Goodbye, Tampa Tom

Tom Brady Announces His Retirement


Cian Leach

Used with permission from Unsplash.

The end of an era. Tom Brady has called it quits after 22 years of 100% commitment to the game of football. We all have to appreciate that commitment and all that he brought to us on and off the field for 22 years. The game is nothing without Brady — one of the greatest of all time, and debatably The Greatest. Most know his story, but let’s take a recap of a career that will never be matched.

On draft day in 2000 entering the 6th round, Tom Brady, the well-known University of Michigan quarterback, waited  through 199 picks and 6 other quarterbacks to become the backup for Drew Bledsoe in New England. The quarterback got his first snaps on the field when Drew Beldsoe went down with an injury, beginning Brady’s dominance and record-breaking career. He took the team to the playoffs and after the most controversial call of the Tuck Rule, Brady led his team to the Super Bowl — and won. New England made the playoffs again in 2003 & 2004, winning the super bowl in both.

On March 20th, 2020 Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some would say he made this move to prove he wasn’t a system QB, other say it’s because he was ready to retire. I would say both of those are correct, as he makes the move away from football.

Tampa Tom is a version of Tom Brady most of us had never seen before. He was fun, energetic, and continued to be competitive. He brought all-time greats like Rob Gronkowski and Antiono Brown to Tampa, and helped elevate an already-talented team. Not only did he take this team to the Super Bowl as the captain of the ship, he helped them win it over the defending champions, Kansas City. This Bucs team was the first to play at home and win at home in the Super Bowl.

Brady will end his career in Tampa, though it would seem we haven’t seen the last of Tom Brady. In his goodbye letter he requested “to be invited to [the] next boat parade.”

As he concludes his record-breaking and award-winning career, we pause to look back at his many accomplishments: He never had a losing record in his 22 seasons, never had a losing record to any NFL team, is a seven-time super bowl champion with 10 super bowl appearances. He won five Super Bowl MVPs, along with three regular season MVPs. After his injury in 2008 Brady came back to win Comeback player of the year in 2009. He also went undefeated with a loss in the super bowl to the giants. Tom went to 15 pro bowls, three first-team All Pros, and three second-team All Pros. He led the league in passing touchdowns five times, passing yard four times, passer rating leader twice, and completion percentage leader once. He was the Sports Illustrated athlete of the year twice, and named to the NFL 100 team in 2020.

Brady has the most wins by a QB, most completions by a QB, most yards and touchdowns by a QB all in NFL history.

He has the greatest career in football and all we can say is THANK YOU! The NFL is not what it is without Tom Brady.

As he walks through the tunnel and locker room one last time and hangs up his cleats, the NFL loses a shining star. As he said in his retirement announcement, “My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against- the competition was fierce and deep just how I like it.”

A one-of-a-kind goodbye from a one-of-a-kind player.

I say with much love, appreciation, and gratitude. Thank you, Tom, for everything.