Tom Brady Retires: My Tribute to the GOAT

Cam Cobey, Sports Editor

I never thought this day would come. On Feb. 1, 2022, Tom Brady announced his retirement from the game of football. 

Brady made the announcement on Instagram, three days after NFL Insider Adam Schefter prematurely reported on the retirement. 

“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes,” Brady’s post read, “I am not going to make that competitive commitment (to football) anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”

Brady went on to thank his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates, coaches, executives, and fans, as well as his family and friends. Brady did not dedicate any words to the New England Patriots, the team with which he spent 20 seasons. 

After 22 seasons, Brady is a seven-time Super Bowl Champion (most all-time), three-time MVP, five-time Super Bowl MVP, and fifteen-time Pro Bowler. The list of accolades continues. Tom Brady is the best football player and quarterback in the history of the National Football League.

Coming out of the University of Michigan, Brady was a gawky, slightly overweight 22 year old, who had started just two years on Michigan’s football team and ran a 5.28 40 yard dash time. Brady was drafted 199th during the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. It is safe to say that no one could have expected Brady’s career to unfold how it did.

Brady took over the starting job in New England in 2001 after the 1993 NFL Draft’s first overall selection, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, suffered a spine injury in the second week of the season. Brady pounced on this opportunity. He led the Patriots to an 11-3 regular season record and marched through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl, where they went on to defeat Kurt Warner and the vaunted St. Louis Rams.

Brady then went on to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 2004 and 2005 against the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, increasing his accolades to three Super Bowls in four seasons. The Patriots were only the second team in NFL history to achieve three accolades this quickly, and one of seven teams to win back-to-back. 

In 2007, Brady had one of the best statistical seasons a quarterback has ever had. He led the Patriots to a powerful season that ended with a devastating Super Bowl loss, the team’s only loss of the season. But Brady won an MVP that year, throwing 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. His touchdown to interception ratio of 6.25 to 1, which was good for 15th all-time. 

Brady went on to win three more Super Bowls with the Patriots in the 2010s, in 2015, 2017, and 2019, and two MVPs in 2010 and 2017. Most notably, Brady led the Patriots from being down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, throwing for 466 yards and 2 touchdowns on his way to a 34-28 victory. 

Brady tested the waters in free agency in 2020, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He took a team that had only been above .500 once in the past nine seasons all the way to a Super Bowl title in his first year in a new organization and a news conference. In doing so, he notched a record-setting 7th Super Bowl ring.  The legendary football player’s impact on this team exemplifies the Tom Brady effect. 

Tom Brady is the GOAT. He is the most decorated quarterback in NFL history and had the longest-running career. It is hard to imagine there will ever be another quarterback like Tom Brady, and his retirement marks the end of an era in football.