Football, Sports

The legacy of Tom Brady: His impact on the past, present, and future of football

Amidst the excitement of the National Football League (NFL) playoffs, rumours began to circulate about the retirement of one of the most talented players to ever step foot on the field: Tom Brady. To the shock of many fans, the announcement was made official on Feb. 1, when the quarterback confirmed his retirement from the NFL via Instagram

Brady wrote a heartfelt message to his fans, teammates, and anyone else who had an impact on his career in an eight-page post.

“I’ve done a lot of reflecting this past week and have asked myself difficult questions,” Brady wrote in his announcement. “And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100 [per cent] of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.” 

Anybody who knows anything about sports knows Tom Brady. The debate over the greatest athlete of all time is always a heavily contested one; however, most football fans staunchly believe it to be Brady. Being held to such a high standard is both a blessing and a curse: Brady has shown up year after year dominating the NFL, but this level of success does not come easy. Any sport, especially at a professional level, is gruelling on both the body and the mind, and his accomplishments only add extra pressure to maintain his stellar record. Perhaps, after 22 years, Brady wanted to end on a strong note with the most passing yards in the league this regular season—a whopping 5316—or perhaps he just wanted that monumental pressure lifted off his shoulders. 

Since being drafted by the New England Patriots in 2000, Brady has never given less than his absolute best for the teams and organizations he’s played for. With his countless accolades, it is difficult to make a valid argument denying Tom Brady as the greatest athlete to ever play the sport of football. The statistics are there to see: 15-time pro bowl competitor, three-time all pro team member, three-time MVP, and perhaps most notably, seven-time Super Bowl champion. Adding on, over the span of the 20-year Brady-Belichick era, when the Patriots were playing at home in the regular season and leading at halftime, their record was 106-1. 

Brady’s impact extended past the football world, bringing the athlete up to role model status. Patrick Domsa, U1 Management, felt that though Brady’s initial entry into the NFL was met with many doubts, his perseverance and dedication to his craft propelled him forward. 

“He came into the league not really having anything going for him besides the underdog mentality and his drive to succeed,” Domsa said. “He wasn’t an insane arm talent, [and] he couldn’t run like Steve Young or Randall Cunningham, but he still ended up proving everyone wrong, […] which is a pretty great message for kids.”

Nobody has dominated the game like Brady, especially at his age, with his last Super Bowl win at 43 years old. Winning the same number of Super Bowl titles in his twenties as he did in his forties, he’s demonstrated that skill does not necessarily decline with age. 

Brady has been met with nothing but support from the world of football after his decision to retire. Fans like Luke Dawick, U1 Education, continue to celebrate the talented player’s accomplishments. 

“When thinking of Tom Brady, you think of a winner, a leader,” Dawick wrote to the Tribune. “Someone that not just athletes but anyone can look up to. He broke almost every record that a quarterback can have. There will never be another Tom Brady to play in the NFL.”

With his passion for the sport, it is likely that Brady will continue to be involved with the industry in other respects. Whether it be in analytics, management, or another position, many doors remain open for the football veteran. 

Tom Brady is not only the most decorated athlete in football, but one of the most decorated athletes in the history of sports. His retirement is well earned, and his legacy will continue to make an impact on both football and sports as a whole for many years to come. 

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