It is often said that all good things must come to an end and one group of people that is discovering this bitter fact are fans of America’s National Football League (NFL) team, the New England Patriots. For several years, their franchise benefitted from the talent of prolific quarterback, Tom Brady. The player, who was drafted a lowly 199th pick and was described as a skinny young man who lacked the physical stature to withstand the rush of play, defied great odds to emerge as arguably the best quarterback that the NFL has ever seen and the Patriots reaped the benefits thereof.
In a two-decade run with the franchise, Brady led them to multiple Super Bowl victories and established them as an indomitable force in the American Football Conference (AFC). He also scooped up several individual honors and accolades and shattered many records in the process. It was well and truly a mutually beneficial relationship between the two sides and as such, it came as a shock when the QB announced that he was leaving the team in March 2020
The announcement broke the heart of many in New England as they had come to see Brady as an indistinguishable part of the Patriots’ fabric. These fans will now have to deal with the pain of watching their favorite QB turn out in the colors of another NFL side for many reasons.
No Player in NFL History has more Super Bowl Appearances or Titles than Tom Brady
The super bowl is the biggest trophy/ zenith of American football. It, therefore, stands to reason that a player who is hailed as arguably the greatest quarterback ever should have performed marvelously at this tourney and Brady does not disappoint. The California native spent his first season with The Patriots, 2000, as a 4th string quarterback. He later clawed his way up to 2nd and by the next season, won the starting job.
In this role, Brady completed 264 of 413 passes for 2,843 yards, 18 TDs, and 12 interceptions as he took the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVI against the St Louis Rams. In the bowl game itself, Brady completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards and one TD as his team won 20-17. This victory earned him his first Super Bowl ring. He also set a record as just the second QB to win the Super Bowl in his very first season as a starter. The first person to achieve that record was coincidentally a St Louis Rams’ QB named Kurt Weiner.
Following that record-breaking victory, Tom Brady took the New England Patriots to eight more Super Bowls out of which they won five (Super Bowls XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, and LIII). The player now holds the record for the most Super Bowl appearances by any player in the history of the NFL (9). He also holds the record as the player with the most Super Bowl victories (6). Brady achieved this particular feat following his team’s triumph over the L.A. Rams in 2018. This gave him his sixth Super Bowl ring and he thus surpassed the previous record of five held by retired line-backer and defensive end, Charles Holey.
Other Super Bowl records that belong to Tom Brady is the player with the most Super Bowl MVP awards (4), most TD passes (18), most passing yards (2838), most passes attempted (392), and most passes completed (256). He is also the oldest QB to win a Super Bowl (41 years six months), the oldest player to win the Super Bowl MVP award (39 years, 6 months, and 2 days), and the oldest QB to start a Super Bowl game (41 years, and 6 months).
How Brady Went from Lowly No. 199 Draft Pick to Three-Time Champion Within a Space of Seven Years
The NFL has witnessed several fairy-tale success stories and one that ranks right up there is that of Tom Brady. Even though he performed creditably well during his college days at the University of Michigan, many scouts looked down on him because of his thin stature. They wrote him off as someone who does not have the stamina to persevere in the league and as a result of this, many teams steered clear of him. As draft pick upon draft pick was announced in the 2000 draft, Tom Brady and his family looked forward to hearing his name but their hopes were dashed. They had to wait until the very last day of the draft (sixth round) when the Patriots decided to spend their leftover cash on him.
Given the circumstances surrounding his selection, Tom Brady knew that the odds were stacked up against him and that he had to work extra hard. Consequent to this, he trained day and night to build up his physical stature and also improve his strength and technical play. Fate then gave him a helping hand through an injury to the Patriots then starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, in his second season. This injury gave Brady the opportunity to be the starting quarterback and he did not disappoint. He rather led the Patriots to their first-ever Super Bowl triumph (XXXVI) as he was named Super Bowl MVP, the first of many to come.
Building upon that impressive sophomore season, Tom Brady consistently improved his numbers as he helped his team to achieve an impressive 55 victories in 76 games for the next five years including a record-breaking winning streak of 21 matches between 2004 and 2005. He also helped them to make the playoffs on multiple occasions and they went on to win two more Super Bowl titles in that period. This was in 2003 and 2004, making them back-to-back champions.
Emergence as Male Athlete of 2007 and the Injury Which Threatened to End his Career
The year 2007 is one that Tom Brady would not forget in a hurry. The quarterback completed 398 of 578 matches and threw a whopping 50 TDs as he led his team to 16 victories out of 16 games. He continued in a similar vein in the playoffs and the Patriots made it to Super Bowl XLII. Sadly, they ended up losing to the New York Giants by a narrow margin. Despite this loss, there was no disputing the fact that Brady had a phenomenal season. He was therefore bestowed with several accolades including the MVP of the NFL as well as male athlete of the year by Associated Press.
All these exploits sent Brady to seventh heaven but he was brought back to earth by an ACL and MCL injury that he suffered in the very first game of the 2008 season against the Kansas City Chiefs. The injury was quite disappointing as it kept him out for nearly the entire season but the player refused to despair. He kept up a positive attitude and came back with a bang the next year; earning the award for comeback player of the year in 2009. He then sustained this form for the next five years, leading his team to two Super Bowl berths. They lost one (2011) and won the other (2014).
The 2014 championship came in sensational fashion as the Patriots were losing by 10 points to the Seattle Seahawks in the dying minutes of the third quarter. Brady then threw two touchdown passes to give his team a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks got a chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter but the Patriots defense was able to pick up their slanted pass. This ensured that the score remained at 28-24 thus fetching Brady and the Patriots their fourth championship.
