How Tom Brady Has Changed Through The Years

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Whether you are an avid sports watcher or not, you likely know who Tom Brady is and the legacy he holds in the National Football League. Otherwise known as the GOAT (greatest of all time), Brady is an American football quarterback currently playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who has competed in 10 Super Bowls over the course of his career. Why is he the greatest? Well, he led his teams to seven Super Bowl wins, which is record-breaking. Not to mention, he was named football's most valuable player a total of five times and has been playing in the NFL for 23 seasons (via NBC Sports). When will he retire? The world may never actually know.

Although Brady has had an undeniably successful football career, he is not exempt from being involved in controversy. Between the 2015 Deflategate lawsuit, those uncomfortable photos of him and his children that instantly went viral, and his past friendship with Donald Trump, Brady has been involved in his fair share of scandals over the years (via Fox News). Grab your chips and buffalo chicken dip, we are about to do a deep dive into Tom Brady's life before all the fame — including those divorce rumors and that intense diet and workout routine. Seriously, how does he do it? Continue reading to learn more about the football star and see how he has changed over the years.

Growing up, he was the youngest sibling with three sisters

Tom Brady, whose full name is Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr., was born on August 3, 1977 in Mateo, California (via Britannica). His parents, Tom Brady Sr. and Galynn Patricia Brady, have four children, Julie, Maureen, Nancy, and Tom Brady Jr., according to The U.S. Sun. Growing up, Brady's parents had their four children dabble in multiple hobbies, but they always gravitated toward sports. "Whether it was guitar, ballet, piano ... we wanted them to try everything," said Tom Sr. "But all of them always seemed to move toward sports, which was fine with Galynn and myself. We were both sports nuts" (via The Eagle-Tribune).

Tom wasn't the only athlete in the family. His older sister Maureen made the U.S. Junior Olympic team when she was 17 years old as a softball pitcher. Years later, she became an All-American pitcher at Fresno State back in the 1990s. His sister Julie played soccer and eventually received a scholarship at St. Mary's, while his third sister played softball as well, receiving a scholarship from Cal-Berkeley. Basically, the entire Brady bunch was full of athletes, which helped inspire Tom to use that motivation for his own success in sports. 

"They were all stars — and beautiful," said John Kirby, Brady's former high school football teammate. "He'd always see their names in the paper. Tommy had all that to look up to growing up. He saw that level of competition" (via The Athletic). 

He played many sports as a kid, including football and baseball

Before taking up football in high school, Tom Brady played baseball and basketball as a kid. Years before he became the famous Super Bowl star he is today, Brady was just a California kid playing multiple sports with his friends, looking up to football quarterback Joe Montana and attending 49ers games every season with his family (via

Brady excelled greatly in baseball, due to the fact that he was an incredible pitcher and left-handed hitter. He was such a successful baseball player growing up that when he was just 17 years old, he was picked in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos in the 1995 Major League Baseball draft after graduating high school, per the Daily Mail. Instead, Brady chose football over baseball and attended the University of Michigan, which would soon change the course of his entire career in the best way possible.

Given his success, it's hard to believe Brady never played football growing up. "The first time he ever played was his freshman year of high school," Tom Brady Sr. told The Boston Globe. Eventually, his love for the game made him want to pursue a career in the sport.

Tom Brady has always been interested in American football

From a young age, Tom Brady has excelled in football and baseball. As a kid, he attended football camp at the College of San Mateo and was taught to properly throw a football by counselor and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Tony Graziani (via Complex). In high school, Brady worked his way up to play on Junipero Serra High School's football team. 

Although he was on the bench the majority of his freshman year when the team was 0-8, during his sophomore year his involvement and his skills grew, as he became the starter on the junior varsity team (via USA Today High School Sports). Soon enough, Brady became a successful quarterback, leading the team to win more and more games and becoming the all-star athlete that he is today (via the Daily Mail). 

Brady received interest from multiple schools to play football, including college programs at California-Berkeley, Southern California, UCLA, Illinois, and Michigan, which he later attended in 1995 (via The Washington Post). According to Sports Illustrated, during Brady's college career, the Michigan Wolverines went 40-9, including a record of 20-5 as soon as Brady became the starter quarterback in his junior and senior years. USA Today reported that at Michigan, Brady is still 10th in career touchdown passes (35) and ninth in career passing yards (5,351).

By 2000, he was recruited by the New England Patriots

In the 2000 NFL draft, everything changed for Tom Brady. However, believe it or not, he was not the first choice for many teams. In fact, he was the 199th pick by the New England Patriots during the sixth round (via Yahoo!). Brady was the seventh quarterback drafted that year, behind Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn (via Fox News). 

