Tom Brady’s impact on New England sports cannot be measured


When the New England Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans in the NFL Playoff Wild Card Round in January, no one could say for sure that this would be Tom Brady’s last game as the Patriot.

But you could have guessed. At 42, Brady was still playing well, but you could tell time was starting his own fourth quarter and Brady was on the wrong side of football.

Now, after his social media posts this morning, it’s official: Brady is leaving the Patriots after 20 years with the team.

It’s as if Joe DiMaggio decides to leave the New York Yankees. Or if Larry Bird decided to play in something other than the Boston Celtic green. Brady, the Patriots and, more broadly, New England sports go hand in hand.

Before Brady came to Foxborough and began partnering with head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots CEO Robert Kraft to help create “The Patriot Way,” the Patriots were far from making it. envy the NFL. Of course, they had already reached the Super Bowl, but their years of suffering far outweighed their years of superiority.

Now there’s a whole generation that only knows the Patriots as the most dominant force in professional football – and Brady as the face of the team.

The Numbers don’t speak for themselves as much as they sing stories about Brady’s dominance: six Super Bowl trophies. Fourteen Pro Bowl selections. Three NFL MVP trophies. Three nods from the All-Pro first team.

But the impact of his success was not limited to professional football. At the same time, Brady and the Patriots began their ascent, winning their first Super Bowl title in 2002, the other professional teams in Boston seemed to be taking note. The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, exorcising some of the their demons In the process. Then the Celtics won the NBA Finals in 2008. And the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

All of the teams have been successful on their own, but the Patriots – and Brady – have pitched over a decade of Boston teams that have seemingly always been within striking distance of a championship.

In a statement, Kraft wrote that he loved Brady like a son and will always love him.

“I had hoped that day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after another Super Bowl championship,” Kraft wrote. “Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to come to an agreement to allow this dream to come true. Although sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is to appreciate his countless contributions to our team and to our community. ”

Even if rumors swirled As Brady and Belichick’s relationship had gone sour, Belichick wrote in a statement that “Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how incredibly spectacular it was.”

“Sometimes in life it takes a while to really appreciate something or someone, but that wasn’t the case with Tom,” Belichick wrote. “He’s a special person and the greatest quarterback of all time.”

There are plenty of reasons people don’t like Tom Brady. There’s just the aversion people build for teams that turn into dynasties that turn into certainties almost like the Patriots of the Brady era. Or there’s how he never seemed to be out of a game, even when he was down 28-3 in a Super Bowl dadgum.

And in a time when politics and professional sports are more mixed up than ever before, Brady’s dance enters say nothing on his own opinions while showing off a hat it has become a red flag for many cannot be dismissed.

But whether Brady was your Luke Skywalker or your Darth Vader, his presence on the Patriots was a constant for millions of football fans. Now, like so many other things these days, it’s just another pillar that we take for granted and that is changing before our eyes.

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