Overcoming Deflate-Gate to Win His Fifth Championship
Brady’s NFL career has largely been without scandal but he did face a pivotal one during the 2014 season. The controversy reared up its head after the AFC championship game where his team defeated the Indianapolis Colts. Following the defeat, the Colts alleged that the Patriots deliberately underinflated the balls that they used in playing offense in order to give themselves an unfair advantage.
As can be expected, Brady and the Patriots strenuously denied these allegations and maintained their innocence. The NFL went on to conduct its own investigation and concluded that the QB must have known what Patriots’ employees were doing. They also stated that it was unlikely the deed was done without his knowledge and berated him for his unwillingness to cooperate with the investigation.
The NFL subjected Brady to a four-game suspension and fined his team about $1 million. They also took away two draft picks from the Patriots and consequently changed the rules for monitoring ball pressure. Brady initially contested his suspension with both the NFL appeals committee as well as the regular courts. This appeals process lasted upon until the 2016 season when he decided to face his punishment in good faith. He thus missed the first four games of the 2016 season.
Upon the conclusion of his suspension, Tom Brady continued from where he left off. He went on to complete 291 of 432 passes for 3554 yards and 28 TDs as the Patriots won 14 out of 16 regular-season games. They equally breezed through the playoffs and made it to Super Bowl LI. Super Bowl LI provided Brady’s sternest test to date.
His team was down 28 to 3 to the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter but he refused to give up. He roused his teammates to score an unanswered 25 points to tie the game by the end of regulation time. In the extra time, Brady and his team engineered what is now regarded as the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to triumph 34-28.
FOREVER A PATRIOT pic.twitter.com/QSBOJBs4uy
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020
Saying Goodbye to the Patriots After Twenty Years
Following that 2016 championship, Tom Brady spent three more seasons with the New England Patriots during which he led them to another Super Bowl title. Overall, the QB won six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots. There was also a host of individual accolades including 14 Pro-Bowl selections, 3 First-Team All-Pro selections, NFL offensive player of the year (2x), NFL 100th anniversary all-time team, NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, and NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
It was, therefore, a mutually beneficial relationship between Brady and the Patriots but everything that has a beginning must have an end and so, the player decided not to renew his contract in March 2020. In an emotional statement, he praised the winning culture and great values that he and the Patriots had established and expressed his gratefulness for all that they had taught him. He also stated that he cherished the opportunity of being part of the team and couldn’t have been the man he was today without their help. The player then restated his eternal gratefulness even as his football journey took him to a new place.
The Patriots accepted Brady’s decision in good faith and took out several billboards to thank him, dubbing him the greatest of all time. Such a show of goodwill was however not enough to stop speculations about the real reason behind the player’s departure. Some stated that he had had enough of the Patriots’ legendary coach, Bill Belichick, while others felt that the coach didn’t make him feel wanted. A third perspective had it that the player simply wanted new challenges as he had said as much in an article in The Players Tribune.
Whatever the reason behind his departure, Tom Brady is now signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is still showing that he has got many talents in him. In his first four games for the Buccaneers, he completed 101 of 151 passes for 1122 yards and 11 TDs as he took them to 3 victories out of 4 games. In one particular game, he scored five TDs marking the seventh time he has done that in his career. On the other hand, Brady’s former team, The Patriots, are also adjusting to life without him. Relying on the help of quarterback, Cam Newton, they have won two of their first four games post-Brady era.
Brady’s and Wife, Brazilian Supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, Met On a Blind Date
Tom Brady may have won numerous trophies in the course of his career but they all pale in comparison to the real loves of his life which is his wife and children. The six-time Super Bowl winner is married to the superstar model, Gisele Bundchen. He and the Brazilian lady were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend in 2006. They took to each other immediately with Bundchen confessing that Tom’s beautiful and charismatic smile convinced her that he was the one right away.
The couple delved headlong into a relationship but they soon encountered troubled waters after Brady’s former girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, became pregnant for him. It was truly a difficult moment for Bundchen as she agonized over whether to remain with Brady or cut her losses. She decided on the latter and has never regretted it to date. After three years of dating, the couple got engaged in 2009. 10 days later, they tied the knot in a small catholic ceremony held at the St Monica Catholic Church in California. They also held another ceremony on their Costa Rica beach house two months later. Both ceremonies had their closest friends and family in attendance.
His Family Live on a Plants-based Diet
Brady and Gisele have been together for about 11 years now and are a power couple in every sense of the word. Back home, they have welcomed two children namely son, Benjamin Rein, on the 8th day of December 2009 and daughter, Vivian Lake, born in 2012. Another important member of their family is Tom’s son with Bridget, John Edward Thomas (b. in August 2007) whom Gisele has described as her sweetest bonus child. The family primarily make their home in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Their exquisite mansion features about five bedrooms, a sunroom, a wine storage facility, a library, gym, nursery, and staff quarters. Brady and Giselle also own several homes in Los Angeles and New York City. They have also rented a mansion in Florida following Brady’s move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. The Brady bunch are popular for their plants-based diet which features vegetables, lean white meats, water, and avocado ice cream.
Brady and his wife often hit up the red carpet looking all perfect and golden. This does not suggest that their union is a bed of roses though. The couple has dealt with issues such as Brady’s support for Donald Trump as well as insinuations by his wife that he has suffered concussions in the NFL, which he denied. They have also disagreed on his retirement date. Gisele, who quit active modeling in 2015, wants her man done with the NFL but he persists. She, therefore, has no option but to make her peace with it.
Such acceptance has no doubt contributed to the success of their union. Her husband has meanwhile described her as the most energetic and positive person he has met while she cherishes him because of his core values, such as love for family and his catholic faith, as well as the fact that he has a pure heart.