You don’t have to be a New England Patriots fan to know Tom Brady is an incredibly competitive person. But he apparently took things to a whole new level in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLIX.
The Patriots winning their fourth Super Bowl was a mere formality after Malcolm Butler’s memorable goal-line interception, but Brady wasn’t taking anything for granted. He still had to take two knees before the clock hit zero, but Patriots players started to celebrate like the game was over after the first one.
“Several players began to hug, soaking up the enormity of the moment,” ESPN staff writer Kevin Van Valkenburg wrote in his feature on Brady, which was published Thursday. “When Brady saw this, he went bonkers, yanking his teammates back into the huddle, demanding they maintain their focus for one last play. He was taking nothing for granted. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He was going to be a maniacal competitor right to the very end.”
New England special teams captain Matthew Slater, who provided Van Valkenburg with the anecdote, gave the outside world an even closer look at Brady, too.
“Here is what you need to understand: There is not a guy in the National Football League who loves football more than Tom Brady,” Slater told ESPN. “And it’s not just that he loves going out on Sundays; he loves preparation, he loves taking care of his body, he loves meetings, he loves film, coaching other guys. He loves every bit of it. And that’s what drives him to be great.”
And he certainly has the resume to back it up.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images