Last Sunday, Tom Brady won his 7th Super Bowl, only confirming his reputation as the best in the game. However, this year, unlike the past 9 Super Bowls he has made an appearance in, Brady was wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey.
In my 19 years of living on this earth as a Massachusetts resident and therefore as a New England Patriots fan, the Pats have gone to the Super Bowl 9 times. After being drafted in 2000, Tom Brady was a Patriot for longer than I’ve been alive. I grew up watching my team in the Super Bowl like it was normal, and the years we weren’t playing in the biggest game of the season were outliers to the mean.
To put into perspective just how incredible Tom Brady is, here are some statistics. Tom Brady was the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl the last time he won in 2019, when he was 41, so he just broke his own record by winning at 43. Joe Montana, who was widely considered the greatest of all time before Tom Brady dethroned him, played in and won 4 Super Bowls, was named the Super Bowl MVP 3 times, and was named the NFL MVP twice. Pretty impressive, right? In contrast, Tom Brady has played in 10 Super Bowls, won 7 of them, has been named the Super Bowl MVP 5 times, and has been the NFL MVP 3 times. In his 18 years as a starter in the NFL, Tom Brady has been to more Super Bowls than he has missed. You don’t have to know anything about football to know that those are some crazy stats.
Tom Brady is amazing. Period. But, every quarterback needs a solid team behind them, which is why it hurt so much more when Rob Gronkowski, former Patriots tight end, came out of retirement to play with Brady on the Buccaneers. The two, who were once the dynamic duo of the New England Patriots, have made over 75 touchdown plays together. They made two more of those touchdowns together on Sunday, and with that they made history again. Where Joe Montana and his wide receiver Jerry Rice were the best QB/WR duo in NFL history before Sunday, Brady and Gronk have now surpassed them.
Now, having read all of this, you would wonder, as every single Patriots fan in the world wonders, why would we EVER give Tom Brady up? My answer is as good as yours: I have no idea. I won’t lay blame on Patriots coach Bill Belichick or on Tom Brady either, because blame won’t make Tom Brady a Patriot again.
Funnily, while I am feeling betrayed and dejected at the loss of Tom Brady and at watching his success with another team in another city, some Pats fans are excited for him. Some fans watched every minute of the Super Bowl and rooted for him to win. I watched, and I would never root against Tom Brady, but I can’t say that I rooted for him either.
On top of all the Tom Brady sadness, we have to deal with the Gronk sadness. I own a Gronk jersey! None of this is okay. I don’t understand the Patriots fans who can support their former heroes if they’re wearing the wrong jersey. The only loyal Patriot we have left from the famous trifecta is Julian Edelman, and who knows how long he’ll stay with the ship.
I spent years of my life being taught to worship Tom Brady: the GOAT, TB12, the Patriots’ quarterback, a champion of Boston. To happily watch him bring success to another team in another city feels wrong to me. It goes against everything I know. And now we’ll have to sit back and watch him for the next two years, because he wants to play until he’s 45. We’ll watch as he continues to break records and solidify his spot at the top of the GOAT list.