Drafted instead of Tim Rattay, Brady was a rookie during his first season on the Patriots, and he worked as the fourth-string quarterback. It wasn't until he filled in for starter Drew Bledsoe after an intense injury that everything changed. Brady's success in the starting position in the weeks following Bledsoe's injury led the team to their first Super Bowl win, beating the St. Louis Rams. It also earned Brady the first of many Super Bowl MVP awards (via Sports Illustrated). Years later, Brady would go on to win the team five more Super Bowls before transferring to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl at 24 years old

Typically, post-college grads that are 24 years old are just getting into the groove of their new jobs and trying to learn how to be an adult. As for Tom Brady, he won his first Super Bowl at that age. In just his second season playing on the team, his appearance playing against the St. Louis Rams granted the Patriots their first Super Bowl win ever in 2002, scoring 20-17 (via NBC Sports). Since then, Brady has made it to nine other Super Bowl games across the course of his career, earning six Super Bowl rings (via Insider). The world looked a lot different when Brady won his first Super Bowl, as detailed by Insider.

Considering that no other quarterback has appeared in 10 Super Bowls or started in more than five, not many would dispute that Tom Brady is truly the greatest player of all time.

He was involved in an NFL controversy in 2015

Tom Brady has been involved in a scandal or two over the course of his all-star football career. The biggest was the court case known as Deflategate. In 2015, the New England Patriots were allegedly using deflated footballs in games because Brady reportedly preferred a softer grip. This was noticed specifically after the football was tested at halftime during the 2014 AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts (via ESPN). According to USA Today, NFL footballs should be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Although the NFL was not measuring balls used at the time, it was later reported that 11 out of the 12 balls used in the first half of the championship game were under the minimum weight.

Things spiraled out of control when a 253-page report from the league was leaked, saying that Brady was aware of the conditions of the football. The scandal ended in years of investigations and legal battles. According to CBS Sports, Brady was suspended from four games during the 2016 season, filed a lawsuit, and went to court against the NFL. The Patriots were fined $1 million while losing two picks in the upcoming draft. The Patriots and Brady both denied ever playing a role in the conspiracy, and in 2016, Brady's suspension was overturned (via People). 

Tom Brady adopted a strict diet and exercise routine

If you are a longtime fan of Tom Brady, then you know he takes his health and wellness incredibly seriously. However, he wasn't always the fittest athlete in his family. Growing up, Brady's diet was nothing like it is today. In an interview with the podcast Armchair Expert, Brady said he ate fast food regularly as a kid, and would start his day with donuts and end it with hot dogs and nachos. Obviously, as a pro athlete, that diet would never fly. 

After 23 seasons of playing in the NFL, Brady is known for following a very strict diet. According to Insider, Brady wakes up at 6 a.m. to start hydrating, drinking 14-37 cups of water per day. He also eats "alkalizing" foods, including smoothies, salads with nuts and fish, roasted vegetables, plain chicken, and hummus and guacamole as snacks. In his book "The TB12 Method" released in 2017, Brady goes into detail about his diet and which food groups are off-limits, including dairy, sugar, processed meats, and more.

Not only is his diet strict, but his workout routine is as well. Brady released the "TB12 Fitness" training app, featuring Brady-approved exercises and nutrition tips. According to Men's Health, Brady's workout includes the use of resistance bands, foam rollers, and massage balls. The New York Post reported that as Brady has gotten older, he has focused less on using weights, and now focuses more on planks, lunges, squats, and crunches.

In 2004, Tom Brady was linked to Bridget Moynahan

Tom Brady and "Sex and the City" actress Bridget Moynahan were first linked back in 2004, soon after Brady won his second Super Bowl with the New England Patriots (via People). The couple rose to fame together and attended many high-profile events throughout the course of their relationship, including red carpets and the Met Gala. However, the couple was only together for three years before splitting in December 2006. Soon after the breakup, Moynahan announced that she was pregnant, and Brady had already moved on with his new girlfriend at the time and current wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen. In August 2007, Moynahan welcomed the former couple's first son together, John Edward Thomas Moynahan (nicknamed Jack).

Since their split, Brady and Moynahan have each moved on and married new partners. Brady married Bündchen in February 2009 and Moynahan married businessman Andrew Frankel in October 2015 (via People). In an interview with People in 2019, Moynahan spoke about her experience co-parenting with the football legend. "Tom and I made a decision to raise a child together and we both found partners that not only supported us in raising that child, but also loved our child as if he was their own," she said. "I don't think you can ask for more than that. My son is surrounded by love and grandparents that go on forever, and it's all good."

In 2009, he tied the knot with Gisele

Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen met through mutual friends on a blind date and eventually, in 2007, the couple started officially dating. Before linking with Brady, Bündchen was in a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio for six years before they split in 2005 (via Parade). 

