On August 5, 2015, I attended Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium.
I remember this date not because it was two days after Tom Brady's birthday, but because I found myself within 300 feet of him. When the practice concluded and he strolled along the sideline to sign autographs, mostly for young children, I found myself standing on a stadium chair, snapping as many photographs as I could and screaming at the top of my lungs. Needless to say, that was one of the best days of my life thus far - I felt as though I had met him, although I did not even come within reach of a high-five or signature for my poster. That just comes to show how much fun I had that night, and I vividly remember how excited I was to be up close to Brady.
For anyone who knows me, they are at least somewhat aware of my slight obsession with Tom Brady. OK, maybe 'slight' is an understatement. I have a giant TB12 poster and lots of Patriots decor in my room, not to mention a jersey and a couple of t-shirts that I rotate through on game days. I even have a 24-inch cut-out of him in my room that I received as a graduation present. Though this all may sound a bit excessive, I actually do admire Tom Brady for several reasons.
Tom Brady is quite possibly the best NFL quarterback of all time. He may not have earned that title yet, but he is well on his way in my opinion (as well as for the rest of New England). However, Brady was a rookie at one point, and he had to earn his reputation for being a true all-star. Although he played for Michigan in his college days, and worked his way up to the top, I think it is important to remember that Tom Brady sets an example for aspiring professional athletes, as well as anyone who is trying to make it big in this world. His journey has proved to be a long one, but his seemingly endless list of records and accomplishments is proof that he deserves every bit of it.
I am not even going to pretend like I don’t find Tom Brady extremely good-looking; in fact, if I am ever in a not-so-great mood, just mentioning him will make me smile. I know he’s 39 and not 19, but Tom Brady is the epitome of a charming, yet humble, human being (aside from being an insane athlete). He may not be getting any younger, but Tom Brady has a charisma about him that is so contagious. I love watching the Patriots press conferences on Monday morning, because Brady always does a stellar job of recapping what went well that game and what didn’t work out. His flawless composure and relaxed, yet authoritative, attitude compliments head coach Bill Belichick’s emotionless persona quite well. Tom Brady never has to put up a front; his positive attitude and constructive criticism are both quite obvious throughout.
I could go on for days about this, but Tom Brady truly sets an example for the rest of us. While he works endlessly to become a better athlete, he is human, too. He knows how to gracefully present himself to the world, which is why I will always wear a #12 jersey on game days.