Daily Mirror


Brady retires and sport will never see the likes of him EVER AGAIN



TOM BRADY was so underrated when he turned pro even the team he made famous passed on signing him six times.

By the time he left the New England Patriots 20 years later, the greatest quarterbac­k in the then-100-year history of the NFL had delivered his team six Super Bowl crowns.

There were six other quarterbac­ks selected before Brady in the 2000 NFL draft, where all 31 teams in the league had multiple chances to sign him but decided there was nothing special in the University of Michigan player.

It was a snub that made him bristle and perhaps provided the drive to succeed, a drive that ran out yesterday and prompted his retirement announceme­nt after 22 recordbrea­king years. Brady said: “When I got drafted, I was a sixth round pick. I was the 199th pick. I never forgot that. I have a lot of perspectiv­e on where I was at one point in my life. Not a lot of teams ever thought I could do anything for them.”

Brady’s talent was never in his speed, his size or his arm strength. It was in his ability to see the game from above, to dissect it in real time on the field but in slow motion in his

mind. I first witnessed it up close in New Orleans on February 3, 2002... just five months after the terrorist attack on New York. Security was paramount, with a steel fence erected around the Superdome three days before kick-off and a gunboat patrolling the Mississipp­i a mile to the east. A half-time tribute by U2 to the victims of 9/11 left goosebumps on spectators and Brady

followed their show with a performanc­e of his own that told us all we needed to know about his career to come.

With the game tied, from his own 17-yard line with 81 seconds left, with ice in his veins, Brady calmly and expertly completed five passes and drove New England into position for Adam Vinatieri to kick the winning field goal with no time left to beat the St Louis Rams 20-17.

The first step in a dynasty had been taken and under head coach, Bill Belichick, Brady honed his ability to play the game and dominate it.

After leaving the Patriots he added a seventh title last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and steps into retirement having played in 10 Super Bowls in all. When will we see his like again?

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