Love him or hate him, Tom Brady is known as one of the most incredible athletes of his time. As the former quarterback for the controversial New England Patriots, Brady has led the team to astronomical success. From the start of his college days in Michigan University to his bittersweet departure from the legendary team, Brady has led an incredibly accomplished career.
The athlete will not only be remembered as one of the best players of the Patriots but also one of the greatest athletes in history. His monumental career has been in the spotlight since he made his way into the NFL. As with any athlete, the greatest highs also come with unimaginable lows. Let’s take a look at the life of Tom Brady, and how he grew into the successful man he is today.
Before we dive into the life of legendary football player, one the most landmark moments of Brady's career, aside from the year he joined the New England Patriots, is, of course, his great departure from the team. On March 17, 2020, Brady announced on social media, that he plans to move on.
While the news was shocking for many, it shouldn't come as a big surprise. At age 42 and after twenty years on the team, it seems like a good time to say goodbye. One question lingers though. Will Brady play for someone else?
The Tom Brady Bunch
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. was born on August 3rd, 1977, to Galynn and Tom Brady. They lived in the Bay Area of California, in San Mateo. At the time, no one could have imagined that this little boy would go on to be such a star.
Brady was the youngest of 4 kids. He lived with his parents and his three older sisters, Julie, Maureen, and Nancy. These girls were very involved with sports, and so, naturally, Tom followed suit. The four siblings had a competitive spirit and were involved in different sports year round.
Following in the footsteps of his older sisters, Tom began to join a number of sports teams. He would compete in anything he could get into while he was a kid. Of course, though, being a native of San Francisco meant that he would be extremely passionate about football, especially the San Francisco 49ers!
Tom grew up idolizing legends like Joe Montana and Steve Young. His childhood was filled with memories about the 49ers and the NFL. Tom was even at the famous “The Catch” game, at Candlestick Park. It was really no surprise that he turned out to be an NFL icon!
Tom Brady went to an all-male high school in San Mateo, CA called Junipero Serra High School. He was, of course, very active in extracurricular activities and played not one, but two sports. He was on the football team during the Fall, and then switched it up and joined the baseball team in the Spring.
Not straying too far from his roots, Tom wore his protective gear in both sports, since he was the catcher in baseball. Tom also joined the basketball team, but didn’t really shine in the sport. In his senior yearbook photo, he used the quote, “If you want to play with the big boys, you have to learn how to play in the tall grass.” Very telling of his future!
A Very Different Future, Almost
Although Tom played a wide variety of sports in school, he was the star on his high school baseball team. Coaches and teammates alike said that he could have had a future professionally in baseball. Brady’s mental strength as a quarterback allowed him to be able to become a great catcher in baseball. Tom also was left handed at bat, all of these aspects made Tom appealing to baseball scouts. In fact, in 1995 he was even scouted to be in the MLB.
After being scouted, he went to visit the Expos and see what the team was all about. It was then that outfielder Frank-Paul Santangelo had a conversation with Tom that changed his life. Santangelo told Tom to play football in college. And so, he did. He declined the offer to join the MLB and went on to play college football.
Playing With the Expos
Tom decided to turn down the offer from the MLB to play with the Expos. Even though scouts believed he would have a very promising career in baseball, he decided to stick to football. In 1996, he left his home state of California to play college football at the University of Michigan.
During Tom’s 2nd year at Michigan, the team went undefeated for the season. With a 12-0 record, they also finished the year with a win at the Rose Bowl! That being said, Tom was still sitting on the bench at the time. The quarterbacks leading the team were Scott Dreisbach and Brian Griese.
In his first two years at Michigan, Brady had a total of 15 completions, totaling 129 years, one interception and two failed rushing attempts, resulting in -14 yards. Despite these awful stats, Tom managed to become the starting quarterback at the beginning of his junior year. It was finally his time to shine.
