It’s become one of the classic Boston stereotypes. Along with not using r’s and frequenting Dunkin Donuts, we worship Tom Brady like he’s some sort of deity.
For New Englanders over the age of 20, Tom Brady has been the one constant in our lives for the past two decades. Some of you were infants who learned to walk and talk, went through schooling, and are now either in college or in the workforce. Some of you have progressed from grammar school students to independent adults, possibly married with children. If you were in high school when Brady took over, you’re now well into your thirties. Parents have become grandparents, loved ones have been lost, and most of you have either been hired, fired, promoted, or demoted. Potentially all four. But through all of the family matters, personal accomplishments and setbacks, graduations, baby showers, funerals, one thing has remained the same since 2001. Brady and the Pats.
Tom himself has gone through some important progressions. He’s had four kids and found the love of his life. He’s developed into an excellent father and husband on top of being one of the best teammates to ever play professional sports. He’s been a prime role model by setting a gold standard in regards to work ethic and respect for other human beings. His 16 years as Honorary Co-Chair of the Best Buddies Challenge showed us his compassionate side. Talking trash in the face of Ray Lewis and screaming at Josh McDaniels on the sideline showed us his unbreakable will to win. The end result was six Super Bowls, nine Super Bowl appearances, 13 AFC Championship appearances, three MVP’s, countless records, and a lifetime of memories on and off the field.
Tom Brady not only reversed the fate of the New England Patriots, he shifted the overall attitude of an entire six-state region. We hardly gave the 24 year-old kid a chance when he came in for Bledsoe back in September of ‘01. Most of us didn’t know who the hell he was, plus we were inherently bitter due to the recent history of Boston sports. Everything sucked and that was not about to change because of some sixth-round draft pick.
It didn’t take long for us to hop on the bandwagon. Before the playoffs even started, Brady jerseys were everywhere. Since then, we’ve been the most privileged fan base on the planet. That may not seem like a big deal to people who aren’t as passionate about their teams as we are, but we know how much it means to us. Tom knows how much it means to us.
We’ll be alright. Once the world starts functioning again, we’ll find other outlets to make us happy and balance out the stress of everyday life. It just won’t be watching the Pats shit on the rest of the NFL. I’m not saying they’ll suck, I’m just saying that no quarterback will ever be as good as Brady so there’s a strong chance that we’ll never see that level of domination again. It will be an adjustment. All we can do now is appreciate the greatness that we’ve had the privilege of witnessing and rooting for. Fans all over New England are showing their respect by hanging Brady jerseys outside their windows, and I encourage you to do the same if you have one. Thank him for providing our lives with some stability, for giving us so many reasons to be happy, and for showing us the importance of not only living with passion and conviction, but instilling those values into the people around us. He’s the definition of an icon.