You know there’s too many words to say about someone when you can’t even figure out the proper place to start.
For more than two decades, more than 80 percent of my life, Tom Brady has been hovering around the top of the football world. For most of those 20-plus years, he was the peak of it all.
Seven Super Bowl wins in 10 appearances. 10 conference championships spanning each of the NFL’s two halves. Three league MVP awards, four Super Bowl MVP honors, and more regular-season and postseason records on his resume than you could ever count on two hands, let alone one.
All of those accomplishments and statistical achievements will tell the story for years to come, and will be on full display when Brady gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2027. But, what won’t be tangibly evident are the memories the greatest quarterback of all time created throughout his legendary career.
It’s tough to replicate the feeling that Patriots fans felt when Brady closed out Foxboro Stadium in the snow in the “Tuck Rule Game.”
How can you top the feelings that came when the underdog Patriots took down “The Greatest Show on Turf” by beating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI?
There’s nothing that will come close to the rollercoaster of emotions that fans felt throughout Super Bowl XLIX, one of the greatest all-around football games I’ve ever seen, or the improbable 25-point comeback late in Super Bowl LI.
It’s all out there on paper, on YouTube, and in the NFL’s all-encompassing video archives that will get shown on the NFL Network for years to come. But, it’s impossible to properly capture everything that football fans, myself included, felt internally throughout Brady’s tenure in the league.
The excitement of the Super Bowl wins and dramatic comebacks outweighs the sadness that came with the three Super Bowl losses, the lost season due to a torn ACL, and the drama that came with Deflategate. But, the rollercoaster was what made it all so much fun.
Those same ups and downs are what made his run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fun for some and saddening for others. His success down in Florida added to his legendary status, but left a sour taste in the mouths of those who felt he would play out the rest of his career in that Patriot red, white, and blue.
For me, it was a sobering experience.
I had experienced Brady as a fan, leading my favorite team to success throughout my childhood and into adulthood. I had experienced him as a member of the media, getting the opportunity to chat with him in a professional, up-close-and-personal way after an AFC East title, a close win in Chicago, and a foggy Sunday night in Foxborough.
After all of that, it was fun to watch him from a distance, and feel what others around the country felt for all of those years.
In the grand scheme of things, I like to think I became a better football fan because of it.
That statement explains most of what I appreciate most about Brady’s time in the NFL.
Football is a true passion of mine, and watching games on Sunday’s, Monday’s, Thursday’s, and random days in between is a true highlight in my life.
Tom Brady drove that passion for me, and provided me with more joy than anyone could ever reasonably ask for from a sports-specific perspective.
He made me a better football fan overall, and really gave me a sport that I will enjoy for years to come, hopefully passing down to generations in the long run.
It’s impossible to put this all into such a small amount of words, and I’m sure the feelings will continue to grow stronger in his absence.
But, for now, I’ll just say this: Thank you for everything, Tom Brady. It meant the world to me.