It’s someone’s special day!
Everyone’s favorite quarterback, Tom Brady, turns 35 today. It’s fun that Brady’s birthday falls during training camp because the assembled crowd usually sings him “Happy Birthday” and it’s a wonderfully awkward and adorable moment. Hopefully he’ll perform better today at practice than he did yesterday.
Anyway, in honor of TB12 being five years from 40, here are The Foxhole’s top five most favorite Brady moments so far, on and off the field.
In the single greatest Brady photo shoot of all time, the much younger (and clearly more naïve quarterback) affectionately cradled a goat and smoldered for the camera. Why, you ask? Why not? He’s Tom Brady.
#4. Patriots v. Colts, 2007 regular season
On the way to the only undefeated season in the 16-game season era of the NFL, Brady came up huge against Peyton Manning in his prime. After being embarrassed by the Colts in the 2006 AFC Championship game, the Pats were out for blood. Both teams had perfect records heading into the game and the Patriots were down 20-10 with ten minutes to go. Brady to the rescue, with clutch plays to Randy Moss and Kevin Faulk to pull out the win for New England. Couple that with a big win over the Colts in the ’07 Championship game and revenge is truly sweet.
It takes a man who’s extremely secure in his masculinity to not only shill for a fuzzy boot company but to agree to go to a very public Los Angeles park, attach a camera to his junk area and pretend to be playing a super fun game of fetch with his dog. Clearly, Brady knows he’s all man. And he’s really, really comfortable with it.
#2. Patriots v. Chargers, 2006 divisional playoffs
The Chargers have always been in the shadow of the Patriots and Colts. They often seem to have the talent to make a run at a Super Bowl, but can rarely pull it all together. This game was no exception. With two minutes left in the first half, the Pats were down 14-3. But along comes the Comeback Kid to lead the Pats on a 72-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown. In the second half, Brady was just as cool, not letting his three interceptions rattle him and finding open receivers like Reche Caldwell for touchdowns. Brady brought his team almost all the way back and then deferred to Stephen Gostkowski to kick the field goal that would catapult the Pats in the Championship game.
Has there ever been a more inspired performance from such a young, inexperienced quarterback? I can’t think of one. The final minutes of this game will likely always be the best of Brady. While everyone from fans to John Madden thought the Pats should just play for overtime against The Greatest Show on Turf, Brady took backup quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s advice and decided to just “go out there and wing it.” Slowly, methodically, Brady used the 1:30 left on the clock to move the Pats down the field, hitting JR Redmond and Troy Brown for key completions. Brady moved the Pats into field goal range like a pro and with the score tied at 17, Adam Vinatieri came out and booted the winning three pointer. It was the first Super Bowl in Pats’ franchise history and it cemented Brady’s status as a superstar. Who’d have thunk it.
So happy birthday to our clutch QB! Here’s to many more amazing – and hilarious – moments yet to be made.