Tom Brady shared a lot of stories in a two-hour interview with Howard Stern Wednesday morning, and one tale included the time his testicle grew to the size of an orange.
The topic was brought up because Stern was discussing Brady taking big hits in games. He recalled one particular hit that left Brady’s testicle “three times the normal size.” While Brady didn’t confirm the “three times” part, he did say an injury once left him with an enlarged testicle.
“I thought when I got hit something happened. It ended up being a hernia in the game where the abdominal wall split open,” Brady told Stern. “And then, I don’t know all the details, but the testicles were like — literally one side was like, I would say like an orange. And then the other side was normal. And I was like, ‘Something’s wrong here.’
“The guy who was our backup quarterback, Matt Cassel, would draw pictures of me with like one huge testicle on one side and leave it in my locker every day. He’d [call me] purple ball. That s— hurt. That was a really tough injury.”
So now you’re probably wondering what hit left Brady with an orange-sized testicle. After asking the initial question, Stern joked, “Did Gisele like that?” Brady said he wasn’t with his wife at the time. He met Gisele in 2006, and he had a well-reported hernia injury in 2005. Brady also referenced Cassel, who was on the team that season, so we can likely trace this injury back to that year.
The tricky part is figuring out when it happened. A Sports Illustrated article claims Brady suffered the hernia in Week 15, which oddly enough would have been against the Buccaneers, Brady’s new team. But an ESPN article claims Brady played “half the season” with the injury.
A biography of Tom Brady, written by Charles P. Pierce, seems to narrow down the timeline of the injury further. The book also explains why there’s not really a defined moment for this injury.
From “Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything”:
“Sometime in the middle of the season, probably right around the game against Indianapolis, Brady had been diagnosed with a hernia high on the right side. … Consistent with team policy, the hernia was kept secret from anyone outside the official Patriots family. It had happened subtly; Brady hadn’t missed a down because of it. It was an internal injury in every sense of the word.”
The Patriots played the Colts in Week 9 that season, which means Brady likely played in at least 11 games with this injury (including playoffs). Brady went on to lose his first playoff game that season.
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