The greatest player in the history of the NFL and a former Michigan Wolverine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, is retiring from professional football, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington.
Brady’s incredible run in the NFL began after his collegiate career in Ann Arbor, the place where he proved to football fans everywhere how hardworking, clutch and good he truly was. He finished college with one of the most memorable bowl games in U-M history — the 2000 Orange Bowl victory in overtime against Alabama.
As the 199th overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, Brady wasn’t expected to contribute immediately, or much at all. Brady was the backup to Drew Bledsoe before he suffered an injury during the 2001 season. After that, the GOAT took over, never giving up the starting job and leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory in his first season of real playing time.
From there, he went on to win 17 AFC East division titles, seven Super Bowls (one at the age of 43), five Super Bowl MVPs, three NFL MVPs, 15 Pro Bowl selections and so much more. He holds NFL records for most passing attempts, passing completions, passing touchdowns, passing yards, wins as a quarterback and more.
And he did all that while missing an entire season due to a torn ACL back in 2008.
Brady has been playing in the NFL since I was in kindergarten. He and the NFL are synonymous in my world, and it is going to be so strange when Week 1 comes around next season and he isn’t playing. I truly thought he’d give it one more season, have a retirement tour like so many other greats do and cap off his career with one more Super Bowl victory.
But Brady isn’t like the other greats in any sport. He isn’t flashy like Deion Sanders was. He isn’t athletic like Bo Jackson was. Hell, he isn’t even universally loved like Jim Brown was. Brady went from being a seventh-string quarterback at Michigan to the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football. He did that with a work ethic unlike any other we’ve ever seen. He pushed his body to limits no one thought was possible at his age. He proved people wrong over and over again.
Others at the position will be chasing Brady’s legacy for a long time. Brady changed the game of football forever, and there may never be another player quite like him.