Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been in the news for fighting like an old married couple over the last year, but there’s no question they respect each other’s single-minded obsessiveness and competitive nature.
Belichick was recently a guest on NFL Insider Ian Rapaport’s podcast, and shared a story about playing in a Pebble Beach Pro Am with Brady that sums up Tom’s unparalleled competitiveness, even in a meaningless golf tournament.
As Belichick tells it, after Brady shanked a drive on a long Par 5 near a signature 200-foot Pebble ocean cliff, the G.O.A.T opted to risk his life and hit the second shot while dangling off the cliff, rather than taking a mulligan like a normal human. The Genius saw his coaching life flash before his eyes.
According to Belichick:
“One story I think really sums it up for Tom is when we playing at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, we were in the same group. And we were on the sixth hole, which is a long par-5 and it goes up a big hill and the ocean is on the right, and the fairway kind of falls off to the right, and most of us golfers are little slicers anyways, so lot of balls end up over there — in or by the ocean. So there we are playing in a pro-am tournament, where, as an amateur if you hit a bad shot you don’t really worry about it, you play the pro’s ball anyways, that’s what you have him for. There’s not a ton of pressure on the amateurs because you have a good player with you who probably is going to make a par on almost every hole and birdie a few.
“So Tom hit one, his second shot, over (to the right), and I see a starting quarterback, a Super Bowl MVP, a league MVP literally hanging over the side of the cliff probably 200-300 feet above the ocean trying to hit a golf ball that’s a pretty meaningless shot because the pro already is going to do better than he would on the hole.
“But that’s Tom, he’s very, very competitive, very focused. Plays kind of fearlessly, whether it’s on—in this case on the golf course—or on the football field. But I was just thinking to myself, ‘This is a crazy sight that I’m looking at here.’
“So he hit the ball and then his caddie kind of walked over there and gave him a hand and helped him back up this cliff that he was a few feet down on, or below. So I certainly breathed a little bit easier when he came up for air on that one. But yeah, when I think of Tom, I think of situations like that. It doesn’t really matter, but to him it matters and he only knows one way to do it and that’s the way he’s going to do it.”
So, basically, Tom Brady is insane. It’s that insanity that also makes him a legend. If you want to listen to Belichick tell the story, scrub ahead to the 20-minute mark below.