In the back of the Stratham Market Basket, his apron spotted with blood, Tom Brady reflects on his peculiar rise to fame.
“When Drew Bledsoe was there, nobody even knew my name.”
They do now. Fifteen years after football’s Tom Brady took over for Bledsoe, launching a Hall of Fame career and a Patriots dynasty, Market Basket’s Tom Brady can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing his own name.
Not that he minds.
“Not at all. Only if he loses,” he says.
This Tom Brady is 60-years old, named after his father, yes, Tom. He’s spent the previous 24-plus years working at Market Basket. Today, he manages the meat department, making him, in a way, a quarterback, slinging out roasts and ground beef and veal chops to his customers.
While Number 12 reportedly adheres to a mostly vegan diet, Market Basket Tom, who lives in Northwood, skews more paleo.
“Mine is strictly beef,” he says.
This Sunday, he plans to throw on a Tom Brady jersey and cook up a prime rib, his lucky meal for big games. Sitting beside him will be his wife, Maureen, who he swears could pass for Gisele.
“They’re gonna blow the Eagles out,” Brady says with the confidence of a man who has seen the other Brady win five Superbowls. “It’s not even going to be close.”
Before he gets to settle into his easy chair and watch the Pats, though, Market Basket Tom has to get through the pre-game rush of shoppers.
“Saturday is going to be crazy here,” he says. In a way, it’s his own Super Bowl.