While hoards of New England area Patriots fans will be rooting for Tom Brady to win his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday, there will also be a loud contingent in San Mateo rooting on their hometown star against the Giants.
Before Brady became a sporting icon, even before he played at Michigan or was drafted by the Montreal Expos as a catcher in 1995, he was just Tommy, born to Tom Sr. and Galynn and an above average stud on the field at Junipero Serra High.
As a boy growing up in California, Brady idolized 49ers legendary quarterback Joe Montana, and was even at the 1981 NFC Championship game when Montana threw “The Catch” to Dwight Clark. He remembers throwing the pigskin around the parking lot at Candlestick Park before games, wearing his Montana and Steve Young jerseys as frequently as he could.
“It was really great to grow up in the Bay Area at that time and watch two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play,” he said. “That’s really where I began to love football.”
Now with a win on Sunday Brady could tie Montana and Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl wins as a quarterback with four.
“Honestly, I haven’t really given much thought to any records or anything like that,” Brady said this week. “For me and for our team, it’s really about this one game and the challenges that the Giants present to us. I was a 49ers fan growing up, so Joe Montana and Steve Young were my two favorite players.”
Brady would be lying if he didn’t say the last Super Bowl loss to the Giants in 2007 is still on his mind. It is, but so are other key losses, he said. That’s the nature of professional athletes, especially at the highest level.
“Any time you lose, it’s a tough thing,” he said. “We’ve lost one Super Bowl. I remember waking up in Arizona the next morning after an hour of sleep thinking, that was a nightmare, that didn’t happen. After time, you learn to move on and get over it. Anyone who loses in the playoffs knows it is difficult to deal with.
“When you win, you still probably get an hour of sleep, but that feeling doesn’t go away for a long time. The winning, the things that go along with winning, those are really special memories that you have with a lot of close friends. It’s a great feeling.”
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