New England Patriots

There’s a must-read excerpt from a new book by The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Scott Zolak, called In If These Walls Could Talk, Stories from the New England Patriots Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box. It involves Tom Brady, lots of alcohol, and even more trickery.

Brady fooled a lot of teams into thinking he wouldn’t be anywhere near the greatest quarterback of all time when he plummeted to pick No. 199 in the 2000 NFL Draft. He’s made some memorable trick plays on the field over the years, like his impeccable play-fake on a touchdown to Wes Welker in the 2007 Divisional round against the Jaguars. But the greatest trick the QB ever pulled may have come after the 2001 season, when the Patriots held their annual rookie party.

Basically, the whole team gradually got more and more drunk off shots as the night wore on. Except Brady – who was sneaking shots of water instead. He had everyone fooled into thinking he was some kind of iron man. A wobbly Willie McGinest looked in awe as he described the scene to Howe’s father, who was the bartender that night.

So as the team was getting legless by the end of the night, Brady was the most sober guy in the room, and no one had any idea that he was drinking water. Linebacker Willie McGinest, who always treated my father great, saddled up on a barstool, had his head in his hands and lamented as he looked at a completely coherent Brady: Joe, who is this guy? First, he takes over for Drew Bledsoe. Then, he wins us a Super Bowl. Now, he can outdrink all of us? What can’t this guy do?

The whole story is well worth a read, as well as a pair of other excerpts. Go to The Athletic to check it out. You know what else is worth reading? The whole book. Get it at Amazon, Triumph Books, and other booksellers.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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