Turns out, one of the most memorable wins of Tom Brady’s career wasn’t necessarily one of the most pleasurable.
Several hours after returning from his emotionally stirring weekend at his former home, the Bucs quarterback acknowledged on his weekly Let’s Go! podcast that he took no great pleasure in facing his former Patriot teammates.
“Let me just say it’s nothing I prefer to do,” Brady told podcast host Jim Gray less than 24 hours after rallying the Bucs to a 19-17 win against New England.
“It’s not as enjoyable as some people would think. I look over and I think about (receiver) Matt Slater out there, and I look at (linebackers) Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower and (safety) Devin McCourty. And I look at (offensive linemen) David Andrews and Shaq Mason — just some amazing people that I’ve gone to war with.
“And the reality of sports is, sometimes you go different places and now you’re sitting on the other sideline. You want those guys to do so well because you know how important it is to them, you know how much it means to them.”
With the dramatic triumph, Brady joined Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks to record at least one win against every NFL team.
But now that he has experienced a win against New England, with whom he won six Super Bowls over 20 seasons, Brady said the Patriots were the team he enjoyed defeating the least.
“Those are my guys, man,” said Brady, who got back home with the team around 5 a.m. Monday. “Those are the other warriors I went to battle with for so long. I’ve had a lot of battles over the years with different teams. There’s a lot of mutual respect in pro sports, but I’m glad I’m through with the one last night.”
Among other topics Brady addressed on Monday’s podcast:
How his Bucs teammates handled the game’s Super Bowl-type buildup:
“I would say they handled it absolutely amazing. I spoke to the guys on offense about what we were getting ourselves into and what kind of environment it would be, and they handled it absolutely the way you would expect. They knew that for me, it was a big, meaningful, emotional game, and I think everyone was really locked in. And at the same time, it was a regular-season game.”
His conversation with Patriots coach (and former boss) Bill Belichick in the locker room after the game:
“It was a nice conversation. ... I’ve been really focused on what I need to do for the Bucs, and he’s focused on his role for the Patriots. For 20 years I saw him basically every day, and since I left New England, we’d never seen each other kind of face to face. It was nice to catch up and exchange just some different thoughts that we had been having, and it was a good way to end the night for both of us.”
The notion of New England fans having to choose between Brady and Belichick:
“Why should they? Why do we do that? That makes no sense to me. There’s so much division in the world, there’s just so much. Every day you turn on the TV and see different media, it’s more destructive than ever. It’s not my personality. I try to build people up, I try to bring the best out in people. I try to encourage people to be positive, to look at the glass as always half full. I’ve looked at it like that for a long time, and I’m going to continue to do that because it’s served me really well.”
The NFL team he loves to beat the most:
“The team I would love to beat the most is the Giants, there’s no doubt about that, because they’ve taken away some really...(Brady didn’t finish the thought, but the Giants topped New England in two Super Bowls). I do not like losing to those guys, so when we beat them, I love that.”
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls