Raj Mehta/USA Today Sports

Tom Brady explains how he got jersey No. 12

Ryan Hannable
November 03, 2018 - 9:49 am

FOXBORO — TB12 has been life-changing for Tom Brady.

Not only is it his number, but also the name of his brand which he likely will continue to represent when his playing career is over. 

There was a chance TB12 never existed and instead it could have been TB10, which doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.

“It wasn’t really my choice,” Brady said Friday when asked how he got No. 12 with the Patriots. “I was 10 in college and when I got here, Lee Johnson was 10. So whatever number was on my locker – which was 12 – that was the one that Don Brocher gave me. I wore that my first year and then we released Lee and I thought about going back to 10, but I just stuck with 12.”

Sunday night Brady will be competing against another No. 12 in Aaron Rodgers and that just starts the list of great QBs ever to wear the number, including Jim Kelly, Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw.

Brady hasn’t yet given the legacy of the number much thought.

“I haven’t thought about that much,” he said. “But yes, there’s a lot of great quarterbacks who have worn it and it’s kind of a pretty typical quarterback number. But it’s worked pretty well for me. I’m glad they gave me that when I first got here and it’s had a lot of good games in it, a lot of great wins.”

While all those players are outstanding, there will only be one TB12.

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