First off, let me just say I am NOT a Patriots fan. Never was. Never will be. I need to point out that the team I root for is currently at the bottom of the NFL, however, is also the ONLY team to account for all of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl losses. (Thank you Tyree and Manningham). But just because I cheer for a team who ISN’T the Pats (short for Patriots), doesn’t mean I don’t admire (secretly of course) a player who has revolutionized the sport in such a way that we may never see someone on the same level for years to come.
Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. And for you non-sports fans who don’t understand their acronyms, G.O.A.T. stands for “Greatest of all time”. This isn’t a debate. Never will be. The proof is in the pudding. (or avocado ice cream).
Just look at his storybook life. The man is married to a smoking hot model, (who also happens to be one of the most famous and most successful supermodels of all time), has three beautiful children (2 with Giselle), a huge house, (or houses I should say), that are equipped with all the bells and whistles that any of us can only simply fantasize about, and a job that many of us now wish we could have the opportunity to perform. He’s just the All-American guy. He’s tall, handsome, rich and successful, which in America are statuses in which of those we despise. Hating on Tom Brady is like hating on Captain America. You just can’t do it.
He has 5 Super Bowl rings, and is currently closing in on number 6. Six championship rings in ANY sport would be and IS an amazing accomplishment in itself, and only a couple of basketball hall of famers can currently call this feat their own. But football is a much tougher sport to win championships in than basketball. There are possessions in basketball where the star player never touches the ball. In football, the quarterback touches the ball on EVERY single offensive play. The window of error is so miniscule in comparison that a small mishap on any play can cost the entire team the game. Yes, as fans we take for granted the level of skill it even takes a person to catch the ball from under center and then be ready to actually throw the ball downfield. Or even the simple 3 or 5 step drop a quarterback has to make every play. (Not convinced it’s difficult? Try it at home when you have a minute. Imagine the ball is under center and make believe you are a NFL QB. Say “hike”, and take 5 steps back as fast as you can. Make sure you are looking up and not at your feet. How long did it take you? Longer than 3 seconds? Guess what, your sacked.) Then take into account being able to read the defense and make a split decision of where to throw the ball, all while being chased by the biggest and fastest players in the world. And make sure you don’t mess up, because you have millions of fans watching worldwide whose actual levels of happiness depend on the outcome of your throw. And then you also have Bill Belichick’s death stare to worry about. Yikes. It’s INSANE when you think about it, but Tom Brady makes it look EASY! (At 40 nevertheless!). When I’m 40 I hope I’ll just be able to run around and play a simple game of catch in the backyard with my future son. (Who will NOT be named Tom or Brady don’t worry)
This is where as a former collegiate athlete I strongly admire one of Tom Brady’s most underrated qualities as a player, his WORK ETHIC. Tom Brady works harder than anyone else in football. I don’t think anyone else comes close. (Except the death stare guy). This work ethic and desire to be great doesn’t just happen overnight. It burns deep in someone’s heart, especially an athlete’s heart, and tends to be unleashed when the odds are stacked against them. This is and was no different for Brady.
He was drafted out of Michigan in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Yes, the SIXTH round. (There are only 7 rounds in the draft). Pick number 199. 198 players were selected before him, including six quarterbacks. Do you think any of those quarterbacks had 1/10th the career that Brady had? Not even close. But where he was chosen in the 2000 NFL draft helped set up a mindset for Tom that would elevate his game to the highest level, especially when it mattered. Just look at last year. Not just at the iconic Super Bowl game of his historic comeback from being down 28-3. But the suspension of four games, the negativity of being accused of cheating, and having his entire legacy and integrity questioned for the world to see. Many analysts and commentators thought this would tear down Brady, but it actually did the opposite. It built him back up. The “nobody wanted me at draft day” fire that continued to burn in his heart got hotter. It motivated him to push his body, his mind, and his game even farther. (Hence the avocado ice cream reference). At 39, he had one of the best seasons of his entire NFL career, only to cap off the greatest Super Bowl win in history. And now at 40, he has no signs of slowing down, which to be honest, is quite scary (especially as a football fan of another team), but also downright motivating.
I think that’s why I admire Tom as much as I do. He’s an inspiration, and every time he touches the field I can’t help but be thankful that I am able to witness his greatness.
In my last post, I wrote of how I wanted you to wake up the lion that was asleep in your heart. Tom had awaken his a long time ago, and his success both on the field and in his personal life attribute to that.
So what I leave you with now is, when are you finally going to awaken yours?
(And just for the record, Go Eagles!)
(Shit. I can’t cheer for them either. Maybe the Super bowl will be a tie? Hey, “It can happen”. Boom. There’s the 90 movie reference!).