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The man, the myth, the legend. Tom Brady. He was doubted from the beginning. He was told he would never make it. He wasn't drafted until the 6th round. Today he turns 40 years old and is a 5 time Super Bowl Champion.
Mike Reiss of ESPN shared a piece yesterday that included some untold stories of the GOAT. Here are my favorites you may have never heard.
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."
Brian Hoyer, Patriots quarterback, 2009-11: "We played up at Buffalo and we couldn't fly back into Boston because the weather was so bad, so we had to stay the night in Rochester. We drove there, and we all decided we'd go out to dinner together. Tom being who he was, he usually couldn't come to a team event like that. We might be at Capital Grille and he is sneaking in the back door and then people realize he's there and he has to leave. But this was impromptu at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester. The whole team is there. And it turns into a beer-chugging contest. You have linemen, Julian Edelman, they all think they are going to win. Then someone says, 'I heard Tom is really great at chugging a beer.' We don't usually get to experience him like this, but we finally coax him into doing it. He does it, and let me tell you, you couldn't have poured out the beer faster into a glass. It was unbelievable. And he slams the mug on the table and puts both fists in the air. He walks away with a look on his face that said, 'You really thought you were going to beat me on this?' The place went nuts."
Ty Law, Patriots cornerback, 2000-04: "When he finally got the job and was named the starter, our thought as a defense was, 'Just don't mess it up.' I remember us hanging out and he said something to me that, to this day, still resonates with me. We had a good quarterback in Drew Bledsoe, and here's Tom saying, 'He isn't getting this f---ing job back.' As a competitor, I was like, 'This is how you're supposed to think.' At the same time, I'm thinking to myself, 'This is the NFL! This is Drew Bledsoe -- a former No. 1 overall pick with a big contract! OK, good luck with that.' But Tom didn't look it at that way. It was no disrespect to Drew. He was determined to make it hard on [Bill] Belichick and Mr. Kraft to put Drew back on the field."
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."
Bill O'Brien, Patriots QBs coach/offensive coordinator, 2007-11: "My favorite story about him has to do with his memory. I don't remember the exact time of the year, but we were playing Buffalo, I think it was 2009. We're in a meeting and we're watching Buffalo's first- and second-down tape. I'm talking to them about what the Bills' defensive coordinator was doing, and [Brady] basically knew who the coordinator was because he had faced him earlier in his career, about five to six years prior. So he says to me in this meeting, 'I remember we ran this play against this scheme called Crunch Stock in 2004.' I said, 'You remember that specific play?' He said, 'Yeah, I remember it against this specific coverage, which this coordinator loves to play. It was on the right hash, going away from the lighthouse, and we hit Troy Brown for a big gain on the crossing pattern.' I said, 'There is no way you remember that play like that!' He challenged me to pull it up. We have all the games on the computer system, and we find that game and there's the play: on the right hash, second-and-less-than-5, going away from the lighthouse and he hits Troy Brown on a crossing pattern. Think about all the plays he had between that day and the day we were talking. Apart from his talent and competitiveness, I always tell people that's what sets him apart. He has an IBM. He remembers it."
Here's the link to Mike Reiss' piece for the rest of them.
image source: IMGUR.com