Then came the staircase-like climb in fortune. The wins began to add up. There was an impressive bowl-game performance. The fans (and professional recruiters) could see what Brady’s college teammates had always known—that he was a natural leader and a hell of a quarterback. “They knew,” said Michael Rosenberg, a Sports Illustrated reporter who covered Brady’s final college season for the Detroit Free Press. “Because they saw that in him then.”
Sportswriters like Snyder and Rosenberg could see it, too—the rare work ethic, the uncommon mental fortitude, a general sense of seriousness and resilience that set Brady apart, even on a team that had just won its first national championship in decades. “But if you had told me in December of 1999 that Tom Brady would be the best quarterback of all time, or have millions of people hate him, I would have thought you were the craziest person in the world,” Rosenberg said. “Nobody disliked him then. He was so nice.”
“The bottom line is the Patriots just win too much and people don’t like it,” he added. “Tom Brady has the perfect wife, the perfect face, the perfect life.” People’s hatred for Brady is “just a function of winning so much,” Rosenberg said.