By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — While some football fans will forever hate Tom Brady, they at least have to respect the man’s ability to hold a grudge.
Brady was asked by Jim Gray on his podcast this week if he still finds himself pulling for the 49ers to win big playoff games, based on his affinity for the team and Joe Montana when he was growing up in the Bay Area. The 44-year-old Buccaneers quarterback, though, said his love for the 49ers died when the team decided that Giovanni Carmazzi was a better choice in the 2000 NFL draft.
“I lost my allegiance for the Niners when they skipped over me six times 22 years ago and drafted Giovanni Carmazzi after they had me do a local workout with Steve Mariucci and decided I wasn’t good enough to play there,” Brady said flatly. “After that decision was made I could really care less about 49ers football, other than saying that that’s the team that I loved growing up.”
Jim Gray asked Tom Brady is he still pulls for the 49ers.
"I lost my allegiance for the Niners when they skipped over me six times 22 years ago and drafted Giovanni Carmazzi after they had me do a local workout with Steve Mariucci and decided I wasn't good enough to play there." pic.twitter.com/fpZi7LwjEo
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) January 18, 2022
That is some type of grudge.
Obviously, Brady getting passed over several times by every team — including the Patriots — before getting picked by New England at No. 199 overall has been covered ad nauseam over the years. “The Brady 6” was its own mini-documentary on ESPN. Brady’s motivation was well-known early in his career. Everybody knows this.
Still, it’s a little funny that after seven Super Bowl victories, he’s still feeling that tinge of anger toward the 49ers for refusing to give him the chance to play for his hometown team. (Carmazzi, who was drafted 65th overall out of Hofstra, never played in an NFL game. The Niners won one single playoff game from 2000-11. So they likely feel worse about their pick than Brady does.)
Brady did make sure to note that he still roots for his friends — like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and Niners receivers coach Wes Welker — but that he’s not exactly invested in the outcome of other teams’ games.
“Those guys mean a lot to me and I want to see them do really well. It’s not like I’m rooting against them,” he said. “I always like to see all my friends do well.”
While that may be the case, a side of Brady’s unrelenting competitiveness and spite came through in that response. And if the 49ers upset the Packers this weekend, and if the Bucs beat the Rams, then Brady will get the opportunity in the NFC Championship Game to deliver some revenge to San Francisco — both for passing on him in the 2000 draft and for deciding against signing him as a free agent in 2020.