People my age and younger were very young when Tom Brady was drafted 199th in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. All I’ve known since I was eight years old was Tom Brady as the quarterback of the Patriots. His willingness to be the best he could is an understatement. He loved being the underdog and proving people wrong. When Drew Bledsoe got hurt and Brady stepped in he knew at that moment he would be the starter of the Patriots. He led the Patriots to an AFC Championship Game and won his first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXVI. That to me is the best Super Bowl he’s ever won, because it was the first and also had the red, white, and blue theme after 9/11. That Rams didn’t stop Brady, and he would win three out of four Super Bowls in 01, 03, and 04.
After the 2004 season they wouldn’t win another Super Bowl until 2014. There was a lot of division wins in the AFC East from 2005-2008. Also, there was two AFC Championship games in 2006, and 2007 seasons. We won’t talk about the 2007 season. Brady came back in 2009 and showed that even after his season ending injury the year before he still could play. The Patriots won the AFC East in 2009 and hosted a playoff game. Brady would then lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl in 2011, and then Jimmy Garoppolo was drafted in 2014. Brady had his best year that season. He saw Garoppolo as possibly being the next quarterback. That lit a fire under Brady and he led the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl, beating Seattle on the final play. Brady wasn’t done in 2014 because he led the Patriots to a fifth Super Bowl and the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history in 2016. Garoppolo was traded and Brady’s last Super Bowl win was 2018 against the Rams for the sixth Super Bowl ring for the franchise.
When you think of the Patriots you think of three things. Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Those are the creators of what’s happened here over the last 20 years. All of the AFC Championships and Super Bowl Championships. The division titles they’ve won and the legacy they’ve built. The leadership Brady has had on and off the field. The countless times if the team was down, lifting his teammates up on the sidelines to show that they were still in it. Always looking forward to the next challenge and never settling for the easy result. Brady’s favorite ring is always “the next one.”
Brady is a family man as well. Born and raised in California he raised his children here and always loves having time with them. His TB12 brand really took off as a member of the Patriots. The fitness program, diet, and training methods he uses and teaches that to other people around the world. His charity work is great around the community and the world too.
On a personal side I can’t believe this is really happening. I understand he’s about to be 43, but this isn’t Brett Farve. We're talking about the greatest quarterback of all-time. It’s going to be extremely hard watching him play for another team, and be in one of the most hideous uniforms I’ve ever seen. In my opinion this was a business decision and not a football one. He is a New England Patriot forever. He thinks he has more to prove, which I don’t know what that is because look what he’s done in 20 years with one team. But he wants to keep going which is really inspirational if you think about it. Nothing is enough for him, he set a goal at playing until 45 and wants to achieve it.
I’m going to miss going to the training camps in the summers to packed bleachers and fans wanting Brady’s autograph. I’ll also never forget the time it was his birthday and they had baby goats at the training camp practice a couple years ago. Brady is an icon around New England and the rest of the world. But in New England he was something that we’ll never see again in our lifetime. Tom Brady is without a doubt a once in a lifetime experience, and I cherished every moment of it.
Brady is an inspiration for me because I probably wouldn’t have gotten into writing about the Patriots if it wasn’t for him. I love writing about the Patriots since 2010 with my own blog, then in March of 2017 I wrote for Boston Sports Extra, now Believe in Boston Sports. I also really got to thank Anthony the owner for giving me the opportunity, but really if the Patriots didn’t have such a winning culture I’m not sure where I would be. That all goes back to Brady, Belichick, and Kraft. Again, Brady’s drive to never quit and use the doubters as an inspiration is awesome, because you can prove them wrong over and over again. Brady did that countless of times and will continue to do so. We all have our ups and downs but, it’s the people around us that make us who we are. For Brady it was his teammates, coaches, family, and Robert Kraft. For me its family, and the one real person in my life who inspires me every day.
I can’t wait for Tom Brady to come back to New England and we can celebrate his time here as a Patriot and a champion. I hope he signs a one day contract and retires as a Patriot like Vince Wilfork did. I also hope they will retire the number 12 and it will never be worn again on the Patriots. Brady is a future Hall Of Famer, and most definetly a once in a lifetime experience for people to witness such greatness. At this time it’s not a goodbye. It’s a see you later because Brady will be back in Foxborough in a few years and we’ll all be glad that he’s back home.