Tom Brady is on the verge of accomplishing something truly special for a league whose leader wishes he would just go away and retire and enjoy his supermodel wife and child. He is a thorn in the side of the Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has shunned the New England Patriots since the Deflategate controversy.
For Brady, who took his punishment and missed the first four games of the season, this is about unfinished business for the now 39-year old wonder. Brady is one victory away from winning his fifth Super Bowl Championship. “Hopefully we finish the deal and we’ll see,” Brady said, “I don’t want to get into wining something before we’ve won it, because it’s going to be hard to win this thing.”
This is an accomplishment that will set him apart from all quarterbacks past and present. For Goodell, if you told him in September that he could possibly be handing the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Brady he would have laughed. But for the man who has won more NFL games than anyone period, the irony is not lost on him. “We should enjoy this. You never know if you’re going to get these opportunities again,” Brady said, “Fortunately, this team got the opportunity.”
Adversity is something Brady has thrived on since he took over the Patriots in 2000. He led New England to three titles in four years before suffering playoff defeats the next two years, one of them while playing with a hernia. In 2008, he missed an entire season with foot surgery marking the only season the Patriots missed the postseason in the Brady Era..
But Brady may well be defined by how he performed in response to two major accusations of cheating first on against his coach Bill Belichick with “Spygate” in 2007 and “Deflategate” which targeted him personally in 2015 and cost him cost him four games this season. But he is playing it nice. “I have no animosity towards anybody,” Brady said, “I’m a very loving person.”
Brady and the Patriots definitely loved the results on both occasions as they responded well with an undefeated season in 2007 until they were upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. The second offense was paid back in full with Brady’s Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks, his fourth, which tied him with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
Now Brady is back again in the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons. A victory here would not only be embarrassing for Goodell but resonate throughout the ages as the NFL has no choice but to acknowledge Brady in future film anthologies and in the history books. The image of Brady is a reminder that he and the New England Patriots have bested him twice and now stands to walk over him on the way to football immortality. The sharp thorn of a legacy indeed.