Tom Brady is my favorite athlete of all time. If you’re reading this Tom Brady is probably your favorite athlete of all time. I’ve been through all the stages of grief, at first I blocked him on Instagram and Twitter. Next, I hide all my TB12 memrobillia because I simply couldn’t deal with such a devastating heartbreak. I can confidently say as I write this blog I’m honestly over it, I hope he goes a firm 9-7 with Bruce Arians and the boys down in Tampa. With all that’s going on in the world today I wanted to write about something that made me smile. From the time I was born Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. has been the Quarterback for the New England Patriots, and I’ll be damned if him wanting to go have some fun in the sun destroys these memories for me.
2003 AFC Championship Game
This was a huge game for TB12 and the Pats. We had bested Peyton and the stacked Tony Dungy Colts before, but never in a playoff match up. It was the first time the greatest QB Rivalry would meet when it mattered. It was the classic Yankees-Sox level of beef. Peyton vs. Brady was must see TV and in 2003 when the Colts came to Foxboro it was no different. Brady comes out first drive on a rainy 32 degree January night and immediately marches downfield to assert his dominance. 4th & 1 at midfield? Tommy sneaks it up the gut for a first (classic), caps the drive off with a laser to David Givens. The game was basically over at this point, Gillette was absolutely electric, Belichick’s already sending it on 4th down at the logo. Peyton manages to march his way down to about the 8 yard line before he fires it pretty much directly at Rodney Harrison (classic), the outcome was almost certain after that. Peyton plays the rest of the game seeing ghosts, and running from our pass rush. Pats make it a long, slow, embarrassment and then they go on to win Super Bowl XXXVIII, basically ending any chance of people arguing Manning > Brady allllll the way back in 2003.
Super Bowl XXXVI
2001 was the quite a rollercoaster of a season for the New England Patriots. Week 2 our franchise QB goes down, leaving any hopes of possibly making a wild card run in the hands of our 6th round pick out of Michigan. Up until the playoffs Brady performed well, he was definitely putting in work for a 1 year vet off the bench but we had no clue what this kid was capable of. The super bowl that year showed us that not only was he a franchise QB, it also showed us what a savage he was when it mattered most. Steps up to face Kurt Warner and the Rams, best comparison I have for them hype-wise would be the modern day Chiefs with Mahomes. Nobody thought they could be beat, and especially not the inexperienced Patriots with an unproven commodity at QB and an average set of skill players surrounding him. That last 4th quarter drive was arguably my favorite moment of his. John Madden is commentating the game arguing that the Patriots should just kneel the ball and plan up a script for OT and Brady comes out in ultimate Brady fashion and plays it perfect. Dump off here, dump off there, BOOM 26 yard dot to Troy Brown. One 6 yard pass later and Vinny was set up to give all of New England football fans to utter “We are champions”… he delivered.
Super Bowl XXXVIII
This was a huuuuge super bowl win for the Patriots. Following the Super bowl against the Rams, the Pats didn’t make playoffs. A lot of people were writing off New England as a fluke, and even questioning the Bledsoe trade. Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday and the boys are back but for bigger stakes. They came into the first Super Bowl as the underdogs, the guys with nothing to lose, this game… they had something to prove. First quarter no points were scored and it was looking a little bit like Jake Delhomme actually had a shot at winning a super bowl (imagine). 2nd quarter and both teams came out shooting. In typical Patriots fashion they keep it a close game, play physical on defense, wear the opponent down on offense. Once again, and this time to solidify the Patriots as an all time legendary group of players.. Brady drives down the field in a tied ball game and flawlessly gets us down right to the point where Vinatieri can sink ANOTHER game winner.
The Entire 2007 Regular Season
What a time to be alive, huh? Brady is literally in his prime of primes, he just started dating Giselle so now he’s the man no matter where he goes. Randy Moss is lining up outside, Wes Welker before all the concussions is sitting in the slot. Watching this football team play was literally poetry in motion. I was walking around elementary school with my Patriots lunchbox and my Tom Brady jersey like I was the man just because I rooted for the Patriots. That’s how this team made everybody feel, they had the swagger, the talent, and football’s Michael Jordan as the signal caller. 50 Touchdowns later and pretty much no argument that they were the most dominant offense in the history of professional football. Despite how it ended (I refuse to talk about it in this or any other blog) we can always look back and remember how hyped we were tuning in to see this group of guys play football on Sundays.
Super Bowl LI
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will ever top that 2nd half of football for me. My wedding, my child being born, it doesn’t matter. Watching the Patriots claw their way back from 28-3 is easily the greatest moment of my life and I can say that with utmost confidence. I don’t even know how to put into words what this game meant for me, us, and even Tom Brady’s legacy. I remember at halftime thinking on behalf on Tom “We really need this one for Tommy, 5-2 (Super Bowl Wins) looks so much better on the GOAT resume then 4-3). Just about an hour later and there was no need for a resume… Tom Brady & The Patriots literally played 3 perfect quarters of football on the biggest stage and didn’t even give us time to stop and enjoy. This was his Mona Lisa, it was OUR Mona Lisa. Regardless of what happens from here on out with the Patriots, Tom, and anything else I will always be able to look back to the moment James White ran that touchdown in and smile from ear to ear. I have to thank Tom for that.