Tom Brady‘s former teammates are opening up about the extreme lengths the star player takes to keep the football dry and ensure a promising performance.
As the quarterback of the New England Patriots, Brady, 42, is responsible for receiving the snapped football through his center’s crotch — and oftentimes, weather and game conditions make that area sweaty, wet, and less than pleasant for him to touch.
Damien Woody, Brady’s first center on the Patriots, referred to the problematic pants issue as “the swamp a–” and during the four seasons they played together, Brady dealt with the wet footballs with no complaints, The Athletic reports.
However, that all changed when Woody, 41, left the team and Dan Koppen took over as center.
Speaking to the outlet, Koppen, 39, revealed that Brady came up with the idea of shoving towels down his centers’ pants to prevent himself from coming into contact with his teammates’ sweat.
“There was a ritual where he would put the towel in. It’s up to him,” Koppen told The Athletic. “So, he put the towel in the center’s before the game and made sure [it was in place]. You know, I mean, I’m sure putting your hands back there, I don’t think you want to go into a sweaty vat.”
Not only was the ritual sanitary for Brady, but it was also practical, as receiving dry footballs would likely prevent the quarterback from potentially fumbling or turning over the ball during the game.
After Koppen left the Patriots in 2011, David Andrews joined the team — but by that point, Brady had his ritual down pat and Andrews, 27, certainly had no idea of what was to come.
“It was something that was very different for me at first, especially when he grabs you as a rookie in training camp and throws a towel down your butt. Pulling your shorts back, dumping baby powder down your butt,” Andrews — who has been Brady’s center for the last four years, but is currently out on the injured reserve list this season — told the sports outlet.
Despite initially being caught off guard, Andrews said he went along with the ritual so he didn’t interfere with Brady’s performance on the field.
“But that’s part of it, and obviously, if it affects how he operates, you want to be as good as you can about it,” he added.
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Brady also joked about his preventative “swamp a–” measures, explaining to The Atlantic, “I always tell [my centers] I don’t want to throw a wet ball on a perfectly sunny day.”
The quarterback will likely be reiterating that statement to his center on Sunday when the Patriots are scheduled to play the Miami Dolphins at their home field.
Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees in the Florida city that day, with 71 percent humidity, according to weather reports.
The game is also sure to be an intense one, as the Patriots, this past season’s Super Bowl champions, lost by just one point to the Dolphins last year in regular season play.