The famous duo dated for two years before getting engaged in January 2009. One month after getting engaged, Brady and Bündchen tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at St. Monica Catholic Church in California, per People. The couple had a second ceremony at Bündchen's home in Costa Rica in April 2009 (via People). The couple later welcomed two children together, Benjamin Rein Brady in December 2009 and Vivian Lake Brady in December 2012. However, over the course of their relationship, the couple has hit a rough patch or two, and multiple divorce rumors have spread in the media amid Brady's successful football career. 

Tom Brady has a blended family

After welcoming his first son with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan in August 2007, Brady eventually had two more children with his current wife, Victoria's Secret angel Gisele Bündchen. According to People, Brady and Bündchen welcomed their first child, Benjamin Rein, in 2009, and their second child, Vivian Lake, in 2012. 

The football star and Moynahan have each been open about life as a blended family. "Time is so valuable and it's so easy to forget how quickly it can pass us by," Brady told People in 2019. "I try to keep that in mind, because it reminds you to prioritize the things you love. We don't live forever, so we need to make the most of our time." Brady's oldest son Jack has even followed in his dad's footsteps, working as a Buccaneer's ballboy at football training camp during practices (via CBS Sports).

In 2018, Brady received criticism for the controversial kiss on the lips he shared with his son Jack during his Facebook show "Tom vs. Time" (via Good Housekeeping). Some argue that Brady was just being an affectionate parent, while other Twitter users found the clip and the length of the kiss to be uncomfortable and disturbing. 

He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020

For New England Patriots fans, it was the end of an era: After years of success as the team's quarterback, in March 2020, Tom Brady announced that he was leaving the Patriots to become an official member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via NFL). The GOAT signed a two-year contract with the team worth $50 million. "Excited, humble, and hungry," Brady wrote on Instagram. "...if there is one thing I have learned about football, it's that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that ... you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day. I'm starting a new football journey and thankful for the (Buccaneers) for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do. I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me ... I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I'm not gonna say much more — I'm just gonna get to work! #Year1"

Brady led his new team to victory, marking his 10th Super Bowl, beating the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship (via Parade). In February 2021, Tampa Bay made history as they became the first team to play (and win) Super Bowl LV in their home stadium, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Tom Brady announced his retirement in February 2021 -- but quickly changed his mind

We all remember when Tom Brady announced that he was retiring from the NFL, but then didn't actually retire, right? In February 2022, Brady officially announced that after his long, successful career as quarterback for the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was hanging up his uniform for good. "This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention,"  Brady said in his statement on Instagram. "I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes." It's safe to say Brady not mentioning the New England Patriots in his announcement caused an uproar (via Today).

Just 40 days later, in April 2022, Brady changed his mind and decided not to retire after all (via Forbes). "I've realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands," he tweeted. "That time will come. But it's not now. ... I'm coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa."

His friendship with Trump received a lot of backlash

Brady had a questionable relationship with former President Donald Trump that received plenty of backlash. According to CBS News, Brady was connected with Trump in the beginning of his career. Trump invited the football star to play on exclusive golf courses, to serve as a judge at the Miss USA pageant in 2002, and to attend a Republican press conference in 2016 during his presidential campaign. Brady was also found with a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker room (via People).

However, Brady cleared the air in an interview with Variety, when he said that he hadn't spoken to Trump in years. "I think they just mischaracterized a lot," he told Variety. "And my personality isn't ever one to insult anybody. I have plenty of my own flaws. I'm not here to point out anyone else's flaws. There are things that I agree with. There are things that I don't," he continued. "There are things I agree with my wife about. There are things that I don't. I love her to death, but we don't always see eye to eye. I don't see eye to eye with anyone. And I'm not responsible for what other people say. I'm really responsible for what I say. So if people want to say things that I said or that I'm about, that's up to them, and I'm not going to respond to all those things all the time either."

Tom Brady and Gisele are rumored to be considering divorce

Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen have faced divorce rumors before, but this time, things are getting tense. In October 2022, Bündchen hinted at the fact that the couple may be calling it quits when she responded to a post that read, "You can't be in a committed relationship with someone who is inconsistent with you. Read that again" on Instagram (via TMZ). This happened soon after Brady originally announced he was going to retire from his football career, but later changed his mind. 

Although neither Brady nor Bündchen confirmed they are getting divorced, TMZ further reported that they were both in search of divorce lawyers as their 13-year marriage seems to be coming to an end. A source revealed to Page Six that many issues have emerged in their relationship due to Brady's retirement situation. "There's been trouble in the marriage over his decision to un-retire. Gisele has always been the one with the kids," the source revealed. "They had agreed he would retire to focus on the family, then he changed his mind." Another source revealed to People that Bündchen is ready to move on from the marriage. "[Gisele] is done with their marriage," the source said. "She was upset about it for a long time, and it's still difficult, but she feels like she needs to move on. She doesn't believe that her marriage can be repaired."