RICHMOND- April 16, 2000-March 17,2020. The timeline that forever will live in Boston lore.
The luck of the Irish was not present as Patriots QB Tom Brady announced that he would be leaving the team after 20 years of service in which the franchise has emerged as one of the the greatest dynasties in sports.
The New England Patriots released a statement regarding the former 6th round pick’s departure.
Brady leaves the franchise as its greatest passer and having set multiple records across the league and in sports. A 6x SB champ, 9 SB appearances 4x SB MVP, 3x NFL MVP, and a 14-time pro bowler.
To put things in proper perspective, NESN released a video detailing all of Brady’s career accomplishments as a Patriot.
It’s hard to forget that in the beginning, folks in Boston didn’t have a clue about who Brady was and where he came from except for his college: The University of Michigan, also the home of Patriots supporter Rich Eisen.
Members of the media sit here today chuckling and laughing that the Patriots dynasty may have ended. However, they neglect to use their intellect and understand just how this dynasty has truly lasted that long.
It wasn’t just Bill or Tom doing their own own thing, it was a unity that will go down in history. Bill arrived in 2000, but a single combine look would change it all
At the 2000 NFL Combine, a skinny California kid didn’t leave a proper impression with a 5.2 40 yard dash and apparently didn’t throw the ball well.
The 2000 NFL Draft would change all of that as six quarterbacks, yes six of them were taken ahead of the Michigan kid. With the 199th overall pick, the New England Patriots took a flier. Little did they know how much that flier was worth.
Belichick said they didn’t release Tom in 2000 because they believed he could eventually be a leader and kept him as a 4th quarterback on the roster.
No action in 2000 and then Mo Lewis came to the rescue and took out Drew Bledsoe and thrust Tom Brady into the starting lineup. Typical Jets to let the Patriots get a win.
The Patriots would go 11-5 and advance to the AFC title game where they met the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ahead of that game, the Steelers got cocky and pre-planned Super Bowl trips. Brady took his team in there and played hard before a low shot knocked him out and let Bledsoe come in and win.
Head Coach Bill Belichick kept Brady as the starter and it resulted in an upset of the St.Louis Rams to bring the Lombardi trophy to Foxborough for the first time in franchise history…….it would not be the last.
Following a disappointing 2002 season, Brady would go a streak that has yet to be beaten. 21 straight games without a loss. That occurred over a two year stretch in which the Patriots captured two more Super Bowls to help create a dynasty in the 2000’s, notably the salary cap era.
In 2006, Brady once again returned to the AFC title game with a receiving core that isn’t usually hailed by the glitz and glamour. They lost to the Colts. But Brady’s finest was yet to come.
In 2007, Brady won the NFL MVP and got New England to a 16-0 regular season and a birth in Super Bowl XLII where they fell one game short of a perfect season to the Giants 17-14.
2008 did not have a happy story as Brady missed the season with a torn ACL thanks to Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. The team did go 11-5 with Matt Cassel but missed the playoffs.
In 2010, Bray won his second MVP. 2011, he took the Patriots and their 32nd ranked defense all the way to Super Bowl XLVI before ultimately losing to the Giants yet again. But 2012 would start a new rebirth.
The Patriots and Brady only got better up to 2014 where they beat the Colts 45-7 in the AFC title game. However, the Colts blew their own whistle on a controversy that became known as Deflategate which escalated, thanks to the media, into a chaos storm.
The Patriots would win the Super Bowl 28-24 over the Seattle Seahawks but the controversy was all people chose to focus on.
Brady was suspended in 2016 for the controversy for 4 games. Members of the media believed that Brady was lucky and was “falling off a cliff”. Biggest mistake uttered.
Brady took command and engineered a dominant season all the way to Super Bowl LI where he rallied the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit to win 34-28 and capture his 5th title.
The Patriots would return the following season and Brady got his 3rd NFL MVP. However, due to a controversial benching, the Patriots lost to the Eagles 41-33 despite Brady throwing for 505 yards in the game.
Following that loss, rumors began to circulate that Brady and Belichick would split and networks such as ESPN and FOX began to show bias and favoritism towards other teams in hopes of the Patriots losing.
Sitting near the end of the 2018 season, the Patriots were struggling and looked to be losing focus, but they rallied to get the 2-seed in the playoffs. They defeated the Chargers and the Chiefs and Brady’s leadership and willingness to win sent multiple doubters into panic and disappointment.
Brady would cap off the season with a win in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams and earn a record sixth super bowl title for his career.
In 2019, the Patriots returned to the playoffs, but were knocked out by a pick six against the Titans and lost 20-13 as Brady was battered all around. With no weapons at his disposal and the defense collapsing, the team bowed out and now Brady sits here leaving the team.
This does mark the end of Brady’s run in New England and there is no doubt someone else in the AFC will find a way to be dominant but this run of excellence will not be forgotten and possibly not replicated.
There are those with bard morals that will celebrate the end of this run but instead, it should be commemorated. From the 199th overall pick to the greatest quarterback of all time. It’s a run that is to be celebrated and respected.
Thank you Tom Brady for an excellent career and best of luck to you in your future endeavors. You are always welcome back in New England.