In a crazy turn of events, Tom Brady says he hates the "Tom Terrific" nickname ... and only filed for the trademark to preemptively block people from using Tom Seaver's signature moniker to praise him.
In other words, TB12 wants everyone freaking out over him filing to lock the trademark to CHILL OUT ... 'cause he's never gonna use it and he wasn't trying to erase Seaver from existence.
The Patriots superstar explained his reasoning with reporters on Thursday ... saying he did it to prevent exactly what ended up happening.
“It’s unfortunate. I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname and I wanted to make sure no one used it because some people wanted to use it," Brady said.
"I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around into something different than what it was. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”
Of course, fans went nuts when the news broke earlier this week ... thinking TB12 was trying to steal the nickname Seaver made famous back when he was pitching for the Mets in the '60s and '70s.
In fact, politicians from both sides of the aisle --Rep. Peter King [R] and Rep. Tom Suozzi [D] -- came together earlier this week to condemn Brady for the move.
But Brady explained, "I don’t like the nickname. I don’t like when people probably give me many nice compliments, certainly that. It wasn’t spmething I was trying to do out of any disrespect or ill-manner or anything like that.”
Everyone breathe. Tom Brady isn't trying to erase anyone's legacy.