There’s a moment from the 2000 NFL Draft that has grown into one of the league’s greatest legends, involving one of its most legendary players. The tale goes that after introducing himself to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Tom Brady told him some variation of “I’m the greatest decision this organization has ever made.”
Brady himself is now disputing perhaps his most famous quote.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday as part of his media availability at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., Brady was asked about that now-famous moment that has been etched into Patriots lore forever. Or maybe not, if you ask No. 12.
What Brady believes he actually said isn’t quite as memorably prophetic as the most popular version of the story. But he still predicted the future.
“What I believe I said was, ‘You’ll never regret picking me,’” said Brady. “I think I was just excited to be a part of the Patriots. I didn’t know much about the franchise, growing up in California, being a 49ers fan, being in the NFC, being in the other part of the country. The Patriots didn’t have a great team, so it’s not like they were on TV very often.
“I just wanted to be a part of the team. I was part of a great team at Michigan. I felt like I could bring a lot of team spirit and enthusiasm to the Patriots. And I was just hoping one day I’d get my opportunity.”
‘You’ll Never Regret Picking Me’
Unfortunately, for Drew Bledsoe, his 2001 injury is the reason opportunity knocked for Brady in the first place. But of course, Brady never let go of that chance. And he clearly didn’t disappoint the team like he was worried about at the time. And the worry still fills his mind, which is what makes him still the NFL’s fiercest competitor after 18 seasons and five Super Bowl rings.
“I certainly didn’t want to let my teammates down then. I don’t want to let them down now,” said Brady. “That part of me as a competitor has never really changed.”
No matter what Brady said to Kraft on that day in 2000, it has come to fruition. It may come as a disappointment that he didn’t actually say what has been originally thought. The accepted line is quite epic. But either way, you could probably have a decent argument that the Pats didn’t regret that pick.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.