a legend forged based on contempt

When he visited Candlestick Park several times in the 1980s to watch the San Francisco 49ers, Tom Brady made Joe Montana his idol, planting in his mind the belief that he would one day be a great NFL quarterback. .

What Brady probably never imagined more than three decades ago is that, when he decides to hang up his helmet and shoulder pads, the weight of his name and the size of his legacy would make him the greatest player in the 100-plus-year history of after winning seven Super Bowl rings (six with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), as well as three NFL Most Valuable Player awards and five Super Bowl and 15 trips to the Pro Bowl ).

The road was not easy for Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., who had to work his way into the NFL with hard work and on several occasions, with disregard for his abilities, as happened in his last years as a quarterback at the University of Michigan.

Brian Griese, son of NFL and Miami Dolphins legend Bob Griese, was the starting quarterback for the Wolverines and led them to a national championship with a perfect season in 1997. Brady’s action was virtually nil until in 1998, after fighting for him, he won the starting position, which he held in his last two years as a collegiate.

Despite winning the Citrus Bowl and Orange Bowl in 1999 and 2000, respectively, with a prestigious university, Brady was not considered a top-tier NFL prospect and was drafted only in the sixth round of the NFL draft. 2000 NFL Draft No. 199 by the New England Patriots.

As is often the case with such a low pick, Brady was relegated to the third team by Bill Belichick, but his work ethic, as the quarterback himself and other teammates recounted in his ESPN+ documentary “Man In The Arena,” saw him rise to on the Patriots’ depth chart until he became Drew Bledsoe’s backup.

We all know the story: A blow to Bledsoe from New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis turned Brady’s life upside down and changed the course of NFL history.

From there, Brady had the opportunity to put into motion the last part of his plan to emulate his boyhood idol, and he did so, once again, by rowing against the current in leading New England to win the first of six Super Bowl rings with which the Patriots became the most dominant dynasty in NFL history.

to overcome scandals

Unlike Joe Montana, Brady had to face accusations and accusations that colored his career at specific times: Spygate, of which he was not the protagonist, and Deflategate, a scandal for which he had to serve a six-game suspension during the season. 2016.

In “Man In The Arena,” Brady talks about both episodes without going into depth, but he describes them as opportunities that both he personally and the Patriots took to prove they could pull through adversity.

When Spygate happened, in 2007, the Patriots put together the only perfect 16-game regular season, which they could not crown in the LII edition of the Super Bowl; in 2016, after serving his penalty, Brady led the Patriots to win the NFL title in the LI edition.

The memory of the human being is cruel, it tends to keep in mind more the bad than the positive and it is, perhaps, the penance that Brady will have to deal with for the rest of his life when Spygate and Deflategate are remembered as the dark side of the dynasty of the Patriots and the legacy of No. 12.

However, that Brady and the Patriots have maintained the dynasty for two decades is not the work of chance.

The talent and level of preparation and execution with which New England won six NFL championships, lost three times in the Super Bowl and reached four conference finals can only make us wonder, what need did the Patriots have to spy or manipulate the balls?

We won’t know the answer, but the mental toughness with which Brady and the Patriots responded to adversity is worthy of recognition.

Adversity is the rival that Brady faced practically his entire career, from the University of Michigan, when he had to deal with no playing time, and in the NFL, where he arrived with practically little chance to play.

Even though they have become a difficult dynasty to emulate, Brady and the Patriots were not without question. After losing Super Bowl LII and missing the playoffs the following year, many said New England’s glory days were over.

After returning to the Super Bowl in the 2011 season and losing it again to the New York Giants, the prediction was that the Patriots would not get up and their dominance was over, however, they began a streak of eight seasons in which, at least , reached the AFC Finals and in that span, won three more NFL titles.

Despite this, each year, prior to each season, history repeated itself and several claimed that the Patriots’ dominance was coming to an end.

One day he would have to end New England’s dominance of the AFC, but not with Brady on the Patriots.

Rowing against the current, battling adversity was a constant throughout most of Brady’s career, and his desire to become a great quarterback was mixed with the challenges he faced during his 22-year career.

The way Brady responded to the disparagement since he was a quarterback at Michigan and after practically coming through the back door to the NFL led him not only to be great.

After 22 seasons, Brady grew his figure to a size that he surely never imagined, even greater than that of his childhood idol, Joe Montana, with whom he will live in eternity in NFL Olympus when, in five years, the name of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. reaches the immortality offered by the Hall of Fame.

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