A Retrospective Brady Legacy

Daniel Mahon
Sports Writer

Tom Brady has retired from the game of football. After playing in the NFL for almost half of his life his resume reads 7 Super Bowls, 3 Most Valuable Player awards, 15 Pro Bowls, and leading in many career quarterback categories such as passing yards, touchdowns, and passes completed. After much speculation and a few false news reports, on February 1st Brady announced on social media that he has decided to hang up the cleats. It is safe to say that he is the greatest NFL player ever.

His 20-year dominance paired with 9 out of his 10 Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots easily put him there. But to further emphasize the point, last season he left the New England Patriots and his longtime coach Bill Belichick and joined a historically dreadful franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite a new system, a new city, and COVID-19; in his first season in Florida he brought a Super Bowl championship. To make things more convincing, his opponent in that matchup was Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is said to be the next face of the league and destined by some to eventually top Brady one day. And this fate is not unfounded as he has already been to back-to-back Super Bowls. But his legacy will now be forever tainted as he has now lost to Brady twice in the playoffs, including the 2020-21 Super Bowl.

This Tom Brady half-and-half jersey has become extremely popular in the past two years, despite Brady’s abrupt departure (Photo courtesy of

But beyond his statistical accomplishments, his impact off the field has been remarkable. For two decades the entire world of Northeastern sports fandom is in relation to him. You either hate to love him, or love to hate him. If you were a football fan in this region, which one matters very little as one thing was guaranteed, Tom Brady ruled your Sundays. Even after he had left the team, Patriots’ fans have nothing but love for Tom Brady. It was common to see a mid-stich Buccaneers and Patriots crossover jersey in either stadium. It shows how much he brought to the franchise and how much he meant to them.

It seemed like this moment would never happen, as Brady was still showing signs of greatness at the age of 44 this past season. In fact, in his 22nd season in the NFL he had his most passing yards in a season. Even though there was an extra game in 2021-22, it shows his play has been utterly consistent despite his age. His body has even gone through some significant injuries such as a torn ACL in his 6th year. Despite this, and all remnants of understanding of the human physiology and aging process, 4 of his 7 Super Bowls have come in the last third of his career, starting in 2014 from age 37 to his last one at age 43. His most dominant reign in the NFL has mainly come through the latest stage of his career. After three titles in his first three playoff appearances, at ages 24, 26, and 27; he did have a dry spell from 2005 to 2013 where he won 0 rings and famously lost to Eli Manning and the New York Giants twice in the Super Bowl, one of them breaking a perfect season. Tom Brady’s down years would be considered many players best or at least above average years. That is how great he truly was

As the sports world views Brady’s career retrospectively, there have been some that have said that he has not only been the greatest football player ever, but the best athlete across all sports. While it is difficult to compare athletes from different sports, when one lists the greatest athletes in sport, Brady’s name is, without a doubt, in the company of Michael Jordan, Pele, Wayne Gretzky, Usain Bolt, and Babe Ruth, to name a few. This shows not only the legacy he leaves in the football world, but in the world of sports as a whole. Brady leaves behind a legacy that almost nobody can match, one that could only have been made by the “GOAT”: the Greatest Of All Time.


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