Tom Brady’s success with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a lot to do with his relentless competitiveness. He wants to win at all costs, which is why he’s a seven-time Super Bowl champion. However, his competitiveness reaches well beyond football, as it even led to his anger once getting the best of him while gambling (kind of) with a teammate.
That teammate was former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
Tom Brady has been a relentless competitor on the Patriots and Buccaneers
TB12 wants to be the best, and he has, in fact, proven that he is the best. Tom Brady’s desire to win at all costs ultimately helped him lead the New England Patriots to 13 AFC Championship Games, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl titles. It then led to him winning his breakup over the Pats and coach Bill Belichick by winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
Brady has not only proven that he is the ultimate winner, though. He has also recorded better stats than nearly every other quarterback in NFL history.
Here’s a look:
- 14 Pro Bowl selections
- Three NFL MVPs
- 79,204 passing yards (second all-time)
- 581 passing touchdowns (No. 1 all-time)
It’s obvious that Tom Brady knows just how to excel on the football field. However, he is just as competitive off of it.
TB12 lost his cool while gambling with Wes Welker
There are many stories out there that show just how competitive Tom Brady truly is, even off the field. NFL reporter Erin Andrews once said on The Carlos Watson Show that Brady wants to beat everyone at everything, even kickball, and golf. Bill Belichick once also discussed the time Brady nearly risked his life while trying to hit a golf ball off a cliff, per ESPN.
However, one story that potentially highlights his competitiveness perfectly is from Brady’s former wide receiver, Wes Welker.
While discussing his favorite Tom Brady memory with ESPN in 2017, Welker recalled the time he and Brady were playing a game on a plane during a Patriots’ bye week.
“We were playing a game with dice and you try to get all your pawns to the other side, and I’m kind of beating him the first couple games,” Welker said, according to ESPN. “He’s down about $200. I’m talking trash and you could just see his frustration growing. He then takes the board game and throws it against the back of the plane. I’m like, ‘Dude, are you serious right now?’”
Sure, the legendary QB probably wasn’t too happy about losing. If you know anything about Tom Brady, though, you know that he never actually loses — ever.
“We keep on playing, and of course he ends up getting up on me $300,” Welker said. “All of a sudden, he’s in the happiest, best mood ever.”
Brady’s competitive nature might be similar to Michael Jordan’s. His gambling habits, though, are not.
“I go to pay him and he didn’t even take it,” Welker added. “He just wanted to win. He had the biggest smile on his face.”
The intense game didn’t ultimately hurt their relationship too bad, though, as Tom Brady and Wes Welker had a great connection on the field.
Tom Brady and Wes Welker had a great connection on the Patriots
Tom Brady had success with a lot of different teammates throughout his time on the Patriots. However, he helped Wes Welker become a star.
Welker didn’t gain over 700 receiving yards once before making the move to New England. However, he ultimately gained 1,175 yards and led the NFL in receptions with 112 in his first season with Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2007.
Welker then ultimately earned five Pro Bowl selections in New England and led the NFL in catches in three different seasons. He also earned First-Team All-Pro honors twice with Brady and even gained as many as 1,569 yards in 2011.
Tom, on the other hand, led the NFL with 4,806 passing yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season with Welker in 2007. He then ended up throwing for 23,166 total passing yards, 187 touchdowns, and 45 interceptions in the years he played with Welker from 2007 through 2012, (not counting the 2008 season when he only played in one game). He also won two MVP awards in those years.
Tom Brady and Wes Welker had a significant amount of success together on the Patriots. Their success with dice, though, seems to be a completely different story.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference