Eric Bell, Staff Writer
Growing up, who did we think of as the best quarterback in the National Football League (NFL)? Who was the guy that even when his team was losing, you knew he still had a chance? That man was none other than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, better known as Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time. Commonly referenced as the GOAT. While you can argue with that opinion, and there are some pretty good quarterbacks in history that you could argue for, you can’t argue with the statistics. According to nfl.com, the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots played in 318 games, threw for 84,520 yards, and scored 624 touchdowns. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you he is the best; he is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and a five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP). That alone is ridiculous, the fact that he has only been to the Super Bowl and not been the MVP of it two times. He has been to the Pro Bowl 15 times, an honor which is given to players nominated for having the best seasons that year. No other quarterback has done what he has in NFL history, and he will certainly be in the NFL Hall of Fame the first chance he can be inducted into it, in five years. If that doesn’t convince you that he is the greatest, I don’t know what will.
As of February 1, 2022, Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement from the NFL. He has decided to hang up his cleats after 22 unbelievable seasons, playing 20 seasons for the New England Patriots, the team who drafted him, and playing his last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is much speculation as to why he decided to retire, with many people making the argument that he still had a couple more years left in the tank. While no one but Brady knows for sure, of course, roster injuries, upcoming contract situations, and teammate drama on the Buccaneers could have factored into his decision. It is certainly thought that he could have played for at least another year, and many agree with this narrative.
As if Brady retiring is not crazy enough, there was some drama about his retirement going public. On January 29th, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s highly regarded senior NFL insider, broke the news that Tom Brady was retiring. This turned the entire sports world upside down. Media pages were putting together montages of Brady’s career and everywhere you looked, the news of Tom Brady calling it a career was front and center. Only it wasn’t true. News broke later that day that Brady had, in fact, not made his decision and informed the Buccaneers General Manager that he had, contrary to what the media had leaked, not retired. With the sport’s world on edge, Tom Brady finally announced his retirement two days later. This time, it was for real. All the drama was seemingly for nothing.
Aside from Tom Brady being the GOAT, he has provided all of us with a sense of inspiration that we incorporate into our own lives. As mentioned early, Brady was the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the draft, so it wasn’t exactly like he had the pedigree to be a starting quarterback in the league. The Patriots already had a quarterback and drafted Brady as a backup plan. Instead of getting angry that he was taken so low in the draft, Brady continued to work to be ready for any opportunity. Forced into action due to injury, the rookie out of the University of Michigan took his chance and ran with it. He never gave up the starting quarterback job.
This is what we should incorporate into our lives, the determination to never give up. In life, you need to take advantage of any opportunity, just like the greatest quarterback of all time did.