The sport of football demands blood, sweat, and tears.
For Patriots quarterback Tom Brady though, sometimes it demands a bit more sweat than he would prefer.
According to a report from Nick Underhill at The Athletic, Brady goes to great lengths in order to avoid his centers' sweaty butts.
"I always tell them I don't want to throw a wet ball on a perfectly sunny day," Brady told The Athletic, with regard to what Brady's first center Damien Woody referred to as "the swamp ass."
With Woody, Brady did his best to grin, bear it, and just play football. But when Woody's successor Dan Koppen joined took over the job, Brady found his solution — sticking a towel down his center's pants.
"There was a ritual where he would put the towel in. It's up to him," Koppen said. "So, he put the towel in the centers before the game and made sure (it was in place). You know, I mean, I'm sure putting your hands back there, I don't think you want to go into a sweaty vat."
Brady's towel strategy stems from both hygiene and a bit of gamesmanship. Aside from the inherent ickiness of coming into contact with his center's sweat play after play, keeping the ball and his hands dry throughout the game minimizes the chances of a costly fumble or turnover.
Still, the experience is jarring for new centers adjusting to Brady's ways. David Andrews, who was Brady's center four the past four years but is out on the IR this season, told The Athletic that the practice caught him by surprise as a rookie.
"It was something that was very different for me at first, especially when he grabs you as a rookie in training camp and throws a towel down your butt," Andrews said. "Pulling your shorts back, dumping baby powder down your butt. But that's part of it, and obviously, if it affects how he operates, you want to be as good as you can about it."
The Patriots are traveling to Miami to play the Dolphins on Sunday, their first game against their divisional foe since the shocking "Miami Miracle" of last year. Brady will be doing everything he can to avenge the embarrassing loss from last year, and with the temperature expected to edge close to 90 degrees, chances are he might bring some extra towels.