Patriots QB Tom Brady was joined by some of his current and former teammates, and celebrity friends, during his annual Best Buddies Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium on Friday, June 2, 2017. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, James White and Dion Lewis all took part in the game, which helped raise money for the charity that aids the developmentally disabled.
With the score tied and the outcome of the game set to come down to one final play, the circumstances were all too familiar for Tom Brady and some of his Patriots teammates Friday night.
No, they weren't back in Houston, Texas on the verge of entering overtime with Super Bowl LI on the line, but perhaps what was at stake this time had a meaning even bigger than winning a world championship.
Tom, along with fellow Patriots Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and James White were competing in this year's Tom Brady Best Buddies Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium. The annual event benefits Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Alongside Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, Tom served as the Challenge's Honorary Co-Chair. He noted how important he feels it is to bring attention to the organization's mission and message.
"Best Buddies is a fantastic organization with a great message to spread, and I am so proud to support their work," the quarterback said.
The Pats joined the buddies and a number of local celebrities from the likes of former New England quarterback Scott Zolak to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and actress/model Olivia Culpo in a spirited game of flag football to raise money for the charity.
With the GOAT serving as the game's universal quarterback, touchdowns came early and often in the high-scoring matchup. The excitement across the faces of the young kids who caught passes from Tom himself could be seen from all angles of the historic stadium, and as just seconds remained in the fourth quarter, the score was tied; 74-74.
"Every single year, the final score ends up being decided on the last play," Governor Baker explained. "Maybe that's because Tom Brady is the quarterback for both teams and he orchestrates the whole thing."
On a last-second effort, Tom threw a ball 40-plus yards down the field to find Dion in the end zone and sealed an 80-74 win for the red team, but at the end of the night, the spectators, players and buddies alike walked away with an even greater victory.
Governor Baker put it simply.
"The Patriots players who come out and play are incredibly generous with their time," he said. "I just think it's a great way for a whole bunch of folks to raise money, support a great organization and have a wonderful time."