ATLANTA — Tom Brady’s illustrious career has played out before all of our eyes — and it’s far from over. But if you want to know what really makes Brady tick, just ask his father.
Tom Brady Sr. was on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Tuesday and told stories about how fiery his son was as a little boy. Brady’s dad said when Tom lost or didn’t play well he broke remotes, punched a hole in the wall and slammed his golf clubs on the ground.
Luckily for Brady and the Patriots, he’s been able to channel that competitiveness and intense hate for losing into a Hall of Fame career.
Brady had led the Patriots to nine Super Bowls and will vie for a sixth title Sunday against the Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To get to this point, Brady credits his parents for encouraging him to be competitive and to never settle.
“Some people are born with great height, some people are born with great size, great speed and some people are born with other things that are more intangible,” Brady said Tuesday. “Competitiveness and the ability to compete was a great attribute for me.
“It was in our family’s DNA to compete and want to win. My parents always encouraged that — to just go for it. It was great that my parents instilled that in me: you shoot for the stars and you try to do the best you can do. I still feel that way now. People say, ‘You’re 41, what are you doing?’ I’m still shooting for the stars and doing something I love to do.”
Brady said his father and he would play golf together and they would have little side bets. Usually Tom would have to wash his dad’s car if he lost. Brady said he lost all the time and still owes his dad some car washes.
The day he took out his frustration on the golf course, Brady said his father brought him to the car and lit into him. He told him he would no longer take him golfing if he behaved that way again. Brady admitted he cried, but his father gave him another chance.
Brady doesn’t know how he would react if his children expressed their frustrations as he did.
“I definitely broke some remote controls when I was a kid,” Brady said. “I was a very poor sport. I just remember losing and taking the remote and slamming it down over and over. If my kids did that today I don’t know what I would do but I wouldn’t be happy. I remember punching a hole in the wall for different reasons.”
Brady is still very passionate and hates losing.
You see him screaming at teammates when they run a route wrong or don’t protect him. It’s viewed as leadership. But Brady also instills confidence in his teammates by being poised when the game or the season is on the line.
That was never more evident to some of his teammates than in the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City. Brady marched the Patriots down the field in the closing moments of regulation and then overtime of the 37-31 win over the Chiefs.
“We’re trying to go win a football game and he comes in there as confident as ever,” receiver Chris Hogan said. “We know he has confidence in all of us, and he just looks at us and says, ‘We got to make plays boys.’ That’s what we try to do.”
That’s why people question Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman for saying “age has definitely taken a toll” on Brady. It’s just another thing to motivate Brady to play his best on Sunday.
“When I was a kid I hoped I was going to be a professional athlete,” Brady said. “I’ve been a professional athlete for a long time. I couldn’t ask for anything better or different. I wouldn’t change anything. I love being here. I love representing our team. I love trying to go out there and win a world championship.”