EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 27, 2007

Brady's dad: Sore loser plus hard worker equals Patriots sensation

NORTH ANDOVER - Tom Brady Sr., the 63-year-old original, can talk about a perfect season, seven Super Bowls, legendary status and Randy Moss' attitude. He can do it because Bill Belichick is his friend and not his boss.

And that's just what the father of the most famous quarterback in the world did last night at Joe Fish Seafood Restaurant, as part of a "Theology on Tap" series hosted by St. Michael's parish.

About 70 men attended the quarterly lecture series, which includes beer and Boston sports.

His son, better known as Tommy Jr., - quarterback of the New England Patriots - understandably is not so outspoken, especially during the season.

"People probably have a hard time believing that, but it's true," said Brady, who recently opened a satellite office for his estate planning company in Boston.

"Tommy doesn't have a lot of interests during the football season. He doesn't have time. It's always the next opponent," said Brady. "I think that's why the Patriots are so successful. They are still eight games from (19-0). You can't win eight games on Sunday."

Brady took questions for more than an hour on a variety of subjects relating to his son, who turned 30 on Aug. 7, even going back to his temper as a boy playing sports.

He recalled two memories from his youth sports that molded him today.

One was a basketball team he was on in sixth grade. According to Mr. Brady, seven of his son's nine teammates had "two left feet."

"I was the coach and we lost every game. We got killed. I remember one game was 70-6 or something like that," said Brady. "He was a very good player, but it didn't matter. It was a good lesson about the importance of team. You can't do it alone. You need teammates."

The other was on a golf course, referring to his unparalleled competitive nature.

"He definitely inherited his competitiveness from me. Plus, I never let my kids beat me," said Brady. "Well, this one day, he was 11, we're playing golf and I've beaten him on every hole. We have these bets where I lose a dollar or he has to wash my car. And about the seventh hole, after several double-or-nothings, he owes me about 50 car washes.

"He hit a bad shot and throws his club halfway down the fairway," said Brady. "I was ticked off. I told him to get his club and go back the car and wait for me until I finished. I get to the car and he's crying his eyes out."

About four hours later, after they had gone to a San Francisco Giants baseball game, Tommy wanted to play golf again before they went home.

"I said we would only on the premise that he absolutely promise that he would be a good sport. And he did," said Brady. "About seven holes later, he threw his club again and we left. His temper got better as he got older, but he hated losing at an early age."

Brady said the toughest athletic-related experience of his son's life was easily the NFL Draft in 2000.

He was told he would be selected in the third round, the fourth at the latest.

"By the fifth round he had gone up to his room, laying flat out on his bed," said Brady. "He was a mess. Teams that said they would pick him didn't. When the sixth round started, he couldn't handle it anymore and started walking around the house.

"Marc Bulger was taken at the beginning of the round, then a guy named Spergon Wynn, of South Texas State, was taken by Cleveland," said Brady. "He grabbed a baseball bat and went outside. He said he couldn't watch any more. Finally, we got a call from the Patriots. It was Bill Belichick. I still get emotional when I think about it. But Tom was somewhere outside. We couldn't find him. I lied. I told Belichick he was in the shower."

That day, feels Brady, played as much of a role as any in inspiring his son to work harder than anybody else.

"He had gone through some tough times at Michigan, starting and then not starting," said Brady. "But I think he understood that he couldn't leave anything to chance when he was drafted so late. He was going to work harder than everyone else."

Brady was asked what made him proudest of his son?

"He's very kind to people," he said. "I see him interact with people and he is a gentleman. That's what makes me proudest."

Brady's dad on other topics

A few other topics Brady touched on:

His son living in Boston: "It is very tough. He can't go anywhere without it being a scene. He realizes it goes with the territory, but that doesn't happen in New York or even back home in California. When he goes out here, everybody wants a piece of him."

Drew Bledsoe: "Believe it or not, they are in touch a lot and are good friends."

Bill Belichick: "He's the most driven guy Tommy has ever been around. He's pushed Tommy to levels I don't know if he would have attained."

Randy Moss: "Tommy says he's the smartest football player he has ever played with. He says Randy knows where to be at all times. He sees the same things on the field that Tommy sees. It's like they've been teammates for a long time."

Tommy going after the TD passing record: "I love seeing the stats, believe me. But it doesn't mean anything to him without the championship."