Foxboro Mass --
In June 2006, Tom Brady had a weird request for Bill Belichick.
He asked Bill Belichick if he could miss a day of organized team activity drills to play golf with two former presidents. Surely, in 35 years of coaching Belichick has had a lot of requests but this must have been unique. Belichick accepted. When most of us commoners travel from Boston to Maine, we are forced to drive, fight traffic and eat stale food. Not Brady who flew in a helicopter to Maine and landed on the Helipad at the George H.W. Bush (who died Friday at 94) Compound. Brady was use to the royal treatment at that point. He had already hosted Saturday Night Live, was a guest of George W. Bush at the State of the Union and had been invited to attend the White House Correspondents‘ Dinner. Brady had gone in a short period of time from unheard of sixth round pick to the all-American boy.
"I got invited up there by President Bush and he said President Clinton was coming up and how could I miss an opportunity to spend the day with these two," said Brady in an exclusive interview with Patriots Maven. "I landed on a helicopter on his property (the George H.W. Bush Estate) in Kennebunkport Maine. I went on Bush's boat. President H.W. Bush was the captain of the boat. I got some great pictures with Bush. President Clinton was on the boat," said Brady.
Later that day, Brady played golf with H.W. Bush and cards later that night. Brady spent the night at the Bush Compound as well.
Brady has seen a lot of nice mansions, but the Bush mansion is unique. Situated on the water, it is part of American history. When both Bush's were president, they invited world leaders to Maine. Most famously, Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher visited H.W. Bush when he was President in the early 1990s. It was the place where Bush helped negotiate with Gorbachev the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is also the place that Bush named Clarence Thomas to be the nation's only second African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Brady, given his status, has visited many mansions, but none as historically significant as this one.
"It's amazing. It's like everything around here. It's an older house, but they have redone it a bunch of times. It's a beautiful location, beautiful home and it was cool to be of part of something like that," Brady said.
Americans often see politicians filtered with the cameras on, but rarely do they get a sense of political leaders as people. Brady had that chance in June 2006.
"I don't remember everything we talked about, but we talked about a lot of different things. We played cards," Brady said. "We talked a little sports - don't think we talked much about politics. It was nice to see H.W. and President Clinton together. It was really cool. I was lucky as a young guy to have such an experience."
It was clear H.W Bush and Clinton (now 72) just wanted to have a fun day with Brady who was happy that two former presidents from opposite parties could have such a close relationship. Politics was the last thing they wanted to talk about.
"At the end of the day, we are all just people you can put that other stuff aside," Brady said. "It was a great experience for me to be around people who have done some cool things in their career."
Given that Brady was a lot younger than Clinton and H.W. Bush - one might expect Brady to go easy on the two former presidents in golf. Brady, though is a competitive golfer. He once played with Bill Belichick at a tournament in Pebble Beach and nearly fell off a cliff trying to hit a shot.
"That was the stupidest thing I have ever done," Brady said.
Brady kept that competitiveness when he played with the two former presidents.
"I was better than both of them. They were both past their primes," Brady said.
As for whether he went easy on the two former presidents on at least one hole.
"Never," Brady said "I wanted to compete hard and so did they. President Clinton does not like to lose at golf either."