Tom Brady, Matt Cassel and the Patriots' Great Prank War of 2006

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Shutdown Corner
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/7406/" data-ylk="slk:Matt Cassel">Matt Cassel</a> (16) learned the hard way: don’t mess with <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/5228/" data-ylk="slk:Tom Brady">Tom Brady</a>. (AP)
Matt Cassel (16) learned the hard way: don’t mess with Tom Brady. (AP)

In 2006, I was with the Providence Journal and in my first year covering the New England Patriots. I remember walking into the locker room for player access one day and being confused – and amused – at the sight of three large tires in front of Matt Cassel’s locker.

Turns out, they were the tires off Cassel’s car, and Tom Brady had paid someone to remove the tires, put Cassel’s car on blocks, and move three of the tires (notice I didn’t say four) in front of the Cassel’s locker.

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It was the escalation, and, as it turns out, winning move in a prank war between Brady and Cassel.

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How did it get to that point? Cassel tells the tale in a video called “The Rookie Handbook” posted on

As for the fourth tire, Brady had it hidden, and Cassel had to chase it down before he had a full set of wheels once again.

Those were the glory days of pranking in the Patriots’ locker room: around that same time, former left tackle Matt Light filled Brady’s car with packing peanuts. He opened the sunroof and poured in bags and bags, filling the interior. Coach Bill Belichick had to call for a moratorium on pranks right around the time Cassel’s tires showed up at his locker.

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