Brady is the prefect quarterback for the perfect season

Last updated at 13:14 02 February 2008

The woman in the revealing pink camisole gave a final tug to her low-rider jeans, wiggled her way through the media pack and planted herself right in front of Tom Brady.

One look into his twinkling blue eyes and she was lost. Flustered, she asked what it would take to beat the New York Jets in the Super Bowl.

Brady broke into a big grin.

Tom Brady

"Jets, Giants. New York, they're all the same," he said, glossing over the gaffe.

No one was more appreciative than that TV reporter from Mexico.

"He's like Mr. Perfect," she said.

Well, let's see: Dimpled, dreamy looks that someday could land him in Hollywood or the halls of Congress, a former lingerie model strutter for a girlfriend and a NFL star so bright he might outshine the Super Bowl all by himself.

"I wouldn't change places with too many people," Brady said.

Certainly not on Sunday. Only 30, he will try to lead his unbeaten New England Patriots past New York - the Giants, that is - in America's biggest game. A win would mark his fourth title, matching the record set by Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.

Pretty neat for a guy who was drafted in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Montreal Expos.

"I've never been a great athlete," the two-time Super Bowl MVP said. "I feel some of my strengths are my awareness and decision-making."

Humility isn't what Tom MacKenzie remembers about Brady.

MacKenzie was Brady's high school coach at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California. Brady came from a family of talented athletes and after playing linebacker worked his way up to quarterback and earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan.

"His sisters tell a story about how he wrote an essay for an English class that he was going to prove to his big sisters that he would be a household name," MacKenzie said.

Busy as he's been lately, by the way, Brady exchanged text messages with MacKenzie a few days ago.

Easy to see why he's the envy of many.

"I love Tom Brady," Giants defensive end Michael Strahan said. "I'm jealous that I'm not Tom Brady."

Answered Brady: "I think he's trying to butter me up. I certainly don't think of myself that way."

Sure, his NFL-record 50 touchdown passes and 6-foot-4, 225-pound (1.92-meter, 102-kilogram) physique are impressive. So what if he played golf with a pair of former presidents, attended a State of the Union address in Washington as First Lady Laura Bush's guest, appeared on the cover of GQ magazine, guest hosted "Saturday Night Live" in his underwear and recently shot an ad for Stetson cologne?

Perfect? Any faults?

"There's plenty, trust me," Brady said this week. "There's plenty of people that would find some things."

No telling what Bridget Moynahan thinks. The actress dated Brady for three years before they broke up in December 2006. The following August, with Brady squiring supermodel Gisele Bundchen, Moynahan gave birth to his son.

Moynahan has not given interviews about the relationship since delivering John Edward Thomas Moynahan. Brady flew to Los Angeles for the birth, and returned during the Patriots' bye week in November to see his son and, he said, to change diapers.

"You accept everything that happens in your life," Brady said this week, without specifically referring to anyone or anything. "Maybe you didn't anticipate it. But you don't make excuses."

Somehow, Brady's image hardly took a hit. Another celebrity or athlete might have been pounded for being with one girlfriend while an ex-squeeze had his child. Not Brady.

Hardly anyone expected Brady would make many significant tosses when the Patriots picked him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

"I was the fourth-string quarterback. I was eating nachos before the games, watching us," he said, "just hoping I would get the opportunity."

An injury to Drew Bledsoe gave Brady that chance and he quickly took advantage. He was MVP of the 2002 Super Bowl, leading the Patriots past the St. Louis Rams. Super Bowl triumphs over Carolina and Philadelphia came later - all three wins were by exactly three points - and enhanced his reputation as cool under pressure.

Teammates say he does not raise his voice while calling plays, though he'll occasionally drive his coaches crazy by telling a receiver to cut a route short, anticipating a blitz.

He's a wizard to watch up close, Patriots third-string quarterback Matt Gutierrez said. Competing against him in end-of-practice contests is, well, another matter.

Gutierrez, backup Matt Cassel and Brady will occasionally stand 15 or 20 meters from the goalpost and throw passes, seeing who can most often hit the crossbar. They also engage in a punting game - in fact, Brady dropped back and made a quick kick for the Patriots in 2003.

"He's good at everything he does," Gutierrez said.

That doesn't surprise MacKenzie, his high school coach. He laughed, and said he got into the same playful kicking and throwing competition with Brady back in the day.

"Oh, he thinks he's the world's greatest punter. He always did," MacKenzie said. "He'd also tell you he was more accurate than me. But I'd dispute that. I could hit the goalpost more than he could."

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