TAMPA ― Tom Brady had a lot more to worry about than learning a new offense and acclimating to new teammates after he joined the Bucs this offseason.
Brady was “stressed out” about both of his parents battling COVID-19 when he was beginning his first year in Tampa Bay.
In an interview on ESPN Radio’s Greeny Monday, Tom Brady Sr. said that he was hospitalized for three weeks at one point in 2020, and both he and his wife, Galynn, were “sick as a dog.”
In fact, Brady’s father said, it was the first time he and his wife, both 76, missed watching one of their son’s football games.
“We’ve never missed a Michigan or New England or wherever,” Tom Sr. told ESPN. “For the first two games when I was in the hospital, I didn’t even care if they were playing, much less missing the game. It was a matter of life and death, just like anybody who goes to the hospital. That’s serious stuff.”
Galynn, who is a breast cancer survivor, did not require hospitalization due to the disease, Tom Sr. said. Their daughter, who is a nurse, cared for Galynn while Brady’s father was in the hospital.
Brady found it hard to focus on football out of concern for his parents the first few weeks of the season, which included an opening-day loss at New Orleans.
Tom Sr. said his son would “FaceTime me on his way to and from practice” and was “stressed out” worrying about his parents.
“Tommy fought through it, and so now it’s in the rearview mirror,” Tom Sr. said. “We’re healthy, we’re happy and everything is good.”
However, in June, Brady ignored a recommendation from the players’ union that players stop “practicing together” until the start of July.
“Please be advised that is our consensus medical opinion in light of an increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts,” NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer said in a statement. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”
After Brady got some pushback about his cavalier attitude toward the pandemic, he posted an image on his Instagram story, along with a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
At 43, Brady led the Bucs to the NFC championship with a win Sunday at Green Bay to earn his 10th trip to the Super Bowl, where the Bucs will play the Kansas City Chiefs Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium.
“This year has been unbelievable,” Brady’s father said. “Not knowing where we’re going to start the season out and being where we are to end the season is just a stunning development as far as I’m concerned. ... Getting to the 10th Super Bowl in 19 years of playing is pretty — it’s incomprehensible, actually. It’s beyond anything we could ever imagine.”