It didn’t come to fruition as Brady sustained a season-ending ACL tear with the New England Patriots in Week 1. Brady had to wait eight years until the Patriots visited the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 again to finally get his chance.
“So I never even got to play in Candlestick,” Brady told the media on Thursday, December 8, about the old 49ers stadium where he grew up watching the team, which closed in 2014.
Brady will make only his second appearance at San Francisco, despite 23 years in the league, when the Bucs (6-6) face the 49ers (8-4) on December 11. As a child, Brady discovered his passion for football in the stands at Candlestick Park where he watched the 49ers dynasty of the 1980s unfold.
“I always consider myself a California kid,” Brady said. “Grew up loving Joe Montana and Steve Young and going to the 49er games. That’s where I fell in love with football.”
“We’d sit up there in the nosebleeds, and we had four tickets. My mom and dad would go, I would usually go and then one of my sisters would go,” Brady added. “I was lucky to grow up in the Bay Area at that time. It was just a great time. So many great players. Just a great era of football.”
Amid the nostalgia of playing in his hometown, Brady made it clear that it’s a business trip, and the Bucs need a win against a 49ers squad with a stout defense. The Bucs have struggled to score points all season and needed a last-minute comeback against the New Orleans Saints to win 17-16.
“I put those emotions away,” Brady said about playing in San Francisco. “I think my emotion is to do everything I can to help us win a game.”
Brady Took Care of Business in San Francisco Last Time
In 2016, Brady led the Patriots to a 30-17 win over the 49ers as he threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns in front of his hometown crowd.
“It’s pretty unique for as long as I’ve played to have one experience there, and it was a great one, too,” Brady said. “It was a rainy day. We had a really good football team and had a lot of friends and family in the crowd.”
“I ran out for [the] pregame warm-up, and I remember [then-49ers head coach] Chip Kelly coming over to me and was like, ‘[expletive], it’s a home game for you,'” Brady added. “And it really was.”
That 49ers squad at 1-9 really didn’t have the defense of the 2022 squad. This year’s 49ers lead the league in fewest points allowed, 15.8, and total yards allowed, 283.9, per game.
“Best defense in the league. Some incredible players in [Nick] Bosa and [Fred] Warner,” Brady said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys.”
Brady: ‘Just The Way it Went Down’
While Brady emphasized he’s no longer a 49ers fan, he made it clear how much his hometown means to him.
“I loved them through college,” Brady said about the 49ers. “And then, when they skipped over me six times, I started hating the 49ers, and that’s just the way it went down.”
Brady instead supports his old high school, Juniper Serra, which will play for a state football championship against St. John Bosco on Saturday, December 10. He reminisced about being active in multiple sports growing up and his family and friends, many of whom will attend the Bucs-49ers game.
“I’ll have a great group of family and friends there who are all so supportive — people from growing up in the neighborhood,” Brady said. “My parents still live on Portola Drive right in San Mateo, the same house I grew up in. I was just a lucky kid growing up in the Bay Area. It was a great place to grow up in.”