Brady's family remembers Minnesota summers spent with "little Tommy"

In a small, rural town in Minnesota, support for Tom Brady runs deep.

Browerville, Minnesota - population 790 - deep in the heart of the 'Bold North' and deep down a long dirt road, is the Tom Brady man cave. But it isn't about fandom... it's family.

"My name is Paul Johnson and I'm Tom Brady's first cousin," said Johnson.

Boston 25 News found the Midwest family ties that make Super Bowl LII a bit of a homecoming for TB12 - or as Gary and Diane Johnson still call him, little Tommy.

Gary and Diane are Brady's aunt and uncle. Brady's mom Galynn is Gary's sister. As a child, Brady and his family came to Browerville every summer to visit grandpa Gordon's farm.

"As a child coming up here in the summer he was always full of energy, always throwing things," said Gary.

"He'd come out to the farm, out to grandpa's and we had a lot of space," said Diane. "He was always having a lot of fun. Pretty soon, the ball went through the window."

And Brady, as we know, kept on throwing.

"We've been watching Tommy since he started. I was 32 years old at the time - now I'm 50," said Paul.

A nearly two-decade run that's not done yet. Brady will play in his eighth Super Bowl on Sunday, just two hours south of the family farm.

"We're just thrilled that it is happening and all we can hope for now is that he wins," said Diane.

The nephew they say is still the same kid from the memorable summer vacations.

"He's just one of us," said Diane.

"His hat size hasn't grown at all," said Gary.

Someone who is always positive even when faced with adversity, the now-superstar still greets them the same.

"Hi babes, I love ya," said Gary.

And continues to give his family many memorable Sundays.

"We’ve certainly enjoyed the years we had out here - hooting and hollering. I don’t know what we’re gonna do on our Sundays when he decides to quit. We’ll have to take up reading," said Gary.

"It’s fun to have somebody in the family like that, he’s definitely somebody that we’re proud of," said Paul.

“That’s all I can tell the Bostonians, you got a gem out there.. They got a gem," said Gary.

We asked the family if they'll be at the big game on Sunday, they said they'll be down there.

WATCH LIVE

WATCH LIVE: New England Patriots Super Bowl send-off rally at Gillette! #BlitzForSix #NotDone

Posted by Boston 25 News on Monday, January 29, 2018