Folks, we aren’t going to lie. We expected to be writing an article about all-world superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes in honor of his leading the Kansas City Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl title. Boy were we going to gush! But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by newly-acquired QB legend Tom Brady, had other ideas. After being New England’s primary starter for 18 seasons and leading them to the Super Bowl in half of them (winning 6), Brady decided to move on, signing a 2 year/$50 million contract with the Bucs. Although most NFL pundits predicted the Bucs would go something like 11-5 — which is precisely how they ended up doing — nobody had them actually making the Super Bowl, much less winning it. But that’s exactly what happened. Brady and Co. took the Chiefs to the woodshed, winning 31-9 and securing Brady his 7th Super Bowl ring. Already considered the greatest quarterback of all time going into the season, this only solidified his status. Here are some facts to know about the GOAT.
1. Brady wasn’t initially good enough to start on his high school’s sucky junior varsity football team
Tom’s football career at Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, California got off to a rough start. The backup on the JV team, the Padres went 0-8 and failed to score a touchdown the entire season. But after the starting QB got injured during Brady’s junior year, he took over and remained the starter for the rest of his HS career.
2. He was almost a California Golden Bear
After visiting the University of California-Berkeley, not far from his home, he made a silent commitment to sign with the Golden Bears. All that stood in the way was a visit to the University of Michigan. The coaches at UC reluctantly allowed him to take the trip to Michigan, feeling confident that they’d win out. Oops. Brady would sign with UM. The other colleges that had made his final cut before choosing the Wolverines were USC, UCLA and Illinois.
3. A career in finance was his backup plan
During the summers of 1998 and 1999, Brady was an intern at Merrill Lynch, with aspirations of becoming a stockbroker if a professional football career didn’t pan out. Playing for a major college program is a pretty big deal, but even the best players have to be realistic about their chances. The fact is, fewer than 2% of college football players ever play in the pros for any amount of time.
4. He was the 199th player chosen in the 2000 NFL draft
Although Tom had a solid enough career at Michigan — starting his junior and senior seasons, finishing 20-5 and leading the Wolverines to two bowl victories, NFL scouts weren’t all that impressed. As a result, he wasn’t selected until the 6th round — 199th overall — with 6 other quarterbacks chosen before him. Of those six, Spergon Wynn started in 3 career games while neither Giovanni Carmazzi nor Tee Martin ever played a single minute in the NFL.
5. He might have had a career in baseball
Tom was a phenomenal high school baseball player. A left-handed, power-hitting catcher, the Montreal Expos selected him in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB draft. They tried to persuade Brady to sign, suggesting that he would be an All-Star someday. However, the appeal of making $800 a month as he worked his way up the minor leagues vs starring as a quarterback at a big-time college football program proved too much to resist.
6. Brady alone has won more Super Bowl championships than 14 NFL franchises combined
If you add the total number of Super Bowl victories by the New York Jets (1), New Orleans (1), Chicago (1), Philadelphia (1), Seattle (1), LA Rams (1), and 8 other teams who have yet to win a Super Bowl, it’s still one less ring than Brady owns.
7. He’s healthy and wise
At 43 years old, Brady is the oldest athlete in the three major Northern American sports leagues that anybody actually gives a damn about (sorry, hockey) with baseball’s Albert Pujols (41) and basketball’s Udonis Haslem (40) leading the way in their sports. But unlike those other two whose best days are several seasons behind them, he’s still among the tops in his sport. One of Tom’s secrets is that he’s an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of guy, hitting the hay at 8:30pm and waking up the roosters at 5am. He doesn’t need coffee to perk him up either. According to Brady, he’s never had so much as a single sip of coffee in his life, stating, “I just never tried it.”
8. He has a net worth of $200 million and yet his wife is still so much wealthier
Brady is married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who happens to be worth $520 million herself. Together they have two children, son Benjamin Rein and daughter Vivian Lake. Tom has a son, John, from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.