Now 40 years old, Tom Brady enters another decade as dominant as he’s ever been.
To be as good as Brady is at age 40 requires a super-natural desire to compete.
During Brady’s 17 years in the NFL, his competitiveness has become legendary.
Across the league, there are stories of Brady’s intense desire to win, top-notch preparation off the field, and extreme self-confidence that prove nobody loves competing as much as Brady.
Check out 35 of the best examples of Brady’s competitiveness below.
Former Patriot Dan Koppen said that Brady is the most competitive person he’s ever met.
Former teammate Darrelle Revis described Brady’s desire to win as a “sickness.”
It started in high school for Brady. He used to have his high school teammates over his house to study film while his mum made them lunch.
But it wasn’t always easy. He hired a psychologist to deal with the stress of being the seventh-string QB when he first got to Michigan.
Brady knew he’d be great. When he was drafted, he told Patriots owner Robert Kraft, “I’m the best decision this organisation has ever made.”
He told his high-school coach after getting drafted that if he ever got the chance to start in the NFL, the Patriots would never go back to Drew Bledsoe.
Source: USA Today
And when Brady finally got the starting job, he told his backup it was no sweat. “I’m going to be one of the best at this game,” he said.
Brady says he wants to play at least until his 40s — and he hasn’t ruled out 50, either.
Patriots receiver Danny Amendola said Brady once broke a ping pong paddle after losing to Amendola in a game.
Former Patriots backup Damien Huard said Brady once gave his teammates a pep-talk to make sure they wouldn’t lose to a group of local firemen in a charity game.
Similarly, Huard called Brady a “psychotic competitor,” referencing a time Brady threw a backgammon board across the room because he lost.
According to Bill Belichick, during a round of golf at Pebble Beach, Brady hit the ball onto the edge of a cliff. He went out onto the cliff to retrieve the ball while a caddy held onto him to keep him from falling hundreds of feet. Belichick was baffled by the move.
He doesn’t take losing well. He admitted that he had to work on his body language so as not to be too hard on his teammates.
He’s always intense. Don’t ask Brady to play a game of catch: He’ll drill the ball at you from 5 yards away, according to Brandon LaFell.
Before afternoon games, Brady makes receivers prepare to stare into the sun by catching balls from the direction where the sun will shine during the game.
Former Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer said at a team dinner, after much convincing, Brady took part in a beer-chugging contest. “You couldn’t have poured out the beer faster into a glass,” Hoyer said. Brady just walked away smiling with his hands in the air.
Brady micromanages his life to play at an age when others retire. For instance, he goes to bed at 8:30 to stay fresh.
And he does it without an alarm by doing brain exercises before bed.
He also has a ridiculous diet that few others could follow. Avocado ice cream is a treat, and he even stays away from popular health foods like peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
And somehow, he keeps improving. Brady has worked to get quicker, and said at age 39, he was faster than he was coming out of college.
He has a healthy respect for good competition. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said Brady compliments players who sack him.
And former Patriot Dante Stallworth said that Brady would pay practice-squad players who intercepted him.
Opponents say he’s one of the only quarterbacks who will mix it up and talk trash.
But don’t taunt him too much. A college friend said Brady once leveled an opponent during an intramural basketball game because he was trash-talking Tom.
Source: Providence Journal
Brady once used “Joker! Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan!” as an audible call as a shot at the former Buffalo Bills coach.
If you’re on time, you’re late. Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said Brady goaded him into working out at 5:30 A.M. by saying “Good afternoon!” every time Harrison arrived at 6:30 A.M.
Brady said nothing relieves his anger like a good F-bomb tirade.
Read more: Tom Brady explains why he loves the F-word
There was speculation during Deflategate that Brady wouldn’t take a lesser punishment because it would admit some sort of wrongdoing.
Brady apparently complained to Patriots staff members in 2017 that Bill Belichick never gave him the player of the week award, despite posting an MVP-level season.
When Brady was suspended for Deflategate, he couldn’t be around the team, so he called up former Patriots receiver Wes Welker to play catch with him so he could stay sharp.
He called his first game back from his Deflategate suspension “rusty.” He threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.
Don’t ask him to sign a photo where his mechanics look bad — he won’t do it.
When asked about retirement plans, Brady quipped, “What am I going to do, go scuba diving?”
After making the Super Bowl during the 2016 season, Brady stayed up until 1:30 A.M. studying the Falcons’ roster.
But it’s all worthwhile for the Patriots. Brady’s teammates say every practice is like a game because Brady is so intense.
Source: Cover 32
Now, check out where Brady’s Patriots stand as the NFL season kicks off…
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.