When you think of professional athletes living a perfect life, Tom Brady has to land near the top of the list. He’s spent two decades in the NFL, rising from an unheralded rookie to one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history; along the way, he’s earned millions of dollars and won plenty of silverware. On a personal level, he has three kids and is literally married to a model. Brady, however, didn’t always live on easy street.
Before he ever became a professional quarterback, Tom Brady tried his hand at a few different jobs. One of them, though, was “the worst job [he] could ever imagine.”
Tom Brady’s legendary NFL career
These days, it’s impossible to imagine Tom Brady as anything other than a successful NFL quarterback. At one point, though, he didn’t seem destined for greatness at all.
Brady played his college football at Michigan and, after graduation, wasn’t exactly a highly-touted prospect. When the 2000 NFL draft rolled around, he slipped all the way to the sixth round; eventually, the New England Patriots decided to take a chance on the quarterback and selected him with the 199th-overall pick.
While he had joined the NFL ranks, Brady still wasn’t tapped as a future star. Robert Kraft once described Brady as a “skinny beanpole, with this pizza under his arm.” Drew Bledsoe thought that his new understudy would never become anything more than a backup. Fate, however, had a different plan.
During the 2001 campaign, Bledsoe went down injured; Brady took over the top job and, barring a few injuries of his own, never looked back. Almost 20 years later, the quarterback is still going strong. Even if you can’t stand him, it’s impossible to argue with six Super Bowl rings and three NFL MVP awards.
Working ‘the worst job’ in college
While he eventually became a living NFL legend, Tom Brady’s professional aspirations weren’t limited to football. Like most other kids, he worked a variety of jobs while he was growing up.
According to a CNBC write-up, Brady delivered newspapers as a child, making somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 a month; once he reached college, his career opportunities expanded. In addition to famously interning with Merrill Lynch, he worked as a festival security guard and as a golf course sales rep. One job, however, stands head and shoulders below the rest.
“I worked like cleaning industrial manufacturing plants in Michigan, Bloomfield Hills,” Brady explained on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast. “Literally scrubbing ceilings.”
As you might imagine, that manual labor took its toll; Brady said his arms would ache after finishing each shift. “I was like, this is the worst job I could ever imagine,” he concluded.
It’s safe to say that Tom Brady won’t need to get down and dirty ever again
Thankfully for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady didn’t do any permanent damage to his throwing arm by tossing newspapers and scrubbing ceilings. The quarterback is probably pretty happy about that reality, too, since his NFL success has helped him build an impressive fortune.
According to Spotrac’s numbers, Brady will have earned $285 million by the time his current contract expires; that total could be even higher, but the quarterback always gave the Patriots a hometown discount. That, combined with Brady’s TB12 brand and Gisele Bundchen’s fortune, there’s no manual labor looming in the quarterback’s future.
If you’ve watched sports for any amount of time, you’ve surely seen at least a few Cinderella stories. Tom Brady’s career, however, may be one of the best ones yet.