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Farewell For Good: Saluting the Greatest to Ever Do It

Image from QuinceCreative via Pixabay

Where do you start? I still remember running around my neighborhood in sheer joy after the game that was Super Bowl LI, celebrating a player whose legacy will last decades. The people that were able to see his career unfold should take some time to appreciate it — the world will never see something like it again. It’s tough to put into words the greatness of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. He impacted so many lives on and off the gridiron in so many memorable ways, including mine. With seven Super Bowls, five Super Bowl MVPs, and three league MVPs, Brady is without a doubt the greatest winner in all of sports. 

After a chaotic offseason where he couldn’t quite let go of the game he loved, Brady sent out a simple video on the morning of February 1 to officially hang his jersey up. Brady finished his storybook career of a player that was once a sixth-round draft pick who turned himself into a living, breathing legend. He ranks first of all-time in almost every important category including passing yards, touchdown passes, and most importantly, Super Bowls. No other franchise in the history of the league has accumulated more rings than Brady himself.  

By adopting the TB12 Method and producing two documentaries, Brady epitomizes what it meant to be great on and off the field. He studied film, looking to be a step ahead of the rest of the competition. The now 45-year-old went even further, using his unique training and diet to prevent long-lasting injuries and time off the field. 

No other player in any team sport around the world will ever be as obsessed with winning as Brady was for 23 years. The man has been inspiring people around the globe to be healthier, reminding them that if they do, the results can be exceptional. While Brady never got to experience what it was like to eat chocolate cake or even pumpkin pie during his playing days, ultimately he leaves the game knowing it was all worth it.

The lasting legacy of Tom Brady.
Image from EmrynCrespoPhotography via Pixabay

Brady notoriously remarked that he was going to play until he “sucked,” but that day never came upon us. In his final season with Tampa Bay, the California native was third in the league in passing yards while finishing in the top ten in total touchdowns. They say numbers don’t lie, and the five-time Super Bowl MVP had a habit of shattering the ones of the past.

Every football fan was waiting for the day that he would let go of the game, and that day has finally come. Opponents of what he stood for thought he was going to “fall off a cliff” years ago, and in classic Brady fashion, he just kept doing his job. During his apparent “farewell season” in 2020-21, Brady led the league in passing yards and touchdowns at the age of 44. 

At 44, many men have trouble getting out of their lounge chairs without their backs making some disturbing noise. Brady, though, was carving through elite NFL defenses like a hot knife through butter. When everyone said he couldn’t, Brady knew in his heart that he could. When almost everyone thought age was going to catch up to him, he proved them all wrong by essentially conquering father time himself.

He passed for 403 more touchdowns than all the six quarterbacks ahead of him combined. As the NFL will miss Tom Brady, his legend will live on through the game he loved. For any sixth-round draft choice in this year’s draft, remember Brady. Remember how he put his head down and worked until the moment came for him to prove his talent. From the starting quarterback at Junípero Serra High School in Santa Mateo, California, Brady chose to take his talents to one of the best football schools in all of the country, Michigan.

The former home of the Fab Five in the mid-90s to the great Bo Schembechler, Brady started his Wolverine tenure as the seventh-string quarterback. He ignored the outside noise and got to work from the get-go. Critics ahead of the draft said he was too slow, not athletic enough, or didn’t have the arm strength. That all didn’t matter in the end because Brady knew what he was capable of with the work ethic he possessed. 

An extremely polarizing figure across American culture, no matter who you asked, people’s opinions on Tom Brady can be all over the spectrum. Opponents say he is a cheater, but nobody has yet to discover any sort of physical evidence to prove it. While him winning so constantly can become annoying to a Jets fan, Brady’s ability to keep rolling so consistently at the level and age that he did must be admired. 

How can someone hate a person who had to claw his way to the top? We all love comeback stories, but I am still stunned by how many people dislike Tom Brady. He did it the right way: ignoring the critics from all over the media world and dominating in a sport that everyone said he wasn’t cut out to play coming out of the draft. He never blew you away with his athleticism or speed, but that didn’t matter due to his drive. 

No matter your opinion of Brady, his greatness, and relentless winning mentality has to be respected. From a scrawny kid that grew up right outside of San Francisco idolizing Joe Montana to someone who squashed all of his professional records, Brady really did live his dream. 

Brady is the perfect role model for anyone who has their backs against the walls in any part of their life. With the attention to detail that he had during his football career, it is without question his broadcast career will be a successful one. Every quarterback from now on will try, but there will never be another Brady. The greatest quarterback of all time discussion is forever closed.