The year was 2000 and a young boy from California was drafted fresh out of Michigan University. Barely 23 years of age, no one knew this kid's name; much less that he would go on to join the ranks of great players known as NFL Legends. That boy was none other than Tom Brady!
by Lexi Sheets
Either you love him or hate him, Tom Brady’s name is one that is talked about throughout football. Tom was drafted by the New England Patriots as the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft and spent his first season in the NFL sitting on the bench, Playing backup for Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots had no idea what they had sitting on the sideline, their future, their dynasty was waiting for discovery on that sideline.
Brady got a chance to show what he was made of in the season of 2001 when Bledsoe was injured in a game early in the season. Tom Brady was to fill in for Bledsoe; Brady took every opportunity to show out, even leading the Patriots to the first of many Super Bowl victories. He receives the first of four Super Bowl MVP awards, the most received by a single player to date. All these accomplishments landed him the starting quarterback job for the New England Patriots for the next seventeen years.
He then took the Patriots back to the Super Bowl in 2003 when he lead his Patriots to a 24-14 win over Payton Manning and his Colts. Brady would then go on to lead them to a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Winning Super Bowl 38 while also winning Super Bowl MVP award for the second time.
Tom Brady returned the following season to lead his team right back to that very stage. Getting his team to Super Bowl 39 after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-27 in the AFC Championship. The Patriots would now have the chance for back-to-back NFL Championships. Facing a Donovan Mcnabb and the Eagles offense proved challenging for Brady and the Patriots, as the final score in Super Bowl 39 was 24-21 with the Patriots edging out the victory with a field goal. Brady had done it, he gave the Patriots their first consecutive Super Bowl victories and thus a dynasty was in the making.
With an up/down roller coaster ride over the next two years. Brady would return to the field in the 2007 season, leading the Patriots on an undefeated season until they got to the Super Bowl. They entered the Super Bowl with a 16-0 although that was enough to get the Patriots added to the list of undefeated teams. The Patriots came up one short of being truly undefeated when they lost the 2008 Super Bowl to the NY Giants 17-14. But what a feat taking a team on a 16 win ride all while being 31 in a sport that is very unforgiving on the body.
Over the next eight years, Patriots would have a hard time getting anywhere near the big show. Then in 2015 Brady managed to get his Patriots back to the Big Game against the Seattle Seahawks. Thanks to a game-saving interception made by Malcolm Butler that put the ball back in Brady’s hands. Tom took the opportunity to take the lead off the interception putting up 7 more points in a 21-24 to lead his team to a 28-24 win over the Seahawks.
Patriots would make one more run at the Lombardi trophy in 2016 going 14-2 in the regular season to get them to the 50th Super Bowl to face off with the Atlanta Falcons.
Everyone thought it was the Falcons year to get their first Super Bowl win. The Falcons were poised to get that Super Bowl win coming out and scoring 28 points against the Patriots and holding them to only 3 points in the first half of the game.
But, the Falcons forgot who they were playing against, Brady came out in the second half of the game putting up 25 points to send the game into the first ever overtime in a Super Bowl. The Patriots scored a touchdown to win the game 34-28. making it number five for the Pats.
So you may be asking yourself “ I thought this was about Tom Brady playing until he’s 45? What’s with the Super Bowl history?” well your right this is about Tom Brady and rather or not he can play to 45. The history is just to show what all Brady has already endured in his career.
As I said, football is a very unforgiving sport, the toll it takes on one's body can be overwhelming. Most players retire in their late 30’s due to the impact that all those hits have on the body. Pain in the joints, hips, or back can only be kept at bay for so long. Head problems can arise years after playing the game. Which can be a reason for a player to walk away from the game they love.
An injury is the number one reason players leave the field for good. Players never know from one game to the next if it will be their last. One good solid hit or landing the wrong way and you're done. So can Brady stay conditioned enough to avoid these types of injuries for five more years?
Well, seeing that here in 2017 at forty years old, Tom Brady still looks as good as he did when he was twenty-three. Winning nine out of eleven games played so far, and is poised to when his next five match-ups. Despite the fact that many of his top receivers are out with injuries themselves. He has thrown 26 touchdowns this season and only three interceptions. Passed for 3,374 yards so far, and with five more games in the season he could tie or beat his 2011 passing yards record.
So can he play to 45? I say yes! Provided that he doesn’t take a career-ending injury. Skillwise he can definitely play. Healthwise, Brady seems to be in the best shape of his life. So I stand behind him and say play to your heart's content Brady. Just watch your blindside cause that could be the injury I speak of so adamantly in this article.