Tom Brady turns 40


Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski came up with a pretty good idea for a 40th birthday present for quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday when he said he gets Brady touchdowns because all the quarterback wants is for his receivers to catch the ball.

Mike Reiss of came up with another good way to celebrate Brady’s big birthday on Thursday. Reiss spoke to several Brady family members, friends, teammates and coaches to paint a picture of Brady on and off the field. The anecdotes range from a chippy response to razzing about Drew Henson while at Michigan to his willingness to use connections to help teammates score nice watches to his enjoyment of a good prank.

More than anything, though, the stories Reiss collected show the traits that have made Brady one of the best to ever play in the NFL. Early morning arrivals to the weight room, supreme confidence in his abilities and, as former Patriots offensive coordinator and current Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, a steel trap memory of what’s been successful in past games.

“My favorite story about him has to do with his memory,” O’Brien said. “I don’t remember the exact time of the year, but we were playing Buffalo, I think it was 2009. We’re in a meeting and we’re watching Buffalo’s first- and second-down tape. I’m talking to them about what the Bills’ defensive coordinator was doing, and [Brady] basically knew who the coordinator was because he had faced him earlier in his career, about five to six years prior. So he says to me in this meeting, ‘I remember we ran this play against this scheme called Crunch Stock in 2004.’ I said, ‘You remember that specific play?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I remember it against this specific coverage, which this coordinator loves to play. It was on the right hash, going away from the lighthouse, and we hit Troy Brown for a big gain on the crossing pattern.’ I said, ‘There is no way you remember that play like that!’ He challenged me to pull it up. We have all the games on the computer system, and we find that game and there’s the play: on the right hash, second-and-less-than-5, going away from the lighthouse and he hits Troy Brown on a crossing pattern. Think about all the plays he had between that day and the day we were talking. Apart from his talent and competitiveness, I always tell people that’s what sets him apart. He has an IBM. He remembers it.”

The entire piece is worth a read for a trip back through the years as Brady hits 40 with no sign that he’s slowing down.

62 responses to “Tom Brady turns 40

  1. There’s really been no better time to be alive as a Boston sports fan. I love you Tom. Happy Birthday to the GOAT.

  2. I wonder if the “DEFLATOR” will text him a Happy Birthday text. OH! that’s right he destroyed his phone and I am guessing the “DEFLATOR” probably didn’t get the new number

  3. But he looks so good! maybe he is a super human? MAYBE its his ridiculously easy offense with 2 step drops, barely every taking a hit from the defense and never having to use his arm with those short screens or slants. Jimmy G was the best qb in the league after 2 weeks last season……. Maybe patriots have the two best qb’s of all time? or MAYBE its an easy offense that anyone (even a mediocre 6th round pick) can thrive in (see Matt Cassell- 11 wins in that offense. Most teams cant get 11 wins with their starter). Brady will eventually retire and Jimmy G will win 12-14 games every single year like brady…..and ya’ll new england jokers will still say tom is amazing and made it happen b/c he is elite.

  4. .
    Excellent piece of sports journalism by a quality writer, Mike Reiss. Even though Brady is a very high profile person, most of what is reported about him comes from sources without a relationship with him. That leads to being misunderstood. It’s rare to get these personal, first hand accounts.

    It was nice of Reiss to recognize the yeoman’s work turned in by Charlie Weiss. He laid the foundation for Brady’s success. He took him from a raw rookie to a three time Super Bowl winner in five years.

  5. enjoy it Mr Brady, it all ends 11/19/, enjoy your cake and your presents and your old worn out wife because the bell tolls and it tolls for you, Hoss

  6. Season stats, aged 39 (except Montana, last year 38):
    Tom Brady in 2016 season = 112.2 rating, 28 TDs, 2 INTs, 8.2 YPA
    Peyton Manning in 2015 season = 67.9 rating, 9 TDs, 17 INTs, 6.8 YPA
    Brett Favre in 2008 season = 81.0 rating, 22 TDs, 22 INTs, 6.7 YPA
    Joe Montana in 1994 season = 83.6 rating, 16 TDs, 9 INTs, 6.7 YPA
    Warren Moon in 1995 season = 91.5 rating, 33 TDs, 14 INTs, 7.0 YPA

  7. I wonder if Macklemore and Yachty released that song/video in honor of His Greatness’ birthday?

  8. He has it all. The intangibles set him apart from the rest of the pack. He cant run or throw like Aaron Rodgers. But his football IQ is unprecedented.

  9. Happy 40th to the GREATEST EVAH. And even though you went to college at that state up north 😞😒, you’ll always be a native son to the 617 and the 5 1/2 states that comprise New England!

  10. “My favorite story about him has to do with his memory,” O’Brien said. “I don’t remember the exact time of the year…”


  11. Time for everyone to come in and call Brady a cheater, even though he’s never cheated. If your team didn’t have 5 chances to draft the guy, they had 6. No one to blame for his dominance of your team but your own talent evaluators.

  12. Others have more physical talent, Brady’s game is mental. He sees the game on another level. In the SB era Marino was the best pure passer and Montana had the best physical skill set of all the QB’s I have seen play but Tom Brady is the greatest winner. Sometimes it’s a thing of beauty but more often than not it’s simply finding a way to move the chains.
    The man just gets it done.

  13. Reiss’ piece is excellent, and the varied stories give a great total perspective on what makes Brady tick. Others have compiled great Brady stories through the years (find some in the latest SI tribute to TB), and an entire book of these tied to explaining Brady’s guiding values and work ethic would be an excellent read.

  14. happy 40th to the greatest ever

    jealous trolls unite!

    now, when is the great bb’s birthday? you know, the guy
    who drafted and coached him?

  15. The embittered cupcakes just can’t help themselves. PLEASE keep losing sleep over Tom Brady, cupcakes. Highly entertaining stuff.

  16. Gotta love the jealous haters on here.
    All the poor excuses to not give Brady his due.
    GOAT, and we’ll have to wait and see if he ever gets replaced but he has that title right now.
    I’m sure he will win another SB or two and there will be more jealousy which in turn breeds more haters.
    If you can get past the hate and stop being jealous you also will accept that Tom Brady @ 40 is the GOAT!
    Happy “B” day to TB12

  17. Yes, keep the hate coming – just the fact that you continue to spend your time reading and posting about all things Patriots shows how much you still feel the sting of the GOAT’s amazing run (5 SBs, 4 SB MVPs). I’m sure the drama of the past few years hasn’t helped (Malcolm Butler’s pick, the Greatest Comeback in SB history).

  18. It seems he cheats everyday. He is cheating father time. I wish my team..the Jags.. would have someone half as good… I’d even take 1/4 good

  19. Brady’s diet has nothing to do with his longevity – the cowardly aspect of most defenses has them not pounding him into the ground like Denver has done. If he had to play a defense like Denver’s week in and week out, he’d already be at home with his concussion expert denying he had any.

  20. Two friends are driving down the road and see a beautiful mansion overlooking the ocean. They stop and stare,and one says “Someday I’ll BE the guy that lives in that house.”
    The other responds “Someday I’ll GET the guy that lives in that house.”
    Truly a rough day for the trolls.

  21. I guess it was predictable that the usual creeps couldn’t resist typing insults about someone that they never met just because he wears a different uniform than the team that they root for.

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