Opinion: Tom Brady’s Goodbye

Vincent Zheng '23 and Jake Dapolite '23

The end of an era. Tom Brady entered the NFL in 2000 at 22 years old, he was drafted in the sixth round and was picked 199th in the 2000 NFL draft, one of the last picks in that draft. In the second game of the 2001 season, quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured and Brady was chosen to fill the role, starting his legacy. During his NFL career, he amassed 89,214 passing yards, 649 touchdown passes, and 7 Super Bowls. A majority of the world considers him to be the GOAT of American football and has been the face of the league for 10+ years.

Sadly, on March 20, 2020, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. He announced his retirement but took that back as he decided to shock the league with one more season. He then finished off his career in Tampa Bay as he announced retirement on February 1, 2023.

I (Vincent Zheng) have watched a lot of Patriots in my day and even though I am not the biggest fan of football, I always seem to update myself throughout Tom Brady’s legacy. The best memory I have of Tom Brady dates back to the 2018 Super Bowl LI, Patriots vs. Falcons. The Patriots were down 28-3 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, and I believed all hope was lost. I stopped watching the game frustrated with the outcome that I expected. I woke up the next day and checked social media, posts flowed in with Patriots’ logos and I quickly checked Google because of the uncertainty I felt. 34-28 OT win for the Patriots. I was speechless and quickly read an article about what had unfolded after I turned off the game. I clicked on the highlights and watched in amazement after Tom Brady threw bomb after bomb and brought the Patriots back from a 25-point deficit. Although Tom Brady betrayed us in a way, there is still a legacy left for him in New England.

I (Jake Dapolite) believe that one of the most important traits of an athlete is loyalty; you will be treated with respect not only by the players but by the coaches and the management. This is one characteristic that New England thought Tom Brady carried with him throughout his career. However, when he was signed by the Buccaneers in 2020, New England fans had bitter-sweet feelings toward Brady. Some followed him to Tampa Bay, but others cursed him away, remaining loyal to the Patriots. I place my loyalty on the Patriots, Tom Brady was out of sight, out of mind. Somehow, he won a Super Bowl immediately after signing with the Bucs in 2020-2021. Everyone thought he would go out on a high note, and retire after his thrilling SuperBowl win over the Chiefs. But he didn’t. He would come back and have a lack-luster 2021-2022 season with the Bucs, where they would move onto the NFC Divisional round and lose on a game-winning field goal to the Los Angeles Rams. After this season he did “retire”, he announced it on Instagram, Twitter, and the media. However, in these statements, there was very little mention of the Patriots organization and New England fans besides a “Thanks.” But when he retired, for real this time after the 2022-2023 season, the owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft still offered him to come back and officially retire with the Patriots.

I hope he resigns his offer especially since he disrespected Pats Nation in such a fashion. He showed barely any love to the team that raised him to the top of the podium. He is the greatest quarterback to ever step on the field; however, after he left New England for Tampa Bay, he will never be a Patriot again in my mind.