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Tom Brady's parents contracted COVID-19, father hospitalized at start of Buccaneers' season

Cassandra Negley
·3-min read

Tom Brady had more important things on his mind when the Super Bowl-bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their 2020 season in September.

Both of his parents contracted COVID-19 around that time, Tom Brady Sr. said on ESPN’s “#Greeny” podcast on Monday. Brady Sr. told the network that he had to be hospitalized and his wife, Galynn, was “sick as a dog.” She is a breast cancer survivor and finished her treatments in 2017.

Brady’s parents battled COVID

Brady Sr. spoke with Mike Greenberg after his son clinched a 10th Super Bowl appearance as part of a tradition with the ESPN personality.

He noted how difficult this season has been on everyone and that for his family “football was the least important thing in the world” when the NFL season kicked off.

“When the season started this year, I was in the hospital with COVID for almost three weeks,” Brady Sr. said. “And my wife was sick with COVID at the same time. We didn’t even see the first two games of the year. It’s the first two games I’ve ever missed in his career because I was sick as a dog and my wife was sick as a dog.”

Both of Brady’s parents are 76 years old and in the higher-risk segment for COVID-19 complications.

Tom Brady, center, with mother Galynn and father Tom Brady Sr.
Tom Brady, center, with his parents in 2005. They never missed a game until contracting COVID-19 in September. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

Brady ‘stressed out’ with parents in hospital

Brady Sr. said he and Galynn had never missed one of their son’s games whether it was with Michigan or the New England Patriots. But they weren’t able to focus on the six-time Super Bowl winner’s debut with the Buccaneers.

“I didn’t even care if they were playing much less missing the game,” he told Greenberg. “It was a matter of life and death, just like anybody that goes into the hospital. It’s serious stuff. And Tommy fought through it.”

He said Brady, 43, would try to FaceTime his father every day on the way to and from practice and was “stressed out on this stuff.” His wife did not need to be hospitalized and was taken care of at home by one of their daughters, who is a nurse.

Brady family hopes to attend Super Bowl in Tampa

They’re now healthy and hope to attend the Super Bowl to celebrate Brady and the Buccaneers. He called 10 Super Bowl appearances in a 19-year career “pretty incomprehensible, actually.”

The NFL announced that 14,500 ticket-buying fans will be in Tampa for the game, as will 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers who were given free tickets. As of Monday, more than 25 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. and more than 420,000 deaths in nearly one full year of the pandemic.

“We’re just representative of 25 million Americans who have had this stuff so far,” Brady Sr. said. “It’s nothing to shake a stick at.”

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