By Arjit Nair and Dylan Sanichara
At the age of 44, “Father Time” has decided to call it quits after 22 seasons in the NFL. He leaves as a fifteen-time pro bowler, three-time MVP, seven-time Super Bowl Champion, and a five-time Super Bowl MVP. Tom Brady has put his name in the record books as the first in all-time passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, wins and Super Bowl championships.
Brady has established his title to be seen by fans as the greatest player of all time. He was not always viewed as a leader, considering many spectators were doubtful of what he would become. He was drafted as a Michigan Wolverine by the New England Patriots, and was the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.
“Brady was now on a path to defend his legacy, aiming to be the greatest football player to surface the turf...”
At the time, the Patriots were in no need of a quarterback, but they believed that Brady could serve as a solid backup to Drew Bledsoe. In week two of the 2001 season, Bledsoe was hit by Jets linebacker, Mo Lewis, which would serve him with a leg injury, leaving Bledsoe on the sidelines for a month. This not only led to two decades of suffering for the New York Jets, but also sparked the beginning of an unforgettable career for Brady.
Tom Brady was named the starting quarterback after a triumphant season with the Patriots. Although known as “Tom Terrific” today, Brady was not always a successful player, given the errors in his game. Luckily, he was consistent and his play style helped the Patriots land a playoff berth, facing the “Greatest Show on Turf,” the St. Louis Rams. Brady led the charge when the game was tied to set up a winning kick by Adam Vinatieri, and the Patriots won their first ever Super Bowl. This rang in the dawn of a new dynasty, and it led to many Patriot appearances in the following years.
There are many who undermine Brady’s success due to his three Super Bowl losses. In the 2007-2008 season, Tom Brady and the Patriots went undefeated. After winning the AFC divisional and championship game, they reached the Super Bowl and faced the underdog New York Giants, who were led by Eli Manning and had a record of 9-7. Many fans expected a loss for the Giants, but Manning performed well and their defense pressured Brady. The outcome was a win for the Giants and one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. Brady’s Super Bowl losses continued, and he lost to the Giants again in 2012, making them his kryptonite.
Brady eventually reached his next title run in 2015, after defeating the Seahawks. Two years later, Brady and the Patriots reached the Super Bowl again, facing MVP Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons took the lead in the beginning, but the Patriots scored in overtime, winning the Super Bowl and making a famously impressive comeback.
Artwork by Saffah Azeem
Tom Brady began as the 199th pick and furthered his career playing in multiple Super Bowls.
“There will never be anyone else who can do what he did. He had a hard-fought career and his never-quitting mentality is something that I take away from him,” freshman Eamon Griffin said.
In 2018, Brady would receive his third Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady was now on a path to defend his legacy, aiming to be the greatest football player to surface the turf. In March 2020, he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The move was unexpected even though the Buccaneers were in search of a quarterback that would fit their offense. “Mr. Immortal” became that guy and led the Buccaneers to an 11-5 record and Super Bowl champions.
“Tom Brady is arguably one of the greatest athletes to walk this planet. Not only has he played through 22 seasons of the NFL, but he’s won seven Super Bowls,” freshman Tyler Lopez said.
“The legacy of Brady was significant to the NFL, due to his pure dominance in the last two decades. He opened a whole new level of football when it comes to work ethic and knowledge. Personally, I feel that he is the greatest quarterback of all time and the most athletically motivated,” freshman Jash Mody said.
Fans across the country believe they are fortunate to have witnessed Tom Brady play the game of football. In their eyes, he defines greatness by putting his name in the record books. From beginning his professional career as the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft to winning several Super Bowls, Brady has made an impact on the world of football.