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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tom Brady "How My Disdain Turned Into Admiration For The Star Quarterback of the New England Patriots"


                                                                                           (John Bazemore/AP)
    (1.) Tom Brady did not always have it so good, but hard work and dedication allowed him to come out on top in his NFL career.  



     For a while, I could never stomach any of Tom Brady's success on the field, much less the sight of him.(He was like that popular guy in school who got all the chicks, no matter what you did, you were always overlooked by all of the of them in favor of him) Seeing him have the last laugh with the Lombardi Trophy three times in four years made me feel sick and uneasy as a fan, much like in baseball when the Yankees would always win the World Series. Because of his success, many football fans essentially saw Brady as a villain who everyone wanted to see be taken down! A great example would be during the New England Patriots historic 2007-08 season. No one could slow down Brady and this particular bunch as he would go on to set an NFL record 50 Touchdown(TD) Passes in a single season that year as he pioneered the New England Patriots to a perfect 16-0 regular record and entered the playoffs as clear Super Bowl favorites. Just as expected, New England would reach the Super Bowl.(the rich just kept getting richer) Not only was a Super Bowl title in Brady's and the Patriots sight, but a place in history as they looked to become the first team in NFL history to finish a season 19-0. The only thing Brady and the Patriots had to do was go through the New York Giants, whom they beat pretty handily in their regular season finale just a little over a month before.

     Late in the 4th Quarter of Super Bowl 42, Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss (whom was Brady's favorite target throughout the season and also set a record of his own that year with an NFL single season record for TD Receptions with 23) for a TD to give the Patriots a 14-10 lead with just 2:42 remaining. The Patriots defense just needed to make one more defensive stop and appeared to be well on their way to doing so until Giants Wide Receiver David Tyree made an acrobatic catch. Tyree's catch was a critical as it helped keep the Giants drive alive and just a few plays later Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress for the go ahead TD. Giving the Giants a 17-14 lead with just 35 seconds left. Despite having three timeouts left, Tom Brady and the Patriots could not even move the ball a single yard on their last possession, with Brady being sacked in the process. On 4th Down, Brady with one last desperate act, hurled the ball into the air intended for Moss only for it to fall incomplete. As a fan of football I was relieved! It felt as if the football gods made everything right, and in the end justice finally prevailed as the evil Tom Brady and New England Patriots were taken down by the New York Giants in a classic "David vs. Goliath" matchup.

     Tom Brady was now dealing with what is arguably one of his most bitter losses in his entire career (something every athlete, no matter at what level, hates to endure.) and to make matters worse for him, he would have to wait much longer for redemption as he would injure himself in the first game of the following season. The injury was severe enough to cause him to miss the entire 2008 season. In retrospect, (this was probably the turning point in which my feelings of turmoil for Tom Brady began to transform into admiration as I realized he was not always on top. He started with nothing and made something out of it). Brady's perseverance(much like he has faced his entire career dating back to his years in college at Michigan) is what allowed him to continue to play at an elite level as he returned the following season after his injury and win the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Even with age, Brady maintains the same competitive level of play he had upon entering the league. Brady has practically always played with a chip on his shoulder. Coming into the 2000 NFL Draft, many of the football "experts" deemed Brady, slow, undersized, and was not perceived as a quality NFL type Quarterback, while others Quarterbacks like Chad Pennington(yes you read that right) received much hype heading into the draft. Hell, Brady was not expected to pose any threat to the New England Patriots backups upon drafting him. Brady (much like me or anyone else in life) had to prove his worth, (and just like many others want to do in whatever profession they are in) Brady did as he sits at the top at what he does best! (2.)
    
     Though I still root against Tom Brady come game day(mainly when he is playing against a team I like) I cheer and root him on as a football player in general as my respect for him continues to grow. Even his critics have to appreciate Brady's work as he proved many of them and the so called "experts" wrong. Brady's performance on the field and overcoming any and all adversity, should not only inspire young players looking to improve their performance for football but for your everyday "Ordinary Joe". Again, those whom are aspiring to make positive changes in their lives, should look at Tom Brady as an example. He took advantage of every opportunity that came his way and while doing so, proved many wrong along way! I think as humans we can all relate to that. I know I can thanks to someone like Tom Brady! (3.)
   
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Sources: (Image) (1.) http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2013/02/27/tom-brady-contract
                            (2.) http://www.footballperspective.com/what-did-the-media-say-about-tom-brady-in-2000/
                            (3.) http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/187741/tom-brady

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