of the stories from those who know him best center around his thoughtful attention to detail: both on the field and in his relationships. The stories truly will make even the biggest Brady detractors put down their pitchforks.
Here are three Brady anecdotes that I found most fascinating, but if you’re taking a long dump today, check them all out. They’re worth it.
Rodney Harrison, Patriots safety, 2003-08: “This was when I first got to New England, we had become friends and we were in the weight room. I show up around 6:30 in the morning and he says to me, ‘Good afternoon!’ So the next day, I get the hint, and come in 15 minutes earlier. Same thing: He says, ‘Good afternoon!’ Then the next day it’s 5:45 in the morning, and he makes sure to say it twice: ‘Good afternoon! Good afternoon!’ So I make it at 5:30 the next day and before he could say anything to me, I looked at him and said, ‘Man, I don’t give a damn what you say, Tom, I’m not coming in earlier than 5:30!’ We both laughed at that.”
Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, 2000-present: “When we played golf at Pebble Beach two years ago, on the sixth hole, it’s a big cliff. He’s literally standing out there on the ledge, trying to hit the ball. The caddie is holding him so he won’t like tumble 300 feet to his death into the Pacific Ocean. It’s a golf ball. But I think that’s kind of the competitiveness of Tom. I’m sure there’s a picture of it. I’m thinking to myself, ‘What the hell are you doing?'”
Charlie Weis, Patriots offensive coordinator, 2000-04: “In 2002, I was going in for gastric bypass surgery and only a couple of people knew. Tommy was one. Belichick was one. The plan was to go in on Friday, stay overnight for observation, and then get out the next day unless there were problems. Well, it’s Saturday morning and Tommy comes to the hospital to see me, and when he walked in, I was almost dead. I was in intensive care, my blood pressure had dropped as low as 50 over 30, and I was in really, really bad shape. We hadn’t lived up in New England that long and didn’t have any family that lived in New England, and my wife [Maura], who was stunned, is trying to figure out how to take care of kids and be at the hospital at the same time. Tommy basically stayed with my wife most of that weekend until reinforcements could arrive. He was there all day Saturday, with her late Saturday night; and then Sunday, I had flatlined a little bit where I was actually dead and they brought me back. What I later learned was that Tommy and my wife had a serious conversation at the time, and he said, ‘I wonder when he comes back after this if he will yell at me any less?’ And the way my wife told me the story, they both looked at each other and said, ‘Naaaah. That will never happen.’ That was him trying to get my wife to not go in the tank at a time when he’s a young kid and looking at a coach, who he is pretty close with, almost dead. Those two days really changed our family’s relationship with Tommy. From that day on, he wasn’t just the quarterback. There was a bond between Tommy and my wife and our family that had been created on nothing to do with football.”
So there you have it: all you need to do to be a five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is wake up at the ass crack of dawn, risk your life for a recreational golf shot, and help someone through a tough time. And average Tuesday for me. NAHHHHT.