Tom Brady rose from virtual anonymity to star on the biggest stage in sports, and came out surprise victor over a virtually unbeatable team. And just three more years would yield another two rings, while the sixth round draft pick of the New England Patriots put together some impressive stats.
Come 2013 and Patriot Nation wonders what it will take for an aging quarterback to notch his fourth ring, despite eight years of championship silence for the future Hall of Famer.
Brady has done some amazing things in his career. He has thrown the most touchdown passes in a season with 50. He has thrown for over 5300 yards in a single season. But football isn't only about personal records; while those are great for the books, the goal of any sport is winning games, and ultimately, championships.
Three Super Bowl rings is impressive enough, but what about so many years of missed opportunity? Should Patriot fans be disappointed in their franchise man?
And here is why:
Few quarterbacks have even won a single championship in their entire career; Brady has won three (so far).
Tom Brady makes everybody around him better and more competitive (e.g. Wes Welker).
The Patriots have gone to a total of five Super Bowls under his leadership.
Brady has had his team in seven AFC Championship games, winning five of those.
Tom Brady is one of the greatest field generals to ever play the game, engineering comeback drives in six different playoff games in four years.
How about eight pro bowl selections, two NFL MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs!
Since 2004, Brady has succeeded despite often having few or no true weapons at his disposal, as he did in 2006, nearly overcoming a bogus call in the AFC Championship game with such receiving names as Reche Caldwell... that's what I said!
Tom Brady has been nothing but one of the most accurate, poised quarterbacks ever to play the game. He has quietly thrown nearly three times as many touchdowns as interceptions in his long career, with a career completion percentage of 63.7.
I could go on and on, but the fact remains that Tom Brady is one of the greatest players to have stood under center in the history of the game. Patriot fans have no reason to be disappointed with his performance, or the fact that the team has been a perennial first—place fixture in their division ever since his name was called at 199th in 2000.
So what if he wasn't a number one draft pick. So what if he doesn't hold EVERY record a quarterback can have.
I'll take Tom Terrific on any Sunday, in any fantasy league and in any playoff game or Super Bowl. He is loyalty and dedication personified. He will retire (if he ever does retire) the greatest Patriot of all time. And he is certainly one of the greatest players ever to grace a football field.