Tom Brady has lived a pretty charmed life since he arrived on the scene in 2001 as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback. One of the most decorated players in the history of the NFL, he won a Super Bowl his first season as a starter—his first of five—and has gone on to win three NFL MVP awards and be named to the Pro Bowl a whopping 13 times. Brady has been a model of consistency and excellence on the field while leading the Pats, and that leadership has made him the de facto face of the NFL—the league’s preeminent star. The Patriots franchise has become the league’s gold standard of the new millennium with Brady at the helm, winning 10 or more games in 16 of the past 17 seasons, enjoying an undefeated regular season in 2007, and appearing in eight Super Bowls during that time period.
But even as an NFL superstar and one half of a high profile marriage, Brady is still a man of mystery. He’s known almost exclusively for his work on the field; there isn’t a lot else that the public knows about the golden boy. He has never been involved in any high profile off the field incidents, and has a relatively clean image (minus the MAGA hat). Once he leaves Gillette Stadium, it seems like he just goes back to being a regular guy. This is an impressive feat, considering Brady’s career began to blossom in the age of the internet and the 24-hour news cycle.
If you’re curious about Brady’s life beyond his wife, his kids, and his stats, we have you covered. Some of the facts on this list may leave you in awe, others may leave you flat out confused; either way, you’ll hopefully walk away with a better understanding of who Tom Brady really is. Here are 31 things you didn’t know about Tom Brady.
He was drafted by the Montreal Expos out of high school.
He met Gisele Bündchen on a blind date.
In 2005, he played with extremely swollen testicles.
He sold his house to Dr. Dre.
As a rookie he threw for six yards.
The Patriots considered drafting Tim Rattay instead of him.
Kevin Youkilis is his brother-in-law.
He won't sign photos where his mechanics look bad.
His walkout song is Jay-Z's "Public Service Announcement."
Future NFLer Tony Graziani taught him how to throw a football.
He wasn't good enough to start for his 0-8-1 high school team.
He went to the same high school as Lynn Swann and Barry Bonds.
He snacks on avocado ice cream.
He maps his life out three years in advance.
He plans on playing until he's 48.
He dreamed of wearing new socks every day.
He took a nap in the locker room before his first Super Bowl.
He paid practice squad players for picking him off.
His dad spent $2,000 on highlight tapes to send to colleges throughout the country.
USC passed him over.
Introduced himself to Patriots owner Robert Kraft as "The best decision this organization has ever made."
As a gift he gives Uggs to every player on the Patriots.
He attended Dwight Clark's "The Catch" game.
He never made the playoffs in high school.
He was an intern for Merrill Lynch.
His "personal guru" has been accused of being a "scam artist."
He was that kid other kids told to "Go long," and then didn't throw to.
Here's an excerpt about Brady's childhood that was relayed to The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins by one of his three sisters:
"Their kid brother insisted on playing in their suburban street pickup ballgames, refusing to be left out even though “he reached the height of the other boys’ belly buttons,” Julie says. The older boys would mess with him, tell him to run deep and then never throw him the ball. He would trot back to the huddle flushed and perspiring, and tell them, “I was open.” They would say, “Go long again,” and run him ragged."
If that makes you smirk that a guy with more than 400 career touchdowns and 56,000 passing yards was once the runt of his neighborhood backyard games then we've done our job. But, if it brings back painful childhood memories of your own, then we're sorry.