On game day mornings, Tom Brady wakes up and has a hearty breakfast. While eating, he may scroll through his Twitter mentions, which can sometimes be in the hundreds. But most of the time, only 20 are for him.
Tom Brady, the only verified athlete on Twitter named Tom Brady, is a 25-year-old winger for the Leicester Tigers, an English rugby club. Future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, also known as the G.O.A.T. or TB12, is not on Twitter. And even though English Tom Brady is verified on the social network, people still tweet at him daily thinking he’s the Patriots’ QB.
We reached out to rugby’s Tom Brady to see how social media and name confusion have affected his life across the Atlantic.
On a Patriots game day approximately how many Tweets do you get from people thinking you are Tom Brady of the Patriots?
It is tough to say how many, but I reckon it’s in the hundreds. I usually pick up a few hundred followers when the Patriots are playing, and obviously Tom Brady’s been doing pretty well of late. When he’s having a good game I tend to pick up even more followers.
How many Tweets are actually for you?
I’d say personally, I might only get between 10 and 20 tweets tops. Depending if I’ve had a bad game, then sometimes no one will speak to me, but if I play alright I might get the top end of 20 tweets. I get a lot more when Tom Brady’s playing than when I’m playing.
What is the most common type of tweet you get when people think they’re tweeting the Patriots’ Tom Brady?
I get a lot of the ‘deflategate’ stuff from last season, and he had a ban as well at the start of this year, so I get a lot of heat from that.
What are some of the funniest or craziest tweets?
I’d say recently with the Donald Trump election campaign. He said that Tom Brady was going to be voting for him. Off the back of that my Twitter went mad. I probably got a thousand tweets that day. It went crazy, people saying “How dare you” [vote for Trump]. Maybe one or two that said ‘We’re backing you’ [for supporting Trump]. I tweeted later that day just to say it wasn’t me. It was just a bit of a joke. I think most people knew it wasn’t me, but there’s obviously one or two who think it was. Then my tweet got published as well so that was pretty wild.
Have the tweets for the American Tom Brady ever disrupted your day?
I remember when it first came about, I’d answer to a few people just saying you’ve got the wrong guy or whatever. Now, I’ve just given up on it. It’s snowballed. There’s not really much point in replying, so I just leave them to it and don’t take any notice to be honest.
How old were you when you realized there was a famous American athlete with the same name?
Probably 13 or 14 years old. I watch most sports and keep an eye on the American stuff as well, and obviously I found out the Patriots had a bloke called Tom Brady on the team. So I’ve ended up kind of following the Patriots. I like to keep in touch with their scores.
If you ever met the Patriots’ Tom Brady what would you say?
Nice to meet you mate, you alright? How you getting on? Nothing too much. He’s got quite a nice, attractive wife so it’d be nice to meet her as well. All the best to him. I hope he does all right in the playoffs and the Patriots come away with a Super Bowl win.
*this interview has been edited and condensed