New England Patriots hero Tom Brady was selected 199th in the famous 2000 draft that saw five quarterbacks picked ahead of him.
He says it was his underdog Irish spirit that kept him focused, however -- but no doubt his Irish temper was up when he was picked in the second last round.
Brady, 33, has often talked up his roots, particularly when the New England Patriots played in London against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009.
Back then the Patriots quarterback took time out in a press conference to underline the pride he has in his Irish roots.
“My father is 100 percent Irish. We took a trip over there together and visited some of the places where my family came from,” says Brady. “That was a great experience for me and obviously, I am very proud of my Irish roots.”
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Brady is no stranger to Britain and Ireland and also spoke of the fond memories he had of golfing trips he took to the Emerald Isle and Scotland.
"I’ve been golfing in Ireland and Scotland as well. I’ve really enjoyed my time over there. Anyone who’s been over to that part of the world comes away with a greater sense of history. I know this will be a great experience for the players.”
And Brady, through his father, Tom Sr., is well aware of his own Irish history.
Irish America spoke to Tom Brady Sr. a few years back, and he told our sister publication that his great-grandfather was from County Cavan and great-grandmother, who hailed from County Cork, were both immigrants from Ireland who came to the States during the potato famine.
For all Irish and Irish-American fans of gridiron, knowing that one of the greatest New England Patriots to ever don a shirt is proud of his Irish blood is one more element to consider in next week’s Super Bowl.
In a humorous nod to Brady’s Irish root Patriots owner Robert Kraft stated that Brady was ‘talking Gaelic’ during a recent spat with Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien.