The 1st of February has been imprinted in universal sports history as Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, announced his retirement from the field. That day, Tom Brady left his space on the playing field to become something more: an American legend.
Brady’s professional accomplishments are simply extraordinary: 22 seasons, 243 league victories, 84,520 yards thrown and 624 touchdown passes, 7 SuperBowl rings, 5 SuperBowl MVP nominations and 3 NFL MVP nominations, all at the highest level of competition in the sport worldwide.
Tom Brady is an American legend
For his sparks of genius, such as that glorious day of Super Bowl 51, where he led the Patriots to a seemingly impossible victory over the Atlanta Falcons. There, in just 17 minutes, Tom and his teammates were able to turn around a 25-point defeat in the final moments of the third quarter.
For the extraordinary perseverance that comes with staying for 22 years in the NFL, performing at the highest level of competition, against the best in the world… and winning. In these two decades, many other players have emerged, perhaps even more talented than Brady, some have even worn a Super Bowl ring, but only one legend is capable of winning seven.
Because, as I commented a year ago, celebrating Brady’s last Super Bowl, Tom embodies 4 pillars of American greatness: the sum of individual talent, teamwork, a strong support structure, and the importance of family. These four factors have been key to his success and are the indispensable pillars for understanding the aspiration and inspiration of the American model.
What will happen to Tom Brady now?
With all that he has achieved, he might as well buy a country house, lie in the hammock and rest for the rest of his life. But that surely won’t be the case. We’ll see him challenging to be the best, maybe as a coach, maybe as a sports analyst… Maybe even as a political leader? To be honest, possibly he could even be president; after all, stranger things have happened.
No matter which path he chooses, his legacy will remain a benchmark for generations. In the 153 years of the game, millions of people have competed at every level; in the 122 years of the NFL more than 26,000 players have competed at the highest professional level. Of all of them, Tom Brady has been the best.
Watching him on the field has been a true privilege, which as of today becomes an equally great commitment for the quarterbacks who remain in the league: Mahomes, Allen, Rodgers, Burrow, Stafford and others, may never fill even one of Brady’s shoes, but they will have to give it all to even come close to the legacy of the greatest.
And us, from the TV and the stands, will continue to be witnesses.