When Tom Brady enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1995, he found a basketball buddy and longtime friend in his roommate Charles Woodson.
Fast forward 26 years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback at once congratulates and roasts his former freshman year roommate and Wolverines football teammate on Instagram after entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 7.
“Congrats to my fellow Michigan man and one of the best ever to do it,” Brady wrote.
Brady simply couldn’t leave out their most famous moment, “The Tuck Rule Game” in 2002, as he wrote “it wasn’t a fumble.”
Woodson and Brady enjoyed plenty of success together at Michigan, including a share of the 1997 national championship. A dangerous two-way player, Woodson also won the Heisman in 1997 and left for the NFL while Brady emerged from the bowels of the Wolverines depth chart to become the starting quarterback in 1998 and 1999.
Brady talked about his friendship with Woodson during a Bucs press conference in 2020.
“I think there’s a lot of mutual admiration,” Brady said in the press conference via NBC Sports Boston. “We’ve gotten closer as the years have gone by. He lives in Orlando. Plays a lot of golf. He’s into wine. I never thought Charles would be into wine, being from Fremont, Ohio. Just been a great friend for a long time.”
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Woodson: ‘Nobody Ever Expected That’ of Brady
Woodson and Brady played many pick up basketball games in addition to playing for the Michigan football team but never saw Brady as the future GOAT.
“I don’t think anybody would ever look at him in college and say, ‘This guy is going to be the greatest quarterback of all time,'” Woodson told ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in 2015 via the Detroit Free Press. “Now, you knew he was a competitor. We played pickup (basketball) games at the CCRB on campus, and he was a competitor. He’s really an excitable guy. We had a lot of great games. He had that competitive nature about him. As far as practice was concerned, he was a guy that understood the game and he was always prepared when practice came around.”
“But what he is now? Nobody ever expected that. Ever,” Woodson added.
Woodson also took a moment to describe Brady’s basketball game.
“He was a shooter,” Woodson said humorously.
Brady, Woodson’s Historic NFL Collision
When their paths crossed for the first time in the NFL, the 2002 AFC Divisional Round, Woodson made a play that seemed to seal a win for the Oakland Raiders but a little-known rule saved the day for Brady and the New England Patriots.
Woodson popped the ball out from Brady as he began to throw the ball but not before tucking the ball back into his body. The tuck rule allowed for a quarterback to protect the ball in the act of throwing to avoid a fumble, so the referees didn’t rule it a fumble based on NFL rule 3, section 33, article 2, note 2 per Sporting News.
Woodson alluded to how much the “Tuck Rule Game” bothered him as recently as 2019 when the Los Angeles Rams escaped the Superdome on a controversial call in the NFC Championship. The Rams avoided a defensive pass play that would have set up the New Orleans Saints to win the game.
“I want all the people that tell me to get over the tuck rule to tell Drew Brees and the Saints to get over that pass interference that wasn’t call that would have most likely ended the game in a Saints win,” Woodson wrote. “I’ll wait.”
Brady, Woodson Talk Tuck Rule
Brady and Woodson talked about the Tuck Rule moment on camera in 2019.
Woodson asked him directly if it was a fumble. Brady simply shrugged and said nothing.
“Alright. That was pretty awkward,” Woodson said in the video.
The two former college teammates and roommates decided to talk about the present instead.
For Brady, the present is now chasing an eighth Super Bowl ring with the Bucs.