It’s been moving around for the last few days, now it’s official. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., abbreviated Tom Brady, ended his unique career in the NFL at the age of 44. A tribute from Sky editor Tobias Roth.
22 seasons, 7,263 passes completed, 84,520 passing yards, 624 passing touchdowns – more than any other quarterback in history. There are also three MVP awards and as many as seven Super Bowl titles and five Super Bowl MVPs in ten finals. For comparison: The two record holders from New England and Pittsburgh have each won the Super Bowl six times. Brady has been more successful as a single player in 22 years than any single NFL franchise since the Super Bowl was introduced in 1967. And the future Hall of Famer played three careers in one, so good are his numbers.
Brady is selected in a 199th place
But when Brady joined the NFL in 2000, no one knew that this slightly portable quarterback from the University of Michigan would ever come close to reaching that far. TB12 was drafted as the 199th overall by the New England Patriots – a fateful selection by head coach Bill Belichick. Brady took each choice personally and used it as motivation to work even harder. After a year on the bench, his hour came in September 2001. In the game against the New York Jets, regular Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured and Brady came into play. A moment for eternity. Three titles in four years followed – with the support of kicker Adam Vinatieri and the defense.
After the first three titles, it really took off for him as a player, but the successes slowed down. In 2007, the New England quarterbacks were on track for their first perfect playing time since the Miami Dolphins in 1972, but they were stopped spectacularly by Brady’s Kryptonite, Eli Manning and the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. The following year, the then 31-year-old tore his cruciate ligament in the first game of the season – the end? Are you serious when you say that! 2012 the next Super Bowl – and again a loss against the Manning Giants. Was it with the Patriots dynasty? no way! Brady and head coach Bill Belichick showed it all. Again, New England had three titles: in 2015 against reigning champions Seattle, in 2017 in a historic comeback from a 3:28 deficit against Atlanta and in 2019 against the LA Rams.
Brady is also successful without Belichick
The break followed in 2020. Brady has had to put up with one thing throughout his career. He is a “system quarterback”, the real creator of success is Coach Belichick. But he also removed this stain, which only Brady could. In his first year with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he won the excellent seventh championship. The end of 43? No, he almost went a better one! A season followed in which he again became number one for passing yards and touchdowns. In the playoffs, however, it was over against the Rams, after Brady struggled with the loss with everything. But then there it was.
It’s not only his success that makes him “GOAT”, the greatest football player of all time. Brady exudes an aura of a true master. Apparently less talented players developed into top stars in his shadow and thanks to head coach Bill Belichick, such as Julian Edelman or Rob Gronkowski. On the other hand, great players were eager to play with Brady to grab a ring by his side. At Tampa Bay, “Gronk” came out of retirement, and scandal receiver Antonio Brown just wanted to see him. Opposing teams had tremendous respect, like Atlanta in Super Bowl 51, when they historically fell. Brady and the Patriots did it all in the comeback: touchdowns, impossible catches, defensive stops and even the coin toss in overtime. Conicidens? Hardly likely.
Brady’s career also had a few shady periods
But there are a few shadows on this unique career. 2002 only went to the Super Bowl because the “tuck rule,” one of the most controversial rules and refereeing decisions in NFL history to date, saved the Patriots. New England’s possible espionage activities were also repeatedly exposed and punished. In the 2015 AFC Championship Game against Indianapolis, several footballs were improperly inflated, making it easier for the quarterback to throw the ball. Brady was charged with complicity in this violation of the rules, known as “Deflategate”. He was excluded from the NFL in four games, the Patriots losing a total of two draft picks. As a New England beamer, these scandals stuck with him.
Despite all the ambitions and sporting successes, Brady was also an absolute superstar off the field. In 2009, he married model Giselle Bundchen, but there was never any real air and likes around him. Brady is said to have a certain distance and arrogance. But as he got older and moved to Florida, he, the professional model who always looked after and cared for his body, became more relaxed. Like the fun after the seventh Super Bowl triumph in the port of Tampa – visibly entertained by the alcohol. And after all, always a real family man, they say. They are probably also the reason for the end of his career. With its 44, the focus has shifted. More time for my wife and three kids.
Brady’s legacy is unparalleled
And he really deserved it too. 22 years in the tough football industry is enough. The transfer of the scepter to the next generation is now probably final. With Brady, the largest of a large quarterback guard around the Manning brothers, Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger, resigns. The greatest of all time. Yes, you need to be careful with this term. But given his success, his numbers and his appeal beyond football, he leaves a legacy that is second to none. Although one scandal deceives the image of his career, Tom Brady has changed the game and the National Football League forever. GEDEN leaves the stage, self-determined and still able to accomplish great things, exactly as he has always wanted. Loved in New England and Tampa, hated by the rest but respected. In light of this success, this is likely to be inevitable.
Brady is still missing a “trophy”: The golden jacket for a player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. You can be admitted no earlier than six years after the end of your career. In the case of Brady, there is no doubt about it. Next stop: Canton!
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