No player relies on luck less than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady works as hard as almost any player in league history, and he has the results to prove it even this season. If there was anyone in the league who wouldn’t believe in superstitions, it would be Brady.
But he actually does have one, and it’s rather strange. Let’s take a closer look at the one weird superstition Brady’s had since college.
Tom Brady’s college career
Before he was “Tom Terrific,” Brady was a slightly above average quarterback for the University of Michigan. Below are his career stats as a Wolverine:
- 395 completions on 638 pass attempts
- 61.9 completion percentage
- 4,773 yards passing
- 30 touchdowns
- 17 interceptions
Brady didn’t see significant action until his junior and senior seasons, in which he played 12 and 11 games respectively. Famously, the New England Patriots selected Brady with the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
The rest, of course, is history. Since becoming the Patriots’ starting quarterback after an injury to incumbent Drew Bledsoe, Brady has won six Super Bowls and three Most Valuable Player Awards. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times and is a three-time All-Pro.
If you ask Brady, he probably attributes his success to hard work, superior athleticism, and a relentless desire to win. But he has one superstition he’s performed since college that may, in his mind, having something to do with his success.
Tom Brady’s weird superstition from college
It’s been nearly three decades since Tom Brady played at Michigan. You’d think he’d have gone through countless pieces of equipment since then, and he probably has. But one constant that’s remained has been his shoulder pads. Brady’s worn the same pair since 1995.
The shoulder pads were first issued to him during his freshman year in 1995, and Brady was well into his third season wearing the “Douglas 25Ls” when cornerback Joejuan Williams, the Patriots’ second-round pick out of Vanderbilt this year, was born in December 1997.
The reason for the long-term marriage is simple.
“Once you find something you like, you stick with it,” Brady said.
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher to think Brady’s worn the same pair since his college days, but it’s impossible to argue that it works for him. Brady’s in the final years of a Hall of Fame career.
How the Patriots look for the rest of the 2019 season
While Tom Brady hasn’t looked quite as sharp as he has in the past, the Patriots are 6-0 through week six. Despite the Bills having one of the league’s best defenses, it’s clear who the front runner is in the AFC East.
The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets both look terrible as one team tanks and the other tries to recover from missing their quarterback earlier this season. Like a broken record, the Patriots will be AFC East champions yet again.
The real question for the Patriots and Brady? Can the 41-year-old quarterback stay healthy enough to make it through yet another season? He’s been incredibly durable in his career, but at his age one well-timed hit could leave him out for weeks.
If Brady can stay in, it looks like the Kansas City Chiefs will again be one of the top contenders to dethrone the Pats in the AFC. Brady won the AFC championship game at Arrowhead last year, but surely he’d hope to play the game at Foxboro this time around.
No matter how the Patriots do this season, one thing is for sure: Brady will be wearing the same shoulder pads throughout all of it.