Tom Brady credits Peyton Manning for inspiring his final end zone run at Gillette Stadium


“Peyton, I will say, even though you weren’t there, you were a part of that celebration for me yesterday.”

Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady screams as he runs through the end zone during half time of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
Tom Brady reeled off one more end-zone run during his return to Foxborough on Sunday. AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper

The Patriots were up against the clock during their halftime ceremony honoring Tom Brady on Sunday evening.

Still, New England managed to cram plenty of memorable moments into their on-field ceremony, with Brady declaring that he’s a “Patriot for life” and Robert Kraft announcing another ceremony next June to formally induct the legendary QB into the team’s Hall of Fame.

But one of the largest cheers from a raucous Gillette Stadium crowd erupted before Brady even took the stage at the north end zone.

Walking out on the field, Brady took off his jacket to unveil a No. 12 Patriots jersey underneath.

Then, as Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” blared over the speakers, Brady took part in his signature pregame routine — running down the sideline and firing up the crowd with one last fist pump and shout of “Let’s Go!”

It was a fitting way for Brady to give the Foxborough fans an encore showing of one of his trademark moves.

But on the latest episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast on SiriusXM, Brady admitted that he initially wasn’t sure what he would do on the field after getting introduced. 

Ultimately, Brady turned to the internet in search of inspiration. And with his longtime rival Peyton Manning appearing on Monday’s podcast, Brady admitted that he took a page out of Manning’s book.

“On Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. when I woke up, I said, ‘You know what I’m gonna do? I don’t quite know what I’m gonna say to the crowd. Let me look at some of my favorite players get up there in their retirements and speak,’” Brady said. “Of course I Google ‘Peyton Manning jersey retirement speech.’

“So I go on, it’s him and [Colts owner Jim] Irsay standing up there. He goes up on stage, says great things like he always does. [He] gets off the stage, [center Jeff] Saturday snaps him the ball and he fires a post to [Colts WR] Reggie [Wayne] … and he hits Reggie in the end zone. So I was like, ‘You know what? I’m gonna do something fun that the crowd’s gonna really like.’

“So let me run out there, kind of do my thing and I’ll get up on stage and have a good time. So, Peyton, I will say, even though you weren’t there, you were a part of that celebration for me yesterday.”

Brady had several former teammates on the field with him during Sunday’s ceremony. It would have been quite the sight if he managed to heave one more 50-yard bomb down the sidelines to an incognito Randy Moss to end the festivities.

Perhaps they’re just saving that for his Patriots Hall of Fame induction on June 12, 2024.