After leading the University of Michigan to an overtime victory in the Orange Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady's picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the New England Patriots. In 2001, he works his way up the roster, earning the primary backup quarterback position.
Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe is injured two games into the season, and an untested Brady is thrown into the starting lineup. The 24-year-old QB proves himself valuable, leading the Patriots to victory in Super Bowl XXXVI. Brady repeats his Super Bowl victories with the Patriots in 2004 and 2005.
Brady finds his starlet match in former model and actress Bridget Moynahan. Though the ultra-private couple rarely discuss their relationship, Moynahan tells The Boston Herald in 2004, "We both have incredible respect for each other, and each other's lives and professions."
Praising his team-first attitude and ability to perform on football's biggest stage, Sports Illustrated names Brady its Sportsman of the Year. "I didn't win this award being Tom Brady the person," he demurs. "I won it because of the way we play football. There have been some great individual rewards, but there's no greater reward than winning the Super Bowl. I'm very proud of that."
After three years together, Moynahan and Brady call it quits. Soon after, he begins dating supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The couple are vacationing in Paris when Moynahan reveals she is pregnant with Brady's child. "When you're suddenly pregnant and no one is standing by your side … it's a hard conversation," Moynahan says in a rare interview with Harper's Bazaar.
Moynahan gives birth to son John Edward Thomas Moynahan in Los Angeles. Brady skips practice and flies in from Boston to be present for the birth. "I'm very blessed that he's healthy," Brady tells Boston's Channel 5 "Patriots All Access" show in November, adding that John is "truly a joy."
Brady appears on one of 10 commemorative covers celebrating GQ's 50th anniversary, and the all-American QB finds himself in good company among the likes of Paul Newman, Muhammad Ali, President John F. Kennedy and Michael Jordan. "We liked the fact that Tom Brady represents today," creative director Jim Moore says. "He's got a great spirit about him and he's an incredible leader."
Brady and Bündchen secretly marry in Santa Monica, before exchanging vows again at Bündchen's Costa Rica home that April. Then in December, the newlyweds welcome their son Benjamin. "I prioritized with the things that are important to me," Brady says. "That's my family and my football career. There's nothing other than that."
Brady and his New England Patriots teammates lose to the Giants, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI, a repeat of their 2008 loss to the New York team. The loss hits hard for Brady's wife Gisele Bündchen, who defends her hubby. "My husband can not f–ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time," the model is caught on camera saying, taking a dig at Brady's receivers. "I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."
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