From an almost forgotten sixth-round draft pick to the greatest quarterback – if not NFL player – ever, Tom Brady’s storied career has been nothing short of remarkable.
But, after all the ups and downs, it all came to an end on Wednesday when he announced he was calling time on his 23-year career – this time for good.
All of this seems likely with Brady initially retiring in February 2022 then reversing his decision to play one more season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But this time, the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) seemed to end his illustrious career in the game for sure.
“I’m retiring for good,” he said in a short video posted Twitter.
“I know this process was a big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I thought I’d just hit the record and tell you guys first.
“It won’t last long. You just get a very emotional retirement essay, and I used mine last year.
During his storied career, Brady has won seven Super Bowl rings – more than any individual NFL franchise – six with the New England Patriots and one with the Buccaneers in 2021.
His final season in the league may not have gone to plan both on and off the field, but he has left behind an unparalleled legacy of success.
“Thank you guys for allowing me to fulfill my dream,” he said in the short video. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Brady’s story is one of determination and drive.
Born in California, Brady grew up a huge San Francisco 49ers fan who regularly attended games at Candlestick Park.
In fact, at age four, a young Brady was in attendance for one of the most memorable moments in NFL history, when Joe Montana made “the catch” to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys. threw
Also a standout high school baseball player, he committed to the University of Michigan in 1995.
However, when he got to Michigan, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Brady. He was nowhere close to starting for the team, and so frustrated was he, he sought out Greg Harden, who was the assistant athletic director at the school.
Brady remembers Harden telling him: “If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you?”
In 1998, he finally became the starting quarterback, setting new Wolverines records for most pass attempts and completions in a season.
The following year, despite sharing time with Drew Henson early in the season, he eventually won the job outright, earning himself the nickname “The Comeback Kid” because of some – what would become a trademark – Fightbacks late in games.
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Despite posting a 20-5 record at Michigan in his time as a starter, as well as victories in the 1999 Citrus Bowl and 2000 Orange Bowl, Brady was not a highly sought-after prospect entering the 2000 NFL Draft.
While he had the attributes teams liked, there were other scouts who considered him a knock against him. one A wonderful picture emergedAn unflattering photo taken in the months leading up to the draft.
Despite scouting reports, Brady and his family thought he would be taken between the first and third rounds.
But when the choices came, Brady’s name wasn’t among them. “We were led to believe he was going to be drafted, possibly second round, maybe third round,” Tom Brady Sr. said in the ESPN documentary ‘The Brady 6.’ “They kept calling the quarterback names, and we were stunned.
“We were so worried. It just got worse and worse with each name.
Brady even recalls going for a walk with his parents, having these levels of emotion.
Ultimately, he was drafted in the sixth round, with the 199th pick, by the New England Patriots as compensation, a selection in a draft that “lost more or better qualifying free agents than was acquired in a given year.” obtained with The seventh quarterback will be taken overall.
And once he got to the NFL, it didn’t get much easier. But that was just another hurdle in the fight for “Come Back Kid.”
Tom Brady Announces He’s ‘Retiring For Good’
Patriots owner Robert Kraft remembers the first time he met Brady.
“I still have a picture of Tom Brady coming down the steps of the old Foxboro Stadium with that pizza box under his arm and a thin bean pole, and when he introduced himself to me and said: ‘Hi , Mr. Kraft,’ he was close. Say who he was, but I said: ‘I know who you are, you’re Tom Brady. You’re our sixth-round draft pick,'” Kraft said in 2012. told CBS Boston.
“And he looked me in the eye and said: ‘I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.’ It seems he may be right.”
Despite his confidence, he began his rookie season as the fourth quarterback on the roster behind starter Drew Bledsoe and backups John Freese and Michael Bishop. The Patriots went 5-11 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
It would be the last time the team finished with a 20-year losing record. The main reason? Brady’s rise to starting quarterback.
He began the 2001 season on the bench, while Bledsoe started in the Patriots’ opening week loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. But during a Week 2 clash with the New York Jets, Bledsoe suffered internal bleeding. Although he returned briefly, Brady replaced him for the final series of the game.
Brady was named the starter for the Patriots’ third game of the season, which the Pats won 44–13. And the team hasn’t looked back since, with Brady starting the rest of the season, leading the team to an 11-5 final record and qualifying for the playoffs.
But Brady wasn’t satisfied with just that. He wanted more.
He was the mastermind behind the Patriots’ run to Super Bowl XXXVI where against the explosive St. Louis Rams – dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’ – the late Adam Venteri’s field goal gave New England its first Super Bowl. Title given.
In addition to validating Brady’s place as the starter, the 2001 NFL season marked the beginning of one of the greatest NFL careers of all time.
With Brady at the helm and Bill Belichick as head coach, the Patriots became the most successful team in the NFL.
During his 20 years with the team, Brady won six Super Bowl rings, five Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and three NFL MVP awards.
And as if that wasn’t enough, during his time in Florida, he won another title with the Bucs.
Brady has been named to the Pro Bowl on 15 occasions and won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2009 after returning from a torn ACL in last season’s season opener.
And whatever he accomplished, he did it all while being a standout teammate.
As his backup from 2009-11, Brian Hoyer once said during a weather-enforced stop in Rochester, New York Brady showed hidden talent for his Patriots teammates.
“The whole team is there. And it turns into a beer chugging contest. You’ve got the linemen, Julian Edelman, they all think they’re going to win,” Hoyer told ESPN.
“Then someone says: ‘I hear Tom is very good at chugging beer.’ We don’t usually experience it this way, but we finally get him to do it. He does, and let me tell you, you couldn’t pour the beer into the glass faster. It was incredible. He was sure. And he puts the mug on the table and puts both fists in the air.
“He walked away with a look on his face that said: ‘You really thought you were going to beat me on that?’ The place went crazy.”
In 20 seasons with the Patriots, and three seasons with the Bucs, Brady has broken nearly every NFL quarterback record there is to break.
Here is a list of just a few of the records that Brady holds: Most NFL Championships by a player, Most career wins, Most career pass attempts, Most career pass completions, Most career passing yards touchdowns, most career passing yards and most pass completions in a season.
The New York Giants have had lows, including injuries and two heartbreaking Super Bowl losses, but when you appreciate all the highs they become extraordinary.
In a 2005 interview with 60 Minutes, a 27-year-old Brady told reporter Steve Croft that retirement was the thing that scared him the most, saying, “It’s not easy to work, every day. It’s not easy to show up and do the work, but you’re focused. You know, you’ve got a goal, you’ve got something you’re trying to accomplish.
“And when it’s done, you’re not going to have 80,000 people calling your name. What’s that going to be? I mean, I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot about the astronauts who landed on the moon. go on and come back and they’re so depressed because they can’t do anything in their life that can ever fill that way.”
Now, in 2023, it’s time for Brady to conquer his biggest mountain yet.
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