As much as I wanted a Tom Brady farewell tour, I always figured it wasn’t his style. When the news broke that TB12 aka GOAT was calling it a career, that was a tough pill to swallow.

After all, Tom Brady won the first Super Bowl I ever watched in it’s entirety when the Patriots defeated the Rams. Here we are after 22 seasons in the NFL, he is one year removed from winning his 7th Super Bowl. For further context, here are some of the things that have happened since his first appearance…

  • 9/11 Attack
  • 4 Different Presidents Have Held Office
  • Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, IG, Tik Tok all Born
  • All 8 Harry Potter Movies Released
  • TRL was MTV’s Number One Show
  • Friends was the number one show
  • First iPod Released

Legendary isn’t even a strong enough word to describe what he did in the NFL.

Brady by the Numbers

  • 1st in Wins – 243 (57 more than 2nd place)
  • 3rd in Win Percentage – .769%
  • 1st in Yards – 84,520 (4,162 more than 2nd place)
  • 1st in Pass TDs – 624 (53 more than 2nd place)
  • 4th in TD to INT Ratio – 3.07
  • 2nd in 4th Quarter Comebacks – 42
  • T-2nd in Game Winning Drives – 53
  • 3 MVPs (Potential 4th)
  • 1st in Playoff Wins – 35 (22 more than 2nd)
  • 1st in Super Bowl Wins – 7 (More than every franchise)
  • 1st in Super Bowl MVPs – 5 (2 more than 2nd)
  • 1st in Playoff Pass Yards – 13,049 (5,710 more than 2nd)
  • 1st in Playoff Pass TDs – 86 (41 more than 2nd)

He won more than any other quarterback because he was such a goddamn chameleon. He always adapted his game in ways to translate to wins. Read that nerd column here: https://hotardhuddle.com/2019/08/23/the-goat-evolution-of-tom-brady/

Even though he said he would call the quits once he started sucking, that clearly wasn’t the case. He is coming off a season where he led the NFL in completions, attempts, yards and TDs. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t unexpected. I am just glad he came back after winning last year to run it back.

Unfortunately for me, I wish I would have appreciated his earlier years more. I think people often mischaracterize competitive nature, confidence and winning as a habit as arrogant. I don’t believe sports fans are taught nor know the difference as we grow watching these icons unfold and blossom before us. If celebrations and competitive nature gets the best of your team or players you claim to be fans of, it’s whatever and it gets swept under the rug. The second that guy you don’t like does it, well, he’s the biggest piece of shit of all.

Growing up, I felt that way about Tom Brady. I remember rooting for the Rams, Panthers, Eagles and the Giants in his first four Super Bowls because I couldn’t stand him. I remember being pissed when he broke Peyton Manning’s single season TD record when he tossed 50, 23 of which to Randy Moss (who I loved…the irony).

Around 2009 or 2010, late in high school / early in college, my thoughts on Brady began to fade and I just began to appreciate that I was witnessing history unfold with the career he had. I just kicked myself for not giving a shit about the early parts of it. I was too busy being hard pressed on Manning being the better QB. From 2010 to now, he blew the fucking lid off the QB debate. Damn it, I am just happy I enjoyed the ride. As each year passed, I just kept thinking how I didn’t want this to be a debate. I just wanted Brady to stake the claim that he is undoubtedly the GOAT. He did.

As each year passed, I wondered when the day would come that he would call the quits and thinking how I would feel.

I would say there are athletes who retire and a part of your fandom dies, but that isn’t accurate. I am not sure how exactly to phrase it. I just sit back and think, “well shit, what now?” For me, I felt that with Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Abby Wambach and Michael Phelps to name a few. I think back to all the iconic moments from them and always feel like it was never enough. I wanted more. Even though we are undoubtedly talking about pillars of their respective sports.

None of them come close to how I felt when Brady called it a career. As I have gotten older, I tend to follow cheer for certain athletes more so than teams. Brady is unrivaled for me in that category. As each year passed, I grew more and more fond of what he does on the field. I just love his confidence off the field.

Here are my 5 Favorite Tom Brady Moments…

5. 2007 Season – Breaking the System

The Patriots signed Randy Moss and Wes Welker giving them an untouchable 1-2 punch at receiver. This was the season that made start believing he was more than just a “system” quarterback, which is an absolutely stupid term by the way. Although they fell one game short of a perfect 19-0, this season pushed Brady into undoubtedly elite at QB. He broke the then TD record, tossing 50. Not only this break the idea that Brady was a “system” QB. This season was also the blueprint for the mold the NFL is today.

Brady took a league lead 49% of his snaps out of the shotgun. Only 2 other teams were above 40%. The league as a whole took only 26% of their snaps out of the shotgun. That trend has continued since then. In 2021, the NFL as a whole ran 63% of their offensive plays out of the shotgun.

The second thing the Patriots did with Brady was up their tempo and run more no huddle, especially to open the game. Unfortunately, tempo and no huddle tracking wasn’t refined until the season after so I don’t have any hard data there. In 2008, Ravens paced the NFL on 3.4% of their snaps. Last season, the NFL did such on 48% of the snaps.

In 2007, Patriots ran primarily out of 11 and 12 personnel (1 RB and 1 TE / 2 TE). The NFL as a whole had two running backs on the field nearly 40% of the time. The Patriots ran two backs 15% of their snaps. The only other team who par for the course with the Patriots was the Colts with Peyton Manning. Now, 11 personnel is THE base offense for all 32 teams. The league is operating out of it 61% of the snaps.

4. Tom Brady announces Gronk is Coming Back for Another

Sometimes the best moments for Brady did not happen on the field. We got drunken Tom or the time he got choked up talking about his dad after a kid asked who his hero was. He released a video inspired by Anchorman announcing that Gronk would be joining him in Tampa and it was fucking awesome.

3. Brady defeats the Legion of Boom

I will admit, I was a big fan of LOB and cheered for them to win because I wanted them to be the next dynasty in the NFL. I was talking shit to a friend the entire game and that friend sat there quietly taking it. Then, when Butler picked it off, he jumped up and gave me an ear full in a glorious tirade. It was incredible.

Of course people use that pick to slight Brady. That pick also overshadows the fact that Brady was down 10 heading into the 4th quarter. He completed 14 of his final 16 passes, including 2 TDs, against one of the best defenses historically. He lead the Patriots to a slim lead.

Seahawks could’ve, would’ve, should’ve, they fucking didn’t. Brady still gets the dub over one of the best defenses ever.

2. Brady with the ultimate comeback, 28-3

Thank you for providing everyone with jokes that will last a lifetime. No more needs to be said here.

1.Tompa Bay Wins

The second Brady signed with Tampa, I jumped on the bandwagon. Granted, you will still have people discredit everything he has done no matter what. It’s amazing that after 2 decades of pure goatness, people will still try to paint Belichick as the only reason he won so much. The win in Tampa just gave Brady fans the ultimate get fucked moment.

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