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Tom Brady: From Sixth-Rounder to Seven Rings (Chapter 1)

Jeff Pratt breaks down Tom Brady’s illustrious career in a three-part series.

Syndication: Palm Beach Post Allen Eyestone via Imagn Content Services, LLC

On August 3, 1977, Thomas Brady Sr. and Galynn Patricia welcomed their fourth child and only son into the world. While the Bradys surely had high hopes for their youngest child, not even they could have predicted what he would achieve. Just like that, the greatest quarterback of all time was born.

He was named Thomas after his father but eventually grew to be called Tom as the years went on. Brady grew up in San Mateo, California. As a kid, he fell in love with the game of football, regularly attending 49ers games in the 80s. He quickly developed an infatuation with the man he now calls his idol, Joe Montana.

Physically, Brady had a knack for the game, but football wasn’t the only sport that piqued his interest. During his four-year career at Junipero Serra High School, Tom also played basketball and baseball, in which he showed significant potential as a catcher.

Brady was so highly-touted on the diamond that he ended up being selected in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos. However, instead of taking his talents to Canada, he chose to play football at the University of Michigan to eventually pursue a career in the NFL.

Brady didn’t start for the Wolverines until his junior year but quickly established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the country once he got the opportunity. He led Michigan to a 1999 Orange Bowl victory and began to draw nationwide attention.

After graduating, Brady entered the draft process. His mental aptitude for the game stood out, but his physical gifts were clearly lacking compared to other draft prospects (we’ve all seen the notorious combine picture).

He was eventually chosen in the sixth round, #199 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Brady was initially viewed as nothing more than insurance for franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was under contract long-term.

After sitting behind Bledsoe for the entirety of his rookie campaign, Brady got his shot as a sophomore. In Week 2 of the 2001 season, Bledsoe was injured on an incredibly hard hit from Mo Lewis that almost killed him. He suffered a hemothorax, and a doctor apparently told his wife that he might not make it. Luckily, Bledsoe made a full recovery.

In his absence, Brady took over as the starter and was an effective game manager, making simple plays and minimizing mistakes you often see from young players. With Brady under center, the Patriots posted an 11-3 record in the remainder of the regular season.

Led by the sophomore sensation, New England made a magical playoff run that was topped off by an upset over Kurt Warner and The Greatest Show on Turf in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Just like that, the Patriots dynasty began, and the legend of Tom Brady was born.