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Mike Reiss Tracked Down Some Incredible Untold (And Some Told) Stories About Tom Brady For His 40th Birthday

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I enjoy the life of Tom Brady like a pastor enjoys the bible. It’s not necessarily my guide for life, I don’t have that kind of passion, but my interest in it is unmatched. Every new tale I hear fascinates me, every story I hear for the second time I interpret in a more evolved fashion. It’s ever-changing, constantly growing, and always fascinating.

Sooooo… yeah. I love pieces like this. Mike Reiss, the best in the business, went out and got stories or anecdotes from TONS of Brady’s old friends, teammates, coaches, and family members and it’s a truly arousing read.

Check it all out here but these are some of my favorites.

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.”

We’ve all heard tale of Brady’s chugging abilities but this was a new one for me and this one is my favorite. This wasn’t early 2000s, unknown Tom Brady. This was Tom Brady. This was the guy who couldn’t eat at Capital Grille because other rich people just wanted to touch him. But hearing about him out at a Dinosaur, smashing the kids in a chugging contest warms the hell out of my heart. It’s humanizing, like hearing about God ordering a Big Mac or something.

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.”

This level of confidence confounds me. I grab a jar or salsa out of the fridge and think, “I hope I’m strong enough to open this and not look like an asshole,” but kid Brady was so sure of himself that he knew one of the best quarterbacks in the world fucked up by having his insides bleed. He knew he was the quarterback of the future for the New England Patriots ever since he walked in that door, Bledsoe made the mistake of giving him the chance. I’m sure that’s why you have to fight Brady to give up a rep in practice nowadays.

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.”

This one is probably my favorite because it’s the side we hear about the least. We’ve heard about cool Brady, competitive Brady, hot Brady, and talented Brady but we don’t often hear about compassionate Brady. We don’t often hear about the guy who will do anything for those close to him. Spending the weekend with a wife while her husband lays in the ICU while and making her laugh? Most guys send flowers. Most guys aren’t Tom Brady.

Ty Law, Patriots cornerback, 2000-04: “I think back to our first Super Bowl season [2001], and I had a different relationship with Tom, especially when he was younger. We had the Michigan connection, and I sold him my house for a major, major f—ing discount! I left everything — all the furniture, the TVs — it was basically, ‘Just move in your bags.’ The guy wasn’t making any money, so I sold it to him for probably $100,000-something less than if I had put it on the market. He was such a hard worker and it was like, ‘This is the least I can do.'”

Actually this is my favorite one even though it has nothing to do with Tom Brady.

“Hey Ty, got any good Brady stories?”

“Oh yeah man, one time I pretty much gave him a house, furnished and everything. Way below market value. That was the least I could do.”

“No, a Brady story.”

“I just told you, man.”

I don’t know if this is Law’s way of reminding Brady of this kindness now that’s he’s a gazillionaire, but it cracked me up. I kept waiting for the part about Brady doing something special but it never came, dude just accepted a house on the cheap.