That season, Tom led his team to a 10-3 record, which was very impressive. They ended the year strong by winning the Citrus Bowl in 1999 against Nebraska. Tom surprised everyone with his standout year, but there was definitely more challenges in store for Tom and his Michigan team.
A Step in the Wrong Direction
Immediately after Brady was able to showcase his skills to his team, he had to share the spotlight with another quarterback. At the start of his senior year, he had to share the quarterback role with sophomore Drew Henson. The two were benched during their freshman years and were both very talented athletes.
Henson was going to leave Michigan, so the head coach bumped him up to quarterback. He ended up with 546 passing yards in 1999 which delivered quite the blow to Brady’s impressive year prior. Brady did not let this get him down, he kept calm and ended up leading his team to a win over Alabama during the Orange Bowl in 2000.
Poor Tom Brady did not get an opportunity to show off his skills until his junior year at Michigan. Once it was finally his time to shine, he had to share his moment with a sophomore. Despite these challenges, his success at Michigan was undeniable. Unfortunately, Tom ran into some more bad luck during his terrible NFL Combine. Brady was said to look like he had a parachute attached to him during his 40-yard dash.
He went into the 2000 draft hoping for a 2nd or 3rd round pick. However, he was still hanging around during round 6 and was eventually picked off at number 199 by the New England Patriots. Patriots owner Robert Kraft called Brady and told him that he was their 6th round pick, and Brady responded by saying that he was the best decision they have ever made.
It was a pretty strange choice for the Patriots to choose a quarterback in any round of the draft. The team was already pretty stacked, they had a number 1 overall pick on their roster, Drew Bledsoe. They also had veteran quarterback John Friesz on their team. With that being said, it was certainly a bizarre choice to pick up a quarterback at all, let alone in the 6th round.
Brady had some competition. The Patriots had another rookie, Michael Bishop, on the roster. Bishop got to play 8 games that season, and Brady only got to do 1. Back to the bench went rookie Tom Brady who ended the season with one completed pass.
Diving in Headfirst
By Tom’s second season with the New England Patriots, things began to look up. John Friesz decided to retire and throw in the towel. Michael Bishop also left after playing just one season in the NFL. Tom then became the backup quarterback. He was getting closer and closer. During game 2 of that season, the starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe got injured, and it was Brady's time to step in.
Bledsoe had to step out for longer than anticipated with his sheared blood vessel. Brady was ready to take on the role of starting quarterback. He went on to lead the Patriots that season and ended with an 11-5 record.
Straight to the Top
Tom Brady was patient. He spent years sitting on benches waiting for his time to shine, watching others take the glory. He was determined and played hard. He was even selected to play in the Pro Bowl. All of this helped Brady lock in his status as starting quarterback and unfortunately for Bledsoe, he would have to take a backseat.
During the AFC championship game, Brady suffered a leg injury, and Bledsoe got to step in and reclaim his spot as quarterback. He led the team to victory, but Brady would return to play the Super Bowl game. In just one year, Brady went from a 4th string quarterback and a benchwarmer to the MVP of the Super Bowl as he led the Patriots to a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams!
Success for Tom Brady did not occur overnight. It took him years of hard work, overcoming obstacles and waiting in the shadows. Finally, all that hard work paid off, and Tom Brady became a football star. He was a household name, everyone knew Tom Brady and everyone wanted to learn more about the guy who came in and transformed this team. He was now the face of New England.
Of course, with great fame comes great responsibility and great perks! In 2002 Tom Brady started dating Layla Roberts who was Playboy’s Playmate of the year in 1997. Safe to assume Brady was enjoying his success and stardom.
Sticking With the Stars
Once Tom Brady officially took the role of starting quarterback, the season took a small dip. Not to worry though, Tom Brady continued to rise to celebrity status. After a few months, Tom and Layla broke up, and Tom moved on to a new celebrity fling. He began dating movie star, Tara Reid. Tara was known for huge films, like American Pie.
