An early December win by the New England Patriots might have changed the face of Michigan football.
Tom Brady helped convince Jim Harbaugh to return to Michigan as head coach, according to an excerpt from “Endzone: The Rise, Fall and Return of Michigan Football,” by John Bacon. It took a Patriots win to get up the guts to ask Brady, however.
Check out the pertinent section of the excerpt, via The Wolverine.
Jay Flannelly, the former team manager turned dishwasher at Pizza House, known as ‘The Beav’ by the former players, knew he could ask Tom Brady for almost anything — except after a loss. The Sunday after the Michigan-Ohio State game, November 30, the Patriots suffered only their third defeat of the season at Green Bay. Flannelly wasn’t going to bother asking a favor after that one.
But on December 7, the Patriots got back to their winning ways in San Diego, beating the Chargers, 23-14, to go 10-3 on the season.
The Beav sprang into action.
“The Pats won, and Tom played great,” Flannelly told me. “So after the game’s over, I’m e-mailing Tom. I congratulate him on the win. He replies, ‘Hey, we won, we played great.’ Then I ask him to call Harbaugh, and give Tom his number. Tom says, ‘Coach Harbaugh is the kind of guy we need.’
“Next day, Ghindy tells me Tom called Jim and talked for two hours. Okay, that’s really cool.
“Tom Brady,” Ghindia says, “has as much to do with Harbaugh coming back as any player on our list. It showed Jimmy just how deep it went.”
Harbaugh still was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers at the time, though there shouldn’t be any rules against tampering for a college program.
Perhaps now some folks from Michigan could call up U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman and put in a good word for Brady.
Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images