EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 5, 2012

The Brady bond: Father and son share more than just Super Bowls

By Bill Burt
bburt@eagletribune.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Tonight Tom Brady, the original, will experience what he has before every game he has ever watched his famous son "Tommy" play.

His stomach will fill with butterflies.

"Sure, it's the Super Bowl and the stakes are higher, and there is always a concern for injury," said Tom Brady Sr., the father of the New England Patriots quarterback.

"But I don't think it's a whole lot different from when he was 10. Your heart is still with your kid, whether he's up at bat in Little League, shooting a free throw or throwing a pass. That part hasn't changed. It will never change."

Their postgame ritual won't change either. They kiss each other.

"We're kind of a kissing family," said dad. "We kiss everybody all of the time. We've very affectionate. Fortunately, Tommy never backed away from it."

Father and son are both competitive. They love sports. And they were two males in a family loaded with females.

"We used to hang around a lot together when he was growing up," recalled Tom Sr.. "He had three older sisters (Maureen, Julie and Nancy, all of whom earned Division 1 scholarships) and his mom. They would be together a lot doing 'girl' things. We had a lot of one-on-one time together doing 'guy' things. We would usually go off on our own, to some game or golf course."

He recalled a funny story when his son was 8. Before heading out to a San Francisco Giants game, they got up early to play golf.

"We used to bet. I would bet a dollar and he would bet a car wash," recalled Brady. "One day, we were on the seventh hole and I beat him every hole. He kept doubling up! I think he owed me 50 car washes. Next thing you know he hit a bad shot and flung his club down the fairway.

"I had warned him earlier and told him he was done playing if he did it again. I told him to pick up the club and take his bag to the car and wait for me. I was going to finish the (nine holes). I told him I'd never play golf with him again. He cried and cried."

Guess what happened after they went to the Giants game?

They went back to golf nine more holes ... together, of course.

Tom Brady, the quarterback, waxed poetic about his dad several times last week, once appearing to get a little emotional.

"It's one of my favorite topics, talking about my dad and my relationship with him," said Brady, who gave his father his first Super Bowl ring. "He was my role model growing up. I really enjoyed spending time with him. My dad would always take me on trips together. We always enjoyed playing golf together and doing things one-on-one."

The Patriots quarterback elaborated how his parents made so many of his games, home and away, at the University of Michigan. It was a lot of flying from their San Mateo, Calif., home outside of San Francisco.

"We always wanted to see all of our kids play," said Mr. Brady. "There was one year when three of our kids were in high school and we counted 315 games between them. We made sure that either my wife of myself were at every one of them. It made us crazy. But it's who we are."

Mr. Brady says as proud as he is about his son's talents on the football field, and the chase for a fourth Super Bowl ring, that's not the complete story.

"Tom is an extraordinarily affectionate father and husband," said Tom Sr. "He loves his wife and kids. He has found a wife (Gisele) just as loving as he is. They both have big, big hearts. I couldn't be prouder."