Tom did a major turnaround. He went from being a 4th string quarterback to a Super Bowl Champion! He was definitely earning his celeb status and milking it for everything it was worth!
Staying on the Big Stage
After their amazing 2001 season, the Patriots fell from glory and in 2002 had a record of 9-7. They also missed the playoffs, oops! Tom Brady had to prove that the 2001 season was not just a lucky year. He did just that and rose back to the top with a 14-2 season.
They plowed through the playoffs and landed themselves back in the Super Bowl. They ended up winning with a field goal from their kicker, Adam Vinatieri. The New England Patriots and Tom Brady were back on top! Brady had gotten two Super Bowl appearances as well as two MVPs in just three years.
By 2004, it was undeniable - Tom Brady was an excellent quarterback. His success was not just a fluke like some naysayers were saying. Tom Brady once again led the New England Patriots to a 14-2 season. Of course, Brady took the Patriots to yet another Super Bowl. This would be Tom’s 3rd! They were going to be playing the Eagles, and they were ready to put up a fight.
The Eagles had a 13-3 record and had a star-studded team. But the Patriots had something they didn’t have, Tom Brady. Brady led the Patriots to their third Super Bowl win in just four years.
Brady began dating actress and model Bridget Moynahan. She was Tom’s queen. Tom Brady was making a name for himself in the NFL leading his team to multiple Super Bowl wins while Moynahan was making a name for herself in film. She was reaching star status with her role in the film “I, Robot.”
Bridget and Tom were a celebrity power couple. They dated for three years, and guys and girls were both totally jealous of the two. Despite Brady gaining more popularity and status, he always stayed true to himself. He kept his close relationships with family members and friends and was not one to revel in the bachelor life.
Tom Brady can be quite serious and intense while playing his role of quarterback on the Patriots field, but he wanted to show everyone that there was more to him than that. During 2005 and 2006 Tom decided to take to TV, comedy specifically. Brady hosted Saturday Night Live and also played himself on cartoons such as The Simpsons and Family Guy.
What an amazing opportunity for Brady to show off his funny side on SNL. He participated in sketches such as “How to be an appropriate coworker.” On The Simpsons, Tom’s character was of course around other athletes like LeBron James. The Family Guy episode that Brady starred in was called “Patriots Games” and to this day goes down as one of the most memorable episode.
A New Beginning
In 2006, after just three years of dating, the honeymoon phase had passed. Tom and Bridget decided to put an end to their relationship. Almost immediately after the two split, Tom was set up on a blind date by one of his friends. He was set up with a Brazilian supermodel, the famous Gisele Bundchen.
Gisele was a Victoria's Secret supermodel and of course, was no stranger to dating celebrities. She dated superstar A-listers such as Leonardo Dicaprio and Kelly Slater. The model and the Patriots star hit it off instantly, and their little blind date turned into an instant love story.
A Special Surprise
Things started getting really heated between Tom and Gisele, and they were slowly becoming a celebrity power couple. That is until Tom got sidelined by news that would change everything. His ex, Bridget Moynahan told him that she was 3 months pregnant with his child.
The news took Tom and Gisele by complete surprise. Tom was told only moments before the news went public. The news was definitely not ideal or expected, but the three came to an understanding as adults and decided to co-parent the baby together. And so, in August, 2007, John Edward Thomas Moynahan was born.
Tom Brady is constantly pushing the limits and getting better and better. In 2004 he became known as Touchdown Tom. He had 50 passing touchdowns in the season, which broke Peyton Manning’s standing record of 49.
Tom and his Patriots had a record-breaking season, ending the year with a perfect record of 16 wins and no losses. Tom was the AP Athlete of the year and again, to no one's surprise, led the Patriots to yet another Super Bowl. They were about to win another Super Bowl when the New York Giants took it away from them in the last minute and defeated the Patriots.
Tom Brady is the clear leader of the Patriots even more so than the coaches. It seems like he even coaches them. He is so detail oriented and always wants to be ahead of the game. He forces himself and everyone around him to be better. He is a born leader.
Brady’s former quarterback coach and offensive coordinator said that one of the hardest jobs is coaching Tom. It is a never-ending job because he wants to constantly be coached, he is football obsessed. He said that you have to be ready at a moments notice for meetings, practice, or anything that Tom is needing at that moment.
Back to Square One
Despite losing the Super Bowl, Brady took the Patriots to an undefeated regular season, which was incredibly impressive. Tom’s record-breaking season won fans hearts as well as earned him the NFL MVP award. Sadly, the loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl was haunting him.
He was ready for a comeback. The Patriots got ready for their season opener against Kansas City, and then the unimaginable happened. Brady got hit by a Chiefs defensive back in the 4th quarter, hard. He ended up with a torn ACL and MCL. His revenge was over before it even started.
Tom Starts His Own Brady Bunch
Tom's revenge was going to have to wait just a little bit longer. There was however a silver lining to this whole ordeal. While he was out on leave for his injury, he was able to spend more time with his family. Tom and Gisele had been dating for just two years at this point, but they were both ready to take it to the next level.
In February of 2009, Tom and Gisele got married in Santa Monica. It was a small ceremony with just 20 close friends and family members. Two months after this wedding, they had a second small wedding ceremony in Costa Rica.
Captain America's Comeback
The injury that Tom encountered in the season opener took a whole year to recover from. His revenge had to wait. He was more than ready to make a comeback from the devastating loss in Super Bowl XLII. When he came back to his team, it was like he never left.
He came back better than ever. He was selected to be in the Pro Bowl once again, and he even won the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year award for his outstanding comeback. His revenge was sweet. As if all of these accomplishments were not enough, he had one more incredible moment to top off his year.
Adding to the Brady Bunch
2009 was quite an amazing year for Tom Brady. He got married to a Victoria's Secret supermodel and had an amazing comeback year after a terrible injury. He won the Comeback player of the year award and continued to lead his team to victory. As if it could not get any better, Tom and Gisele added a baby boy to their family in December.
Tom and Gisele decided to deliver the baby at home, and Benjamin Rein Brady was born on December 8th, 2009. To everyone’s surprise, Giselle even said that the birth did not hurt, maybe due to the fact that they had a water birth.
Tom Brady had to prove to all of the haters that he was still the best after his surgery. He also decided that he had to take his brand to the next level. At the start of 2010, he took on all new endorsements proving to everyone that he was just as savvy as a businessman as he was as a quarterback.
He made the hard decision to leave Nike, who was his sponsor at the time. He decided to sign with a new brand, Under Armour. Under Armour was up and coming, and Tom Brady was definitely their biggest endorsement yet. Instead of taking cash for his endorsement, he went with stock in the brand, this has definitely paid off for him.
Brady's partnership with Under Armour has made him so much money, millions. In fact, however, the next sponsorship that he took, turned Tom into a fashion icon. His wife Gisele may have him beat when it comes to fashion model status, but Tom’s UGG campaign definitely put him on the fashion model map.
Just one month after he took the deal with Under Armour, he signed a deal with UGGS. This was definitely a bold move for the athlete. UGGS were generally popular among surfers and teenage girls, which left Patriots fans and Under Armour fans wondering what in the world he was doing.
Tom the Terrific, Part II
Clearly, Tom could get away with anything, even wearing UGG boots publicly. After taking the Patriots to win three Super Bowls and having yet another standout season, it was pretty clear that he was able to do no wrong. He made his point and had his big comeback. Now he was ready to climb back to number one.
In his next season with the Patriots, he won yet another MVP award. He continued to lead his team to victory and had an impressive 36 touchdowns during the regular season and only four interceptions.
Another Giant Issue
Despite yet another season where he won the MVP award, Tom Brady continued to outperform himself time and time again. He had surpassed 5,000 passing yards for the first time, and he was on track to have yet another standout record-breaking season. That is until the Patriots met the Giants once again in the Super Bowl.
It was an amazing show, and the Patriots had a 2 point lead with only 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Brady made a pass to his wide receiver Wes Welker, and Welker dropped the ball, quite literally. This turn of events led to the Giants getting a touchdown during the final minute of the game.
Broadening Boston's Brady Bunch
Beginning the 2012 season with another Super Bowl loss was extremely hard for Tom to deal with. While his professional life was struggling, his personal life was thriving. His sister Julie ended up marrying a player on the Red Sox. They had a private wedding and added to the celebrity Brady status.
By this point, Tom Brady was guaranteed a Hall of Fame spot. Now he also had a brother-in-law who was a star Boston athlete. His sister married Youkilis who was a three-time All-Star pick and had won two World Series. Additionally, he had a Golden Glove award under his belt and a Hank Aaron award.
Third Time's the Charm
With his sister getting married, his extended family grew. At the same time, he was growing his own family as well. In December of 2012, his wife Gisele gave birth to another child. This time, they added their first daughter to the family. Vivian Lake Brady was born and was the first girl to be added to the ever-growing Brady clan!
Brady seems to really like his December babies! Jack, his first son, was conceived in December and his 2nd son, Benjamin was also born in December. Must be his perfect timing with the NFL playoffs!
The Butler Did It
The Patriots were stopped by the Denver Broncos in 2013 from having another Super Bowl appearance. That just meant Brady would try even harder in 2014, which he did. At age 37, Brady led his team to victory once again. They destroyed the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Championship and ended up winning 45-7.
The Patriots then had to face the Seattle Seahawks. They had a strong defense which posed a threat to the Patriots offense. That did not stop Brady. The Patriots ended up winning the game in the last few seconds of the game by catching an interception.
The Patriots were not able to celebrate this Super Bowl win for very long. In May the NFL came forward with a report stating that New England had purposely underinflated their footballs during their blowout win in the AFC championship game.
Everyone had an opinion on the Deflategate scandal. Fans, fellow athletes and even scientists came together to share their opinions on the scandal. Brady was able to come out on top after beating the case in court. Despite the win, the NFL commissioner filed an appeal, and the ruling was overturned. Brady accepted the result and settled for a 4 game suspension that would begin in the 2016 season.
The Brady Brand
In 2015, Brady led the Patriots to yet another 12-4 record. However, his playoff chances were halted when he came face to face with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos for the AFC Championship.
That being said, January of 2016 was a pretty solid month for Brady. Brady launched his brand, TB12. He started TB12 by selling sporting equipment and other merchandise but then expanded it to be a lifestyle brand. He began selling organic snacks and then added a line of meals. He also published a book entitled “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.” The book reached #1 on both the Amazon best sellers list and the NYT best sellers list.
Beating Unbelievable Odds
As soon as Tom’s suspension was over, he came back to lead the Patriots. He was ready for revenge. He took the Patriots to an 11-1 season. He was in consideration for another MVP title but ended up losing to the Falcons QB, Matt Ryan. Of course, this turn of events sparked drama since they were going to be going head to head in the Super Bowl.
Despite having everything against them, Brady took the Patriots on a ride to the greatest comeback ever. They continued to make amazing play after amazing play, and they came back to tie the game after being behind by 18 points. They eventually won in overtime. Brady broke NFL records when he won his 5th Super Bowl. This victory was definitely the sweetest of all of them.
Tom Brady vs. Time
Tom Brady continues to seemingly get better and better, even though he is 40 years old. He is continuing to play football at the highest level. He has accomplished so much during his career in the NFL. What else is left for him to conquer but the test of time?
Brady finished the 2017 season with a 13-3 season. He led the NFL in passing yards and again selected for All-Pro. This year, Brady decided to document his journey in getting that 6th Super Bowl in a documentary series called “Tom vs. Time.” It follows Brady in his journey to be the greatest player of all time.