What happens reflects on you."Once, receiver Donte' Stallworth didn't run hard on a route and Brady's pass was intercepted. One of Brady's mentors, Brad Canale, made it for him, a scrapbook of his college years, a narrative of slights and growth that Brady thinks about now as a parent rather than as a quarterback.On the sideline, Stallworth told Brady, "My bad." Brady didn't reply. That he made the leap from an "immature" kid, as he says, to a "mature" man is not only at the heart of why he worries about overprotecting his kids but also at the heart of the biggest sports mystery of the past 15 years: How did every scout, coach and GM manage to miss him?"THE TOM BRADY Passage, really, is a shrine to toppling things he can't control.
House set his timer, and Brady was off, shuffling and stepping, throwing right and left, and after 30 seconds, the color had drained from his face and he felt as if he might pass ? Hunched over, Brady looked at House and said, "How long will it take before I can do what the pitchers do? They care only that this space gets as dark as a tunnel -- all the better for movies. He has one of those parental colds that has lingered for weeks. When they say no, Brady replies, "No kisses for Daddy." Voilà -- he'll get a kiss. But if he's late returning calls because he's playing with his kids, he doesn't care.
But there's a purpose in here, as subtle as its modesty, and to understand it, you have to understand this about Brady: When he wants something to be a reflection of himself, he labors over it. And now, because he no longer washes his car -- "My wife would kill me for wasting water," he says -- spaces like this represent a part of him.
For instance, in high school, college and even in the NFL, Brady always washed his own car. In fact, Brady seems to have designed this passage for those who spend the most time in it, hoping they'll someday understand and appreciate everything that occurred in between the Michigan helmet on one side and the Patriots helmet on the other."The kids," he says. For most of his life, that coach was Tom Martinez, whose picture hangs in the passage in Brady's apartment, a sketched portrait of a smiling older man with heavy eyebrows, dark eyes and a weathered face.
TOM BRADY doesn't have a Tom Brady Room in his Back Bay apartment.
It's more of a Tom Brady Passage, wider than a hallway but thinner than a room, an "awkward space," he says as he enters it on a March morning.