Photo via Dylan Gwinn
Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots after 20 years to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I have been a fan of the Patriots all my sports life and I thought I would write a letter to tell my favorite teams’ long-time quarterback how I feel about this.
Dear Tom Brady,
You may never see this but as a long-time fan of yours and Patriots’ fan for life, I must write this. You have left for the Buccaneers, a move that is very understandable. Tampa’s weather is much nicer, and they have actual weapