How Tom Brady Became A Generation’s Icon: From His Trials To Triumph

Published on 06/13/2018
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Regardless of which team you root for in the NFL, it would be hard to deny that Tom Brady was one of the greatest quarterbacks we have ever seen. Despite hitting many highs during his sporting career, the man has also had numerous low moments. Let’s take a closer look at his life and how he managed to become the greatest quarterback in American history.

The Beginning

Tom Brady was born on August 3, 1977 to Tom and Galynn Brady in San Mateo, CA. He was the youngest of four children. He was also the only son in the family! Brad developed a competitive spirit from an early age, though that’s probably a given considering the fact that his three sisters were all athletes.

The Beginning

The Beginning

Greatness

Tom followed the example of his sisters who were highly involved in various sporting activities. Growing up in the Bay Area, Tom Brady was a big fan of the San Francisco 49ers. He has many fond memories of the Niners as a kid. He also fondly recalls watching NFL greats such as, Joe Montana and Steve Young. He was even in attendance during the ever-popular “The Catch” game at Candlestick Park.

Greatness

Greatness

A Star

Tom attended Junipero Serra High School, a local Catholic boys school. He played various sports in school including football, basketball, and baseball. He was a football quarterback in the fall and a baseball catcher in the spring. When it comes to basketball, he was gracious enough to have the other athletes have a taste of glory.

A Star

A Star

Almost

Brady stood out as a star in his high school and he even caught the eye of baseball scouts! They clearly saw that the lefty batter had potential to go pro. As a result, he was drafted in the now-defunct Montreal Expos during the 1995 draft. It was outfielder Frank-Paul Santalego, who said that Tom Brady should “go play football at Michigan.” If it wasn’t for his wisdom, the young man would not have gone for it.

Almost

Almost

Pine

Thus, Tom Brady left California for Michigan in 1995. Despite a potentially promising baseball career, he played college football for the University of Michigan as a backup quarterback for the first two years of his college career. Brady might have been on the bench at the time, but the Wolverines had an impressive record at the time and they were even able to take home a Rose Bowl championship! Future Pro Bowl quarterback Brian Griese led the team during the national championship in 1997.

Pine

Pine

Stepping Up

After his first two seasons, Tom Brady only had 15 passes and two rushing attempts to his name. However, he got the chance to prove himself when he was named starting QB by Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. In his first full year as a starter, he set a new Michigan record for most pass attempts and completions in a season! Not to mention the fact that he led the University of Michigan to a remarkable 10-3 season.

Stepping Up

Stepping Up

Wrong Direction

As soon as he started to make a name for himself, Brady was hit by a major setback. He was forced to share the glory with Drew Henson, also a quarterback. In an attempt to keep Henson from leaving Michigan, Lloyd Carr gave him an increased role. He might have had serious competition at the time, but Tom Brady kept his cool and led the Wolverines to victory over Alabama in 2000.

Wrong Direction

Wrong Direction

Reality

Despite all these challenges, Brady’s success at Michigan was undeniable. However, he was only a lightly regarded prospect once his college career ended because he performed poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine. Tom Brady entered the 2000 NFL draft and was selected by the New England Patriots as the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the draft. “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made,” Brady would tell Robert Kraft over the phone.

Reality

Reality

Rookie

Selecting a QB in the sixth round was certainly an odd pick for the Pats. This was especially true as their previous QB was a no. 1 pick! Moreover, Brady had to compete with both veteran John Friesz and fellow rookie Michael Bishop. As a result, he only made a single appearance in his first season with the Pats. Tom Brady was back on the bench for the meantime, and he would only have one completed pass out of three tries by the end of the season.

Rookie

Rookie

Diving In

However, Brady wouldn’t have to wait long for an opportunity to showcase his skills. During the second season, both his competitors would be out of the picture! Brady would then become the backup quarterback. Drew Bledsoe, starting QB, was forced out of the game during their second game. He would be out for a while due to a sheared blood vessel and Brady had to fill in for him. Luckily, Tom Brady performed well and he eventually led New England to an 11-5 record.

Diving In

Diving In

The Top

At this point, Brady knew what it was like to wait on the bench and watch his teammates be showered with attention. That might be why he played as well as he could in every single game. He even earned a Pro Bowl selection! He was probably concerned that Bledsoe’s recovery would put him in the backburner again. When Tom Brady suffered a leg injury, Bledsoe had to cover for him. However, Brady’s performance in the Super Bowl XXXVI was the stuff of legends! In a single year, he was able to go from benchwarmer to MVP.

The Top

The Top

Patriots Perks

Brady’s hard work and tenacity paid off as his popularity continued to spread. He would eventually become a household name! Tom Brady had suddenly become the face of New England. The star also enjoyed off-the-field success as he began going out with Layla Roberts, the Playmate of the Year in 1997.

Patriots Perks

Patriots Perks

The Stars

Despite the Pat’s poor showing in the ’02 season, Tom Brady’s popularity continued to rise. After breaking it off with Layla Roberts, he began another fling with actress Tara Reid! Not only was he dating beautiful women, he also went on to become a Super Bowl champion. It’s hard to imagine that everyone used to take him for granted.

The Stars

The Stars

Big Stage

In ’02, Brady got a chance to shine on the big stage. The Pats marched through the playoffs to play in the Super Bowl. Although they didn’t get the championship, Tom Brady emerged from the run with yet another MVP award to his name. He had two championships, two Super Bowl appearances, and two MVPs in a span of only three years!

Big Stage

Big Stage

Exceling

In 2004, Brady’s brilliance was confirmed with a third Super Bowl appearance in four years. The man was well on his way to becoming football royalty. There was no question after the Pats sailed to victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in a stunning 13-3 win.

Exceling

Exceling

They’re Serious

Brady and his then-girlfriend actress Bridgett Moynahan proved to be quite the power couple as each enjoyed massive success in their own right. As Tom Brady’s popularity spread, so did Bridget’s acting and modeling career. The couple was together for three years before calling it quits. Brady also prioritized his non-romantic relationships. He never failed to keep in touch with friends and families even at his busiest.

Theyre Serious

They’re Serious

Bit Silly

As intense as he could be during games, there was a lot more to Tom Brady than his competitiveness. In 2005 and 2006, he was able to show his silly side. He hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and lent his voice on both Family Guy and The Simpsons. On The Simpsons, Brady was featured alongside other sporting superstars like Michelle Kwan and LeBron James. Let’s not forget how the Family Guy episode he appeared in is still one of the best moments on the show.

Bit Silly

Bit Silly

A New Love

Brad and Moynahan broke it off in late 2006. However, this did not discourage Brady from finding new love. In less than a month, Tom Brady would meet Gisele Bündchen through a common friend. The Brazilian model had her fair share of high-profile relationships, but this match would prove to be true love.

A New Love

A New Love

Special Surprise

While the couple was still in the honeymoon stage, Bridget Moynahan delivered the news that she was pregnant! Uh-oh. Tom Brady only found out when she alerted the press. Although the news came as a surprise to the new couple, they surprisingly came together to co-parent Jack after he was born.

Special Surprise

Special Surprise

Nearly Perfect

2007 was an amazing year for Tom Brady as he defied all odds to surpass the almost impossible 50 touchdowns in a regular season. He was even able to beat Peyton Manning’s record from 2004! He also helped the Pats achieve a perfect run in the season with a 16-0 record. Impressive. They made their way to the Super Bowl again, but the New York Giants defeated them.

Nearly Perfect

Nearly Perfect

Stubborn

His teammates might have looked up to Tom Brady, but so did the coaching staff. His attention to detail and desire to succeed forced everyone to be on the top of their game. Here’s what Bill O’Brien had to say about him: “One of the most difficult jobs you can have is coaching Tom because he wants to be coached. You coach him every single day, every minute of the day, and all year round because he’s all football. He’s a phenomenal guy and the reason why he is what he is, is because he’s obsessed with football … so when you’re coaching him you better be ready to go at a moment’s notice whether it’s for a meeting, or practice or game.”

Stubborn

Stubborn

Square One

The team almost had a perfect season, wowing even the most skeptical fans. He even went on to win the award for the Most Valuable Player in the NFL. Despite his eagerness to avenge the team, Brady would tear his MCL and ACL in the opening game. This effectively ended his comeback before it could even start.

Square One

Square One

I Do

While in recovery, Tom Brady had the opportunity to spend more time with his family. He married Gisele Bündchen on February 26, 2009 in Santa Monica. They held a private ceremony and only invited close friends and family. Following the ceremony in California was a second wedding in Costa Rica in April.

I Do

I Do

Comeback

Brady took a year off to recover from the devastating injury. Upon his return, Brady was in top form and earned a Pro Bowl selection for his stunning performance in the season! This earned him the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year award. That wasn’t everything the year had in store for him, however…

Comeback

Comeback

Family

2009 was certainly a remarkable period for Tom Brady. From marrying the beautiful Gisele Bündchen to enjoying an outstanding return, his wife also gave birth to their firstborn. The baby boy, named Benjamin Rein Brady, was delivered in the comfort of their home.

Family

Family

Switching Sides

It was in 2010 that Brady began to take his business deals more seriously. Brady left Nike for Under Armour, for one thing. He was the biggest name to endorse the brand, despite the fact that the company had enjoyed massive growth since it was founded in 1996. Brady was rewarded with stock in the company, which made the deal sweeter than his partnership with Nike.

Switching Sides

Switching Sides

Fashion Icon

Brady was able to earn millions from his stock in Under Armour, but his career in fashion would take off when he partnered with UGG. His campaign with the fashion brand is simply legendary and he was able to drive the sales of the company! This can be considered as one of his boldest commercial moves, especially since the brand was most popular among girls and young women.

Fashion Icon

Fashion Icon

Getting Better

After an amazing run in the 2010 NFL season, Tom Brady’s comeback period was definitely over. However, everyone still enjoyed watching the star get better and climb his way to the top. His outstanding performance landed him 36 touchdowns in just four interceptions as well as another MVP award.

Getting Better

Getting Better

Giant Problem

His successes did not deter Brady from further improvements. In another fantastic run, Brady passed over 5,000 yards as the Patriots met the Giants in yet another Super Bowl. In yet another arduous game with the Giants, the Pats clung to a two-point lead as the game approached to end. Nevertheless, the Super Bowl spelled similar fate for the Pats when they faced the G-Men.

Giant Problem

Giant Problem

Love

Starting the year with yet another Super Bowl loss must have been tough. Fortunately, several good things happened outside of the film. In April of the same year, Brady’s sister tied the knot with Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox. Tom Brady, who had at this point guaranteed himself a spot on the Hall of Fame, had another great athlete in the family.

Love

Love

Vivian

In December of the same year, Tom Brady welcomed a new member to his family as Gisele Bündchen gave birth to a baby girl. They named their daughter Vivian Lake Brady. This was the third of his kids to be born in December after his first born son Jack and second born son Benjamin.

Vivian

Vivian

Butler

In 2013, the Denver Broncos cut short the Patriots dreams of appearing in the Super Bowl. However, in 2014, the Pats booked themselves a spot in the Super Bowl when they crushed the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship. They went on to win against the Seattle Seahawks thanks to Brady’s fiery offensive and Malcolm Butler’s interception. Indeed, no one could ever claim that Tom Brady and the team ever got complacent.

Butler

Butler

Deflategate

The Patriots’ happiness was not meant to last as they were accused of intentionally under-inflating their footballs during their AFC Championship victory! It was the talk of the town and the scandal would later be called Deflategate. Although Brady fought the allegations in court, he eventually accepted defeat and received a four-game suspension. The ruling would begin during the 2016 season.

Deflategate

Deflategate

Peak Performance

In 2015, Tom Brady led the Patriots on their fourth straight 12-4 win. However, his run was once again interrupted by Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Despite his suspension, 2016 had a great start for the star. The sports icon added another feather to his hat as a business mogul when he launched his TB12 brand. He also published his first book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance in September and the athlete would eventually become a bestselling author!

Peak Performance

Peak Performance

Beating Unfathomable Odds

After serving his suspension, the 39-year-old legend was at it once again. With Brady at the helm, the Pats enjoyed another outstanding season. However, Matt Ryan of Atlanta Falcons would win the MVP award and Brady would be the runner-up. Nonetheless, the comeback in the season is deemed as one of the greatest in the history of the NFL! Despite the odds, Tom Brady was finally able to lead the team to a Super Bowl victory.

Beating Unfathomable Odds

Beating Unfathomable Odds

Time

At the age of 40, the sports and fashion icon continues to defy expectations and still plays at a high level. In 2017, he finished with a 13-3 record which earned him his third First-Time All-Pro selection. Brady’s impeccable run is well-documented. His career has been covered in the docuseries “Tom vs. Time”. The life story of No. 12 is simply amazing and inspiring— who could have known that such athletic greatness would stem from someone who was a benchwarmer in the beginning?

Time

Time

Vegan Snacks

In 2016, Tom Brady released his very own vegan snacks. Even the bags are made from biodegradable rice paper. Inside, you’ll find raw and gluten-free snacks like Cacao Goji Energy Squares. However, many have protested that these boxes of 12 packs are not affordable for most people at their $50 price tag.

Vegan Snacks

Vegan Snacks

Critics Of His Diet

In addition to criticizing the prices of his snacks, many have attacked his famous diet. Health professionals claim its absurd and extreme. Brady does not eat tomatoes, eggplants, fruits, peppers or mushrooms. Mike Roussell, who earned his PhD in nutrition told Men’s Health, “Unfortunately, Brady’s diet is full of buzzwords, not science. According to [his personal chef] Allen Campbell, Brady avoids tomatoes because of the inflammation they cause. That makes literally zero sense. Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. A 2012 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that a meal containing tomatoes reduced levels of inflammation and oxidation following the meal.”

Critics Of His Diet

Critics Of His Diet

Don’t Call It A Cookbook

Brady released what he referred to as a “living document,” while others called it a cookbook. Within the TB12 Nutrition Manual, you can find 89 recipes if you’re willing to pay $200 for it! All of the recipes are from his personal chef, Allen Campbell, but many note that Campbell is not a well-renowned expert and only took a certificate program from eCornell in plant-based nutrition.

Dont Call It A Cookbook

Don’t Call It A Cookbook

MAGA Hat

Many fans across the country were troubled in 2015 when a “Make America Great Again” hat was on display in Brady’s locker. Brady explained, “He sent it tome via R.K.K.,” Brady said referring to owner Robert Kraft, adding, “He always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times. So now that he’s running for president, he sent me a hat, and he gave it to R.K.K. a couple weeks ago. So it found its way to my locker.” His wife later clarified that does not mean the couple endorses him. Now, Gisele has been in the news for speaking out against the President’s doubts on global warming and reversal of Obama’s ban on elephant trophies.

MAGA Hat

MAGA Hat

Two Punts

Not many realized or can recall, but yes, Tom Brady has actually punted the football twice during his NFL career. In total, those two punts equaled 68 yards.

Two Punts

Two Punts

Film Debut

Perhaps, you missed him, but Tom Brady actually made his film debut in the film Stuck on You (2003). He played one of the computer geeks! Also, he played himself on HBO’s Entourage and in their film.

Film Debut

Film Debut

Troubling News

After dating for a few months, Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady needed to deal with some pretty intense news. Brady found out his ex, Bridget Moynahan was pregnant with his child. Bündchen opened up to People in 2015 about those moments, “It was kind of one of those moments of like, ‘Do I just run away?’” She spoke bluntly about how hard this was for her to cope with, but somehow, they made it through!

Troubling News

Troubling News

Rumors Circulating

Once again rumors about Tom Brady began circulating when Anthony Scaramucci named Brady in late 2017 as a former fling of Ivanka Trump. Some say that his wife, Gisele Bündchen wouldn’t let him go to the White House for the Super Bowl visit after this. However, Tom Brady only announced that personal family matters prevented him from being there.

Rumors Circulating

Rumors Circulating

Healthy Kids

Now, Brady is a father to three kids. Jack, his son with Bridget Moynahan, is the oldest, and Brady has Benny and Vivian with Gisele Bündchen. The children eat very healthy. Their chef told Business Insider, “80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. [I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it…I make fruit rolls from bananas, pineapple, and spirulina.”

Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids

Staying Active

Bündchen spoke with People and explained their healthy routines, saying, “We are all pretty active at our home. We do some form of physical exercise every day; it all depends where we are.” Obviously, they don’t let their kids sit around watching television or playing on iPads all day. More power to them!

Staying Active

Staying Active

Daddy’s Girl

Some like to say that Tom Brady has his own coach at home… Brady spoke with ET about his daughter Vivian, saying, “That little girl owns my day — owns my life. [I] cannot say ‘no’ to anything. Whatever she tells her dad to do, that’s what I do. That’s just the way it goes.”

Daddys Girl

Daddy’s Girl

Communication

While talking about her relationship, Gisele Bündchen said ever since she started dating Tom in 2006, they haven’t gone a day without speaking. In addition, Brady called Gisele Bündchen one of the best parts of his life. Even when the two are oceans apart, they find time to speak. Clearly, their communication is crucial to a successful marriage.

Communication

Communication

Sleepy Tom

Now, this is totally unexpected and hilarious! Apparently, Brady fell asleep for about 20 or 30 minutes just before his first ever Super Bowl! Right before Super Bowl XXXVI started with the kickoff, he took a nap during pregame in the locker room. He spoke about that moment he woke up and started the game, saying, “Twelve minutes later we were running out onto the field.”

Sleepy Tom

Sleepy Tom

Previous Diet

Even though Tom Brady is known for his strict diet now, he used to eat very differently. During his rookie year, he was not the healthiest eater. Before his games back in 2000, he would eat nachos. Well, back then he was a fourth-string quarterback. Also for lunch, he usually ate “ham-and-cheese subs with onion rings, washed down with orange soda.” Oh and dinner…pizza!

Previous Diet

Previous Diet

Not So Talented

While he may be incredibly gifted at football, his skills do not transfer to the slopes. Even his former teammate Drew Bledsoe admitted that Brady is not the best skier. Bledsoe joked that years ago when they went skiing together, “He was really awful then.” Brady has made light of it and even posted a video of himself face-planting, along with a South Park clip.

Not So Talented

Not So Talented

Athletic Scholarships

As we mentioned, his siblings were all very talented athletically. Even though Tom Brady went to Michigan with a football scholarship, he wasn’t the first Brady to be awarded an athletic scholarship. His sister Maureen attended Fresno on a softball scholarship. Meanwhile, Julie was a walk-on for St. Mary’s soccer team before winning her own scholarship. Although Nancy ultimately went in another direction, she did get recruited for Cal-Berkeley and offered a softball scholarship.

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships

Tom’s Bedtime

Honestly, Tom Brady might even go to bed earlier than his children. In order to be on top of his game and adhere to his optimal personal regimen, he needs to go to sleep pretty early. This Super Bowl champion hits the hay at 830 pm!

Toms Bedtime

Tom’s Bedtime

First Home

With some of the $38,500 signing bonus from Brady’s rookie contract, he was able to get a house. He bought a $265,000 house from former Patriots cornerback, Ty Law. However, to help pay for the home, he had two teammates move in with him initially.

First Home

First Home

Adopted Family

It’s not always about blood when it comes to who you call family. Apparently, owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, acts like Brady is his fifth son. When recalling the first time the two met during Brady’s second year playing for the NFL, Kraft said, “He came down in training camp and introduced himself. Here was this skinny beanpole, with this pizza under his arm. He says, ‘I’m Tom Brady.’”

Adopted Family

Adopted Family

Never Had Coffee

Despite waking up at 5:30 in the morning, this star never opts for coffee. In fact, he never even had coffee. Brady told WEEI, “For one reason or another, I never had coffee or anything like that. I just never tried it.”

Never Had Coffee

Never Had Coffee

Dreams Of Fame

Years and years ago, a young Tom Brady wrote a paper saying he wanted to become famous and be a household name. Much of his youth, he was known simply as the younger brother of his three sisters. Thus, he desperately wanted his own recognition. He told his mom, “One day, I’m going to be a household name.”

Dreams Of Fame

Dreams Of Fame

Horse Lovers

Brady’s whole family loves riding horses. Actually, they really enjoy to ride them on the beach! Often, Gisele will share photos of the family riding on her Instagram. The kids all love horses too and even enjoy cuddling with them.

Horse Lovers

Horse Lovers

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