“That’s where I got my passion for football, was from Tom Brady.”
While the 2019 ESPYs honored both the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Celtics’ Bill Russell, one Boston sports figure served as a special inspiration to an award winner Wednesday night.
Rob Mendez, a football coach at Prospect Hill High School in California, called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady his source of “inspiration” on the football field. Mendez, born with tetra-amelia syndrome that left him without arms or legs, was awarded the 2019 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
After the award ceremony, Mendez talked about how Brady inspired him and why he would give the Patriots QB his own ESPY award:
Jimmy V Award winner Rob Mendez says if he could, he’d give an ESPY to Tom Brady for being an inspiration.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 11, 2019
Mendez: “If I had to recommend an ESPY it would be Tom Brady for sharing his passion with everyone. That’s where I got my passion for football, was from [Brady]. How excited he gets on the sidelines and how he leads his troops and the other players. It’s so inspiring to watch him on the sidelines get fired up and I love [Brady] for the passion and fire that he has.”
In response, Brady extended his support via Instagram on Thursday morning, giving Mendez his own special shout out and quoting his award speech.