When you think about the National Football League, who is the first athlete that comes to mind?
Some may say, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice. Something all these sportsmen have in common is their ambition, strength, and self-discipline to achieve greatness. Alongside these prodigious traits and skill comes doubt, hate, and criticism from others. Seven-time Super Bowl Champion, Tom Brady said, "What do we do about the haters? We love 'em," "We love them back because we don't hate back. "We appreciate it, we love them, and we wish them the best in their life." Undoubtedly hate has followed Tom Brady gruesomely within the past twenty years in the National Football League. The notions of media bias, his career with the New England Patriots, and privilege have become reasons why football fans have hated Brady. Tom Brady's strategy and leadership skills are some of the most sought-after traits in the league, which has made him one of the most valuable players of all time.
Do people hate Tom Brady? Some may express their hate for a successful athlete out of envy or disbelief.
According to an article from the Philosophy of Sport, "Do these Brady-haters really hate Tom Brady? They've never met him, don't really know him, and would agree, I think, that their reasons don't merit hate. In fact, I suspect many Brady-haters would admit that many of the very qualities that fuel their ire – clever decision-making, poise, consistency, durability, and winning – are qualities they would find admirable, even lovable in players on their own teams" (Moore 2019, p.3). Overall, greatness outdrives hate and uncertainty. Brady has only used this as fuel to his fire. Brady was described by a former assistant coach, "Brady could seem obsessive in his desire to win anything. "He viewed practice like a game," said O'Brien. "He was competitive in walk-throughs. I remember we used to do a bucket toss on Fridays, in the end, zone, to work on the fade ball. It was always a competition…. If he didn't win that day, he was not happy. You couldn't talk to him for a bit" (Bishop 2014 p.1). As one could imagine, this mindset is quite impressive. Like Tom Brady, this mindset is viable in other athletes' complexion, for example, Michael Jordan. Jordan and Brady hold so many similarities, in the sense that they do not take no for an answer. Legendary athletes are not afraid to fail, they are afraid to not try. Brady and Jordan have defined odds while having over five world championship rings each.
A Boston.com article from 2015 has been resurfacing due to Tom Brady's seventh super bowl win, author Henry Mckenna stated, "Imagine Think of Tom Brady as a bear — a 6-foot-4, 225-pound, uniform-wearing, football-slinging bear... the last thing you want to do is poke the bear, Broncos general manager John Elway told MMQB.com (McKenna 2015, p.2). "The bear got poked, and this is what happened." This statement was released by the Denver Broncos manager after the New England Patriots ball deflating scandal, John Elway's point was that Tom Brady uses fuel (hate) to drive him to success, like winning seven super bowls.
At an astonishing age of forty-three, he can accomplish what many athletes haven't.
In Tom Brady's career, he holds a 64 completed pass percentage, 79,204 passing yards, 584 touchdowns, 191 interceptions, and has an overall rating of 97.3%. Brady is often compared to other quarterbacks, for example, New Orlean Saints' quarterback Drew Brees, who is forty-two, Aaron Rodgers who is thirty-seven, and retired Denver Broncos, Payton Manning, who is forty- four. Overall Brees holds a 68 completed pass percentage, 80,358 passing yards, 571 touchdowns, 243 interceptions, and has an overall rating of 99 percent. While Aaron Rodgers holds a 61 completed pass percentage, 51,245 passing yards, 412 touchdowns, 89 interceptions, and has an overall rating of 104 percent. However, Peyton Manning finished his career with a 63.2 completed pass percentage, 539 touchdowns, 251 interceptions, and has an overall rating of 96% (NFL). Not only has Tom Brady won seven super bowls, but he also holds the best overall rating of a whopping 97.3%, and has won the league's M.V.P award five times (Britannica 2021, p.1), along with a lengthy list of other prestigious awards.
Brady has excelled just as far off the football field.
In contrast to Brady's M.V.P. winnings, he has been a valuable part of his community. Brady has contributed to the growth of exceptional organizations. One that stands out, in particular, is KaBOOM! KaBOOM! Is an organization that creates unique playgrounds and creative outlets for children across the United States. Tom has also been a part of supportive communities like Best Buddies International, Boys and Girls Club of America, Entertainment Industry Foundation (That Helps, Unknown). Overall, Tom Brady is not only the most prestigious athlete of all time, he has shaped his community into something more controlled, driven, and loved.
Bishop, G. (2018). Hiding in plain sight. Sports Illustrated, 129(12), 26–33. Retrieved from search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=s3h&AN=133247136&site=ehost-live.
McKenna, H. (2015, October 20). John Elway on Tom Brady: Don't poke the bear. Retrieved from https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2015/10/20/john-elway-on-tom-brady-dont-poke-the-bear
Moore, J. G. (2019). Do you really hate Tom Brady? Pretense and emotion in sport. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 46(2), 244–260. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/00948705.2019.1612754
Orr, C. (2020). New kid in town. Sports Illustrated, 131(10), 36–41. Retrieved from
"ThatHelps." ThatHelps 7 NFL Players Who Are Super Generous Comments, www.thathelps.com/nfl-generous-players/#:~:text=Speaking of Tom Brady…,creative play spaces for kids.
Tom Brady. (2021, February 08). Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tom-Brady
(n.d.). Coffin Corner. Retrieved from http://www.profootballresearchers.org/coffin_corner.htm..