After 22 years in the NFL across two teams, Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement.
"My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes," the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and New England Patriot wrote on Instagram.
After a highly successful career consisting of seven Super Bowl wins, the most passing yards and passing touchdowns of any NFL player, and the most quarterback wins and Pro Bowl selections in league history, Brady retires as one of the — if not the — best NFL player to ever step foot on the field.
Despite his undisputed greatness, Brady has largely remained humble, always thanking his coaches, teammates, and fans for helping him get to where he is.
Tom Brady's early life was nothing glorious — it was a constant struggle for recognition. He was just a normal guy, he didn’t even start as a quarterback his entire time in college. He wasn't taken seriously — he was skinny and picked in the 6th round.
What the scouts failed to look at, though, was his heart and undying determination. What made Brady different and what the scouts didn’t look at is his what his love for the game, work ethic, coachability, and discipline.
Tom Brady is an inspiration and his journey shows that whatever it is you want to do in your life, you can make it with a lot of hard work.
1. "To me, football is so much about mental toughness, it's digging deep, it's doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms." — Tom Brady
Photo: Brad Muckenthaler, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Too often in life, something happens and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations.” — Tom Brady
3. “A lot of times I find that people who are blessed with the most talent don’t ever develop that attitude, and the ones who aren’t blessed in that way are the most competitive and have the biggest heart.” — Tom Brady
4. “I think that at the start of a game, you’re always playing to win, and then maybe if you’re ahead late in the game, you start playing not to lose. The true competitors, though, are the ones who always play to win.” — Tom Brady
5. “You wanna know which ring is my favorite? The next one.” — Tom Brady
6. “I don’t care about three years ago… I don’t care about two years ago. I don’t care about last year. The only thing I care about is this week.” — Tom Brady
7. “My job is to play quarterback and I’m going to do that the best way I know how because I owe that to my teammates regardless of who is out there on the field with me.” — Tom Brady
8. “I didn’t come this far to only come this far, so we’ve still got further to go.” — Tom Brady
9. “You push your body to the limits, but you have to train your body to deal with the limits." — Tom Brady
10. “If you don’t play to win, don’t play at all.” — Tom Brady
Photo: All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
11. “Maybe some people can wake up and play PlayStation all day, but that’s never been me.” — Tom Brady
12. “I’m not a person who defends myself very often. I kind of let my actions speak for me.” — Tom Brady
13. “Life is not living in the suburbs with a white picket fence. That’s not life. Somehow our American culture has made it out that that’s what life needs to be — and that if it’s not that, it’s all screwed up. It’s not.” — Tom Brady
14. “You never get over losses. I’ve never gotten over one loss I’ve had in my career. They always stick with me.” — Tom Brady
15. “If someone lies, well, you had a choice to trust that person or not. I think the way my father raised me, well, he trusted everybody. And that worked for him.” — Tom Brady
16. “You know, watching Dan Marino and Steve Young get nominated to the Hall of Fame… those guys are unbelievable and they did it for so long. I’d love to play like those guys, but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of growing. “ — Tom Brady
17. “After the first day of practice, there’s not one guy who’s playing at 100 percent or who feels great. Sometimes, getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth is the hardest part of the day — it just hurts.” — Tom Brady
18. “I think I have a certain respect for people, you know. And I guess a lot of times I expect that respect to go both ways.” — Tom Brady
19. “I’m an emotional person. Sometimes I can’t help it.” — Tom Brady
20. “Every man should know, if you’re comfortable and you like it, you should do it. Everyone always worries about what they think, what the guys think. If you like it, do it.” — Tom Brady
21. “Mentally, the only players who survive in the pros are the ones able to manage all their responsibilities. Everybody struggles in different ways.” — Tom Brady
22. “If you’re a quarterback, you want everything on your shoulders. You want to be the one to make the decisions.” — Tom Brady
23. “You have to believe in your process. You have to believe in the things that you are doing to help the team win. I think you have to take the good with the bad." — Tom Brady
24. “I have a memory, and I can just eliminate mistakes when they come up because I’ve already made them.” — Tom Brady
25. “I always try to do as much as I can do. I’m never a person that does not enough, because I’d regret not doing enough and think I probably could have done more. I probably go too far and have to reel myself back in, which works in some things, and other things it doesn’t work.” — Tom Brady
26. “There are times when you throw an interception and you’re beating yourself up.” — Tom Brady
27. "I always want to win, I think that’s pretty apparent by now, but that doesn’t mean I equate losing to failure." — Tom Brady
28. "I have always believed the sport of football is an "all-in" proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game." — Tom Brady
29. "There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life." — Tom Brady
30. "Don't rely on others. You’ll have great support from a lot of people, still. But, no one's going to hand you anything." — Tom Brady
31. “If you don’t believe in yourself why is anyone else going to believe in you?” — Tom Brady
Steven Hall is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, and relationships.