Tom Brady was so famous after his first Super Bowl that he feared he was being followed home in the car, a book says

·2 min read
Tom Brady was so famous after his first Super Bowl that he feared he was being followed home in the car, a book says
Tom Brady signs autographs during Patriots training camp in 2002.
By 2002, Tom Brady was an overnight celebrity. Chitose Suzuki/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
  • Tom Brady was overwhelmed by his overnight celebrity after 2001, a new book about the Patriots says.

  • Brady feared being followed home in the car and would take back roads that would take him an hour.

  • Brady eventually found ways to manage his newfound celebrity.

Tom Brady had a hard time adjusting to the level of fame he received upon becoming a Super Bowl champion.

According to Seth Wickersham's new book, "It's Better To Be Feared," Brady was overwhelmed with his sudden celebrity and the mobs of people that surrounded him in public.

Brady even feared he would be followed home while driving, according to Wickersham.

"He'd take back roads, stretching a half-hour commute into an hour or more, trying to shake a set of headlights, real or imagined," Wickersham wrote.

According to Wickersham, Brady's house in Quincy was broken into, and a TV was stolen, elevating Brady's feeling of "violation."

Brady had risen from NFL anonymity to stardom almost overnight. He went from a sixth-round draft pick and backup in 2000 to the starter in 2001 after an injury to Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots became the unlikely Super Bowl champions that season, and with their victory, Brady was suddenly launched into fame, becoming an overnight celebrity and sex symbol.

As Wickersham wrote in the book, over the next two years, Brady would be linked to celebrities like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Tara Reid. The Boston Herald's gossip section frequently reported on his whereabouts, referring to him as "QB/QT."

Though Brady indulged in the celebrity lifestyle, he also felt overwhelmed by it, according to Wickersham. Though he had dreamt of NFL stardom and didn't want to turn back, he also grew tired of throngs of people that would surround him at every public appearance.

According to the book, Brady eventually developed a plan to handle the stress of his newfound celebrity. His sister moved to Boston to "manage his life," according to Wickersham. Brady also began calling family and friends consistently to stay grounded. He took short trips, like a road trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, with a friend to watch the San Francisco Giants training camp and to New York City to shop for Christmas gifts.

It was just the start of Brady's turn as a global sports figure - one that's still in full swing nearly two decades later -, but he told Wickersham of his plans to manage it: "I've got a life that any 26-year-old would want. And I'm finally able to enjoy it."

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