BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady admits that when he first joined the Patriots way back in 2000, it took some time for the West Coast boy to familiarize himself to a new place where the Atlantic Ocean is to the east, rather than having the Pacific Ocean to the west. Now some 20 years later, Brady will now go through the trouble of getting himself comfortable in a city where the Gulf of Mexico is to his west. He’ll probably figure it out.
That was but one of numerous topics covered by Brady in a new story written for The Players’ Tribune.
The Buccaneers’ quarterback (that’s still difficult to get used to) reflected on his lengthy career with the Patriots, talked about his development as a human and as a parent, and looked forward to what lies ahead in his career. Perhaps most interesting of all, Brady detailed exactly what is driving him to continue playing in the NFL even as he enters his age 43 season.
“For me, playing football isn’t going to last another 10 years,” Brady wrote. “In the time left, the question is, How can I keep maximizing what I do, put everything I can into it, make it the best I possibly can? At this point in my career, the only person I have to prove anything to is myself. Physically, I’m as capable of doing my job as I’ve ever been. Now I want to see what more I can do. I want to see how great I can be. I want to hear other people say, ‘Go, man. Now that’s what we’ve been missing. That’s what we need! That’s what we’ve been looking for!’ Deep down I know what I can do. I know what I can bring. Now I want to see it in action.”
While Brady said playing in the same place for 20 years can be an advantage, he now expects to benefit from the element of change.
“Playing for one team for 20 years has been an amazing ride and experience. But doing the same thing year after year brings its own challenges. A familiar rhythm can be comforting and great. But it can also make you lose sight of other rhythms, newer ones that remind you of everything that hasn’t been done yet,” Brady explained. “One isn’t necessarily better than another — they’re different, is all. Playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a change, a challenge, an opportunity to lead and collaborate, and also to be seen and heard.”
Brady added: “Right now, though, I have things to prove to myself. The only way is through. If I don’t go for it, I’ll never know what I could have accomplished. Wanting to do something is different from actually doing it. If I stood at the bottom of a mountain, and told myself I could scale the highest peak, but then didn’t do anything about it, what’s the point of that?”
Climbing that mountain has always been Brady’s goal, and he’s done it more than anyone else — as evidenced by his six Super Bowl rings and three other Super Bowl appearances. Winning another championship with an organization like Tampa Bay, which hasn’t won a playoff game since 2002, would represent the ultimate climb.
As for his time with the Patriots, Brady expressed extreme gratitude toward the organization, his teammates, and the fans.
“Recently a friend told me that her sister was pregnant with her first child, a boy — and that she planned on naming him Brady. She was telling me this, she said, so that I’d realize the impact my playing for New England had had on so many people’s lives,” Brady said. “Hearing that, I felt so humbled by the idea that when some people think of me, it’s with a warmth in their heart or their spirit. There’s no better legacy I can think of than that.”