Sept. 15, 2010
The seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines opened the 1999 season at home against No. 16 Notre Dame and third-year Fighting Irish head coach Bob Davie. The cover of the game program featured six Wolverines including quarterback Tom Brady. Included in the 140 pages of the program were a timeline of Fielding H. Yost's career, mini-bios of the U-M regents and a feature on senior QB Tom Brady entitled, "Experiences Guide Brady's Success with Wolverines." Continuing Tom Brady week on MGoBlue.com, here is the article as it was presented in the game program.
Experiences Guide Brady's Success with Wolverines
By Jeffrey Wank, U-M Athletic Media Relations Student Assistant
Sept. 4, 1999
When Tom Brady was younger, his three older sisters would tease the future quarterback by dressing him up in their clothes. Today, fifth-year quarterback Brady smears eye black across each cheek and adorns himself in a No. 10 maize and blue jersey and winged helmet, and prepares to direct the University of Michigan offense.
After a long road to success, Brady will depart from the University as a stronger, more tested and more durable quarterback and, more importantly, as a solid, intelligent and kind individual.
"You never give up, you never fold your tent and you just keep working harder - that's what I have learned over the course of my time here," says Brady.
Brady, an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, has quietly become a winner and a champion despite the noise of speculation, comparison and media rumors. He enters his last collegiate season holding numerous team passing records compiled against vicious opposing defenses within the Big Ten.
"Fortunately or unfortunately, the quarterback is always the one who is either praised or criticized, and that's the position that you step into," says Brady who accepts his fate with grace.
Brady's shoulders have widened as the responsibilities placed upon him have steadily increased. He rose from quarterbacking the demonstration squad, to kick holder, to Brian Griese's backup, to starter in that time. With each of those team roles, Brady developed and gained the experience necessary to not only win and succeed, but to guide and teach others.
"I've been around the longest, and I've done most things both on and off the field," says Brady with a humbleness that defines his personality. "I'd like to think that I helped some of the younger guys adapt a little bit more as they went through their first, second or third year of college.
"With the experience you gain from 13 games, playing in Ohio Stadium, playing at Notre Dame, and playing big games here, you gain a sense of maturity and experience in that you know what you're doing."
The experience Brady brings to the Wolverines is part of what has helped him to earn another top shot at leading the offense. "[Tom's] got a lot of game experience," said quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish. "And experienced guys generally make good decisions and take good care of the football. If you do that, you usually win."
Thirteen games are all that remain in Brady's football career. Two semesters and his undergraduate academic career in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts will also be completed. But the lessons learned in class and football are secure and accessible no matter how uncertain his professional path and future.
"I hope there are a lot of options out there after I'm through with school," said Brady. "I'd love to continue playing football, but if that opportunity doesn't come, I'm confident I'll be prepared for another role."
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