Don’t be fooled the accolade of ‘champion’ enhances a player, whether loved or hated, and the ring(s) speak for itself. 4 Major sports mount rushmore; Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter and now, Tom Brady.
You couldn’t write a better script for a professional athlete. For someone to have some success in college, to then be overlooked on draft day and fall to the 6th round, pick 199. There were six quarterbacks selected before Brady along with 198 players, and passed on by all 32 teams at least 5 times.
There’s no chip bigger than the one Brady’s been carrying on his shoulder for 17 years. No matter how much the alcolades, success, championships, no player forgets how he got here and where he started from, it’s been Brady’s biggest driving force.
His first season, after taking over for Drew Bledsoe, he shocks the world and leads the Patriots on a game winning drive to defeat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17, claiming the teams first championship and his first Super Bowl MVP.
Two season later Brady was at it again, leading the Patriots on yet another game winning drive to defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32-29. The Patriots second championship in three years and Brady’s second Super Bowl MVP.
Back to back. The following season Brady again leads the Patriots on a late game winning drive to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, 24-21. 3 titles in 4 years for the guy nobody really wanted or believes in. The story was just beginning.
Tom Brady would add two regular season MVP’s to the resume in 2007 and 2010. The NFL comeback player of the year in 2009, after tearing his ACL the season prior. A 12 time pro bowl selection. Still not quite done yet.
One doesn’t become great and reach other worldly levels of greatness without some controversy and disappointments. There was Spygate, two disheartening defeats in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants and then there was the most ridiculous scandal to try and tarnish his reputation called Deflategate.
Brady may never admit it, but the latest controversy had to provide some extra motivation.
Down 10 in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XLIX, to the games widely known best defense, Brady marched the Patriots on two incredible drives (13-15 124 yards, 2 TD’s) including the game winning drive to put New England up 28-24 with 2 minutes and change left. The game ended on a Malcolm Butler interception in the end zone, as the Patriots defense did what they couldn’t do in the prior two Super Bowls, make a game ending play. 4 championships, 3 Super Bowl MVP’s; legendary.
Deja vu? Two season later Brady and the Patriots found themselves in the Super Bowl again, for a 7th time. History was all over the place, first QB to start 7 super bowls, attempting to become the first QB to win a 5th Super Bowl, and the first 2 1/2 quarters was reminiscing of Brady’s story, against all odds.
The Atlanta Falcons lead the Patriots 28-3 halfway through the 3rd quarter. The lead was 28-9 with 15 minutes to play. For a guy who’s made a career of turning doubters into believers, this played right up Tom Brady’s alley.
A 4th quarter for the ages got the Patriots to force the first OT in Super Bowl history. When the Patriots won the coin toss, everyone knew history was about to be made. And it was. Brady was simply sensational going 21-27 for 246 yards and a TD in the 4th/OT. You know the story by now, another game winning drive led by the greatest of all time.
5 championships, 4 Super Bowl MVP’s, the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, February 5th, 2017 will always be remembered as historic.
For the record, the arguments, debates, questions, conversations, they’re all over. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. A 25-9 postseason record, 5 rings, 4 MVP’s, the greatness in February can’t be debated.
“5 rings can’t be deflated,”-Kobe Bryant.
“What I saw last night might’ve been the greatest performance in a championship game on the football field,” -Stephen A Smith.
“Last night Tom Brady eclipsed the man, MJ, Michael Jordan, as the greatest clutch player in all of sports history,” Skip Bayless.
A 39 year old Tom Brady in Super Bowl LI, went 43-62 for 466 yards (record) 2 TD’s and 1 INT. A 39 year old Peyton Manning went 13-23 141 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, the year prior in Super Bowl 50. There’s something different about Brady.
The will, the heart, the competitiveness, the chip, the clutch, the standard and even at 39 there’s no signs of slowing down. Next season Brady will again go for 3 championships in 4 years like he did to begin his career. With the Patriots it’s them vs everybody, as not only the defending champs, but one of the most hated franchises in sports.
It’s sports, they’re unpredictable which is why we love them and it’s Tom Brady, and what should’ve been learned by now: don’t bet against greatness.