I first met Tom Brady in 2001... no, not personally, but on my television. I'm pretty sure I had never even heard his name before Drew Bledsoe was the victim of a violent Mo Lewis hit in the third game of the season. Brady, a 6th round draft pick (#199) out of the University of Michigan had just been selected the previous year and now he was being tossed into the proverbial fire.
I'm sure I wasn't the only person who was a little nervous that Brady didn't have what it took—when would Bledsoe return? After a rough start, he went on to win 11 of the 14 games he started that season and did something only two Patriots' quarterbacks has done before—made it to the Super Bowl. But Brady took it a step further and did something no other New England QB could—he led the team to their first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history. Drew who?
I knew this was the start of something very special. He eventually led the Patriots to two more Super Bowl Championships in 2003 and 2004. Tom Brady has become some what of a legend in New England... here's a great tribute to #12.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!