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Tom Brady hangs up the cleats

Nicklas Heminger

Sports Editor

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Jeffrey Beall

Tom Brady announced his retirement from the National Football League yesterday. A career that spanned 23 seasons and was encapsulated by seven Super Bowl Championships with two different organizations.

Before the fame and success Brady acquired in the NFL, he was a relatively unimpressive college quarterback at the University of Michigan. A rough NFL Combine did little to help his draft stock and he fell to the sixth round in 2000, where he was drafted by the New England Patriots. He was considered a longshot to have a lengthy and successful NFL career, but the passion and work ethic of Brady pushed him to heights greater than even he could dream of.

Brady played 20 seasons in Foxboro, finding success quickly and securing a Super Bowl Championship in only his second season. What few around the league had realized was Brady had quickly gone from a NFL longshot to a franchise quarterback. Brady followed up his 2001 championship, by securing back-to-back Super Bowl Championships in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. A few seasons later, Brady found himself in the Super Bowl once again, however history beckoned as the Patriots were poised to be the first team to go undefeated in an NFL season. The Patriots, unfortunately, lost to the Giants, but Brady captured the NFL Most Valuable Player this season. Brady, once again captured MVP honors after a very successful individual season in 2010.

The Brady-led Patriots found themselves back in the Super Bowl the following year, but were upended once again by the New York Giants. Brady found Super Bowl success again in 2014, defeating the Seattle Seahawks, while tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback.

Two seasons and one scandal later, Brady and the Patriots went down in history as they mounted the largest comeback in Super Bowl history to defeat the Atlanta Falcons. The win marked Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win making him the only quarterback to accomplish this feat. The following year, Brady captured MVP honors for the third time and another trip to the Super Bowl, before falling to the Eagles. In 2018, the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots became the second team to win six Super Bowls, and Tom Brady became the oldest player to win a Super Bowl as well as the first player to win six. The following season, following a Wild Card defeat, Brady announced he would not resign with the Patriots and elected to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady’s transition to Tampa Bay was not smooth, as the quarterback struggled statistically early. Brady and the Buccaneers successfully corrected their season and marched through the playoffs, before thrashing the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The win marked many achievements for Brady as he became the second player to win a Super Bowl with two different franchises, but the first to win Super Bowl MVP for both teams. Brady became the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl in different conferences, while tying Otto Graham with the most championships in professional football history. Brady played two more seasons with the Buccaneers before deciding to retire from the NFL.

Brady retires as a seven-time Super Bowl Champion, five time Super Bowl MVP, three time NFL MVP, two time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, three time first-team All-Pro, three time second-team All-Pro and a 15-time NFL Pro-Bowler. He also holds records for career quarterback wins, career passing attempts, career passing completions, career passing touchdowns, career passing yards, longest touchdown pass, pass attempts in a season and pass completions in a season.

Brady has many other career accomplishments that are far too long to list.

Despite Brady’s retirement, he will not be gone from the game long, as he is set to join Fox as a lead color commentator for the network following his retirement.

Brady’s name will always be synonymous with the NFL and the history of the game. That said, we say goodbye to football’s undisputed Greatest of All Time.


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