At age 43, and with his New England Patriots days behind him, fans couldn’t help but wonder if Tom Brady still had what it took to lead his team to victory. But after winning his seventh Super Bowl on Sunday while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady has secured a legendary legacy for himself.
Super Bowl LV was less of a close contest and more of a blowout. The Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, and Brady ended the day by lifting the Lombardi Trophy above his head. Everyone had to acknowledge his greatness, including the Patriots: they referenced Brady by tweeting “Congratulations to the greatest of all time.”
In any team sport, it may be dangerous to lay too much credit for victory at one man’s feet. But Tom Brady had previously won six Super Bowls and four Super Bowl MVP awards before snagging another one last night. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers hadn’t gone to so much as the playoffs since 2007, and then Brady goes and takes them to the Super Bowl and into victory during his first season with them.
And “first” is the keyword here. Many couldn’t help but speculate if the aging Brady would use this astounding victory as an opportunity to retire and pass the torch to a younger player. Instead, Brady was quite clear when he took to the podium and gave fans a simple message: “Yeah. We’re coming back.”
With so many victories under his belt, how does this one really stack up? In the eyes of many fans, this is Brady’s biggest victory yet. It’s one thing to win with a familiar team and coaching staff at your back. But to leave the comfort zone behind and embrace new challenges and then overcome them takes Brady and his victory to the next level.
It helps that Brady is the first one to honor his teammates and their contributions. As he said during his speech, “Everybody believed we could win. All year we believed in ourselves.” And “everybody” is quite inclusive, with Brady luring tight end Rob Gronkowski out of his year-long retirement after nine seasons with the Patriots to join him on the Buccaneers. Gronkowski impressed on the field at Super Bowl LV as well, catching two touchdown passes.
How committed was Brady to honoring his team? He wasn’t afraid to interrupt his own speech to give praise to teammates. When he caught sight of Gronk, he immediately shouted out, “Robbie G! Congrats, baby.”
To Brady’s fans, this is another sign that he is the ultimate NFL player: a leader on and off the field and someone willing to share the glory. And even Brady’s biggest haters must admit that seven Super Bowl victories is a feat no athlete may ever top.
Unless, of course, his name is Tom Brady.