It’s always special when a Bay Area native makes it big in this world. Whether it be entertainment, business, innovation or sports. When it comes to this local kid, the rise wasn’t exactly the most illustrious. San Mateo born and raised Tom Brady was a solid player in his early years but was overlooked in the NFL draft due to his lack of physical attributes.
Brady attended Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, CA. He regularly played against football and baseball rival Pat Burrell of Bellarmine College Preparatory. He earned the starting quarterback job after a teammate’s injury his junior year and held the position through senior year. He was also talented on the baseball diamond, in fact he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1995 draft but was committed to playing college football. And so he did. Brady went to the University of Michigan and finished his career there third all-time in attempts and completions, fourth in yard and completion percentage, and fifth in touchdown passes.
The New England Patriots took Brady in the sixth round to serve as backup. After starter Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury as well, similar to Brady’s high school rise, Brady stepped into the starting quarterback role in just his second season. That season ended up being a trip to the Super Bowl and an eventual victory. The San Mateo born kid had made it to the pinnacle and pro football.
From then on the job was his and since has not let it go. During his 16 years on the league he’s earned four Super Bowl titles, three Super Bowl MVP awards, two NFL MVP awards, and eleven Pro Bowl selections. That’s just the short list of accolades. But Brady is getting old and he knows it, the Patriots know it and that’s why they’ve prepped for the future by drafting a young, physically gifted and talented QB in Jimmy Garoppolo.
Along the way it hasn’t all been rainbows and sunshine for Brady. There’s been numerous accusations of cheating and other shady happenings but of more recent note, Deflategate. January of 2015, in the AFC Championship game, the Patriots were accused of using slightly deflated footballs to give themselves an advantage and there were whispers of Brady knowing about it.
The deflation of footballs supposedly makes them easier to catch and throw. The league enforced a four game ban for the start of the 2015-2016 in September. The NFL Players Association appealed the suspension but commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the it. Then the NFLPA went to federal court to appeal and won as the judge vacated the suspension and Brady was able to participate in the first four games of the ‘15-’16 season. After winning the 2016 Super Bowl in February, here we are in April and Deflategate has sprung up once again. The U.S. Appeals Court has reinstated the four-game ban from over a year ago.
Not to say that this isn’t important, I suppose it is in the sports world but it’s tired and dry at this point. No one wants to keep hearing about Brady and deflated footballs and those who do usually do out of spite. But hey, here we are in sexual awareness month, Denim Day just passed and the country in in the heat of election season but yeah, let me read more about some deflated balls.
Photo courtesy of Twitter @patriots