Having been blessed to cover seven Super Bowls involving the Patriots, and a countless number of games regular and postseason, there’s one story about Tom Brady that stands out from the rest.
It was after he first ascended to the starting quarterback position following the Drew Bledsoe injury. Protocol is for the starting quarterback to have his own press conference each week, at a podium, away from the locker room because it was more practical that way with all of the interest in the starting quarterback.
When Brady inherited the role, his initial impulse was to stay in the locker room with his teammates where he had always been. The message was that just because he was a starting quarterback, that didn’t make him any more or less important than everyone else on the team. So he would stay with his teammates.
Now, when it became clear that the gesture was not practical, because dozens of reporters always want to talk to the starting quarterback and that ended up spilling into other players lockers which made things less than convenient, he ultimately ended up at the podium.
But in a world of a selfish athletes who always think of themselves first, to have an initial reaction be more about team than self, it was refreshing. And I will say a small glimpse into somebody who quite literally always put the team before himself in pretty much every situation.