Shortly after Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, he reached out to teammates to Chris Godwin’s surprise.
“I was like, ‘no, no, no, no, nah, nah. This can’t be the real Tom,'” Godwin wrote about his first phone message from Brady in his guest column for Peter King’s Football Morning in America on Monday. “He said he was excited to play with me, he’s watched me a lot over the years. He even threw a college joke in there: ‘I won’t hold it against you that you’re a Penn State guy.'”
Brady played at Michigan in the late 1990s and tormented the Nittany Lions once with a fourth quarter comeback in 1999. Godwin caught a 34-yard touchdown pass against Michigan in 2016, but his team lost 49-10 in the end.
“Then he said congrats on your engagement,” Godwin wrote in his column. Godwin has just proposed to longtime girlfriend, Mariah DelPercio.
“And the greatest player of all time is DM-ing me wishing me good luck with my engagement and saying he’s excited to play with me! That was just shocking to me,” Godwin wrote. “I get drafted by Tampa, never thinking I’d ever have a chance to play with Tom Brady, and now, in the prime of my career, he’s gonna be my quarterback.”
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Godwin’s First Impression of Brady
Godwin wondered if meeting Brady would be like meeting other hype-focused sports GOATS such as Michael Jordan or the late Kobe Bryant.
“But I walk up and he’s the friendliest guy,” Godwin wrote in his column about that first throwing session with Brady in 2020. “For someone who’s so accomplished and as highly regarded as he is, he was humble and receptive to the thoughts and opinions of his new teammates. We helped teach him the playbook, and he was super-receptive.”
“I remember thinking, ‘He’s out here to earn our respect, to show that he was here to work. No one’s gonna be given anything,'” Godwin continued. “That message was received loud and clear. He never said anything like, ‘Do what I say!’ Very cool for me to see someone so accomplished to be working as hard as he was, but also like just a normal person who wanted to be one of the guys.”
Always a Buccaneer
Brady becoming a Buc could only add to Godwin’s passion for the team.
Despite growing up in the Philadelphia Eagles-crazy state of Delaware, Godwin followed the Bucs instead — 14 years before the team drafted him. In his guest column, he described his journey from a youth football team called the Bucs in the 2002 Newcastle County Little League to the NFL.
“I didn’t know anything except I was on the Bucs, and I loved football,” Godwin wrote. “That was right around the time that I started to pay attention to what the NFL was. I became a Bucs fan. And it was in that same year that the Bucs won their first Super Bowl. That’s the first Super Bowl I watched. What do I remember about it? I was captivated. There’s Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Jon Gruden—that’s my team! They played great and won the game, and then I was really a Bucs fan.”
That Bucs team ironically disappointed the state of Delaware that year overall by ousting the Eagles in the 2003 NFC Championship game. Tampa’s success dwindled after that year as the team didn’t win another playoff game until the 2020 season when Godwin became one of many key targets for Brady on the way to a Super Bowl LV win.