This Sunday, the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons for Super Bowl LI held in Houston, Texas. While the main entertainment will be provided by Lady Gaga, this year's halftime performer, it's the sidelines that you'll want to keep an eye on for the main attraction. Cheering on her husband, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, will be Gisele Bündchen, the top model turned supportive football wife. Bündchen is no stranger to the football field--or the high tensions that come with it. To catch you up to speed before the big game, read on for a timeline of the model's capricious relationship to the sport.
2007: Speculation about the new rumored couple is kicked into overdrive as Bündchen was spotted hanging around the New England Patriots locker room after a game against the San Diego Chargers. The sighting came just a year after Bündchen split with actor Leonardo DiCaprio--and only a month after telling a reporter for the Boston Herald, “Tom Brady, definitely not too shabby. He’s pretty cute. All-American, that’s a good way to describe him. He’s cute, but if he has a girlfriend, he’s gay to me. There are too many men in the world to go after a man who has a woman. Life is too short.” That girlfriend? Actress Bridget Moynahan, who soon after split with Brady--just before announcing she was pregnant with his child.
2008: Over a year later, the couple was official and going strong. Brady’s football career, however--not so much. In September, the quarterback injured his knee during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. All the better to play home with his model girlfriend; together, the pair purchased an $11 million plot of land in Brentwood, which would ultimately take them four years to construct their dream home and move in.
2012: Four years later, and now married, Brady was back on his feet--and heading to the Super Bowl. Leading up to the game against the New York Giants, Bündchen played the supportive wife part by sending out a mass e-mail asking for positive prayers and support. In the e-mail, obtained and consequently leaked by Page Six, the model wrote, “This Sunday will be a really important day in my husband’s life. He and his team worked so hard to get to this point and now they need us more than ever to send them positive energy so they can fulfill their dream of winning this Super Bowl… So I kindly ask all of you to join me on this positive chain and pray for him, so he can feel confident, healthy and strong. Envision him happy and fulfilled experiencing with his team a victory this Sunday. Thank you for your love and support. Love, G :)”
But alas, despite her good intentions, the Giants took home the victory, leading to a far less positive side of Bündchen. In the iPhone video heard around the world, she was secretly recorded ranting about the game and blaming her husband’s teammates for the loss: “My husband cannot fucking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”
2014: In an interview with the Associated Press, Bündchen let it slip that she might not be the sports enthusiast her previous bouts of passion might have you believe. "At night if my husband is watching TV and watching football, I have my little book and I put something in my ears so I don't hear it and I put my light [on] and have my book and I'm like, 'Ohhh.' He's feeding his soul and that's important to him to watch football. I only want to watch if I'm watching him."
2015: Bündchen kicked off the year in Phoenix, Arizona, as Brady led the Patriots to Super Bowl victory against the Seattle Seahawks. The model rushed the field, along with son Benjamin and stepson John, following the big win, later posting a picture of herself and Brady on Instagram, with the caption “We are so proud of you daddy!!!”
Later that year, however, came “Deflategate.” While headlines and late night hosts run wild with the allegations that Brady had been aware of the Patriots’ decision to deflate footballs in a January playoff game, Bündchen stayed relatively silent throughout, despite pestering divorce rumors. Her only official statement came via a since-deleted Instagram, which read: “Nobody is perfect. But you can’t keep using that as an excuse to do wrong or not try to improve.”
2016: With Brady’s four-game suspension in place, Bündchen once again took to Instagram to address the situation, posting a picture of herself playing catch with Brady with the caption, “Don't worry guys. I will keep him ready. #Brady'scamp #IwillwhatIwant” Later, when Brady returned to the field, Bündchen switched mediums, opting to livetweet the game. “that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh I like it! #gopats,” she wrote as the Patriots took home a victory.
2017: It seems that Bündchen’s coaching has paid off. On Sunday, Brady will once again lead the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl LI--wearing a necklace with protective powers given to him by the model, no less. “She gave me this [necklace] for protection, and she’d be really happy that I’m wearing it because she doesn’t like anyone hitting me. She always says, ‘Throw the ball really fast, really fast.’ So that’s what I try to do,” Brady told USA Today. No word on what Bündchen herself will be wearing come Sunday--or what kind of drama she’ll rile up.
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