TAMPA — He’s dominated headlines and highlights for so long, you feel as if you already know Tom Brady.
But do you, really?
Did you know his sister made a Hall of Fame before him? Or that he witnessed one of the greatest playoff moments in NFL history as a 4-year-old? How about the make and model of his first car?
Here are 20 things to know about the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1. Need to remodel your kitchen? Tom’s your guy. He spent a summer as a supervisor for a custom home builder in 1997 while attending the University of Michigan. Other college jobs, according to his resume, included working security at a summer festival, one summer as a course ranger at a country club and another as the assistant clubhouse manager at the university golf course. Brady also had two internships at Merrill Lynch.
2. He went to an all-boys Catholic high school near San Francisco in San Mateo, Calif. Believe it or not, there’s still some debate about whether he is the most accomplished athlete to come out of Junipero Serra High School. The school produced former MLB All-Stars Jim Fregosi and Gregg Jefferies. Okay, so Brady has them beat. Junipero Serra is also the alma mater for Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. Brady is still bigger, right? Well, how about Barry Bonds? Baseball’s all-time home run leader attended Junipero Serra 13 years ahead of Brady.
3. Brady is currently fourth on the NFL’s all-time list of games started with 283. If he starts all 16 games for the Bucs in 2020, he will pass Jerry Rice, Bruce Matthews and Brett Favre for the most games started in league history.
4. You probably recall Brady was suspended for the first four games of 2016 for his role in Deflategate. But did you know there was apparently a deal on the table for Brady to pay a $1 million fine and avoid the suspension? According to the book 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was willing to forego the suspension as long as Brady publicly blamed two Patriots equipment managers for the scandal. Brady refused and the deal fell through.
5. There’s no doubt, Brady is a wealthy man. Turns out, his wife is even richer. According to celebritynetworth.com, Brady is worth $180 million and supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s net worth is $360 million. Brady referenced her fortune when he explained to late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel why he accepted smaller salaries to help with New England’s salary cap. “I’m a little smarter than you think," he joked.
6. Brady’s first car was a 1967 Dodge Dart. He had trouble starting it when it was cold and said he ended up walking to school whenever the weather dipped below 50 degrees.
7. He’s averaged 263.3 passing yards per game in his 283 regular-season starts. He’s averaged 315.3 yards passing in his nine Super Bowl starts.
8. A left-handed hitting catcher in high school, numerous baseball scouts have said Brady was a legitimate prospect. Because he was honest with big-league clubs about his intention to go to Michigan on a football scholarship, Brady wasn’t drafted until the 18th round by the Expos in 1995. The Expos reportedly offered first- or second-round money to entice him to sign, but Brady turned it down.
9. Bedtime books are sometimes a problem in the Brady house. Bundchen, a native of Brazil who speaks multiple languages, has taught their two children how to speak her native Portuguese. So when the kids pick a Portuguese book to read, Brady says he fumbles through half the words.
10. Brady has three older sisters, and all were athletes. Nancy played softball at Cal-Berkeley, Julie was a high school soccer player and Maureen was a record-setting softball player in high school. Maureen went on to be an All-American pitcher at Fresno State and led the nation in wins as a junior. She was inducted in the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame before Tom.
11. Since the start of the 2001 season, the Patriots have played 21 games without Brady as the starter. They are 13-8 (.619) in those games. With Brady under center, New England is 219-64 (.774).
12. His longevity is no fluke. Brady says he typically goes to bed around 8:30 p.m. during the season and wakes up at 5:30 a.m. He avoids sugar, caffeine, dairy and white flour. His diet is typically lean meats and vegetables.
13. A huge Joe Montana fan as a kid, Brady was at the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park in January 1982 when Montana hit Dwight Clark in the corner of the end zone for The Catch that beat the Cowboys 28-27.
14. Brady has never been as prolific as Peyton Manning when it comes to commercials, but he has had a handful of high-end endorsements. Brady has had deals with Aston Martin cars, TAG Heuer watches and Ugg footwear, along with Under Armour sportswear and the Foot Locker chain.
15. Speaking of Manning, they do have something in common besides MVP awards and Super Bowl wins. Both have hosted Saturday Night Live. Brady’s appearance was April 16, 2005, and included a skit where Brady was unable to win a carnival prize by throwing a football at a target.
16. As a fourth-grader, he got autographs from 49ers running backs Roger Craig and Tom Rathman on his sneakers at a local mall.
17. Former girlfriend Bridget Moynahan, who is the mother of his 12-year-old son, Jack, has been a regular on the CBS show Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck since 2010.
18. Most people know Brady was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan in 2000, but he was also somewhat overlooked coming out of high school. Junipero Serra High was only 11-9 during his two seasons as a starter and on a Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram list of the best college prospects on the West Coast, he failed to make the top 15 and was listed behind John Fox, Brock Huard and Tim Smith at quarterback. Fox and Smith never made it to the NFL, and Huard had a forgettable career with the Seahawks and Colts.
19. No team is happier than the Buffalo Bills to see Brady leave the AFC East. The Bills are 3-32 against the Patriots when Brady starts. Of his 36 fourth-quarter comebacks, eight were against Buffalo.
20. Brady has listed Coldplay and U2 among his favorite artists in past interviews, but his walk-out music at Gillette Stadium was Jay-Z’s Public Service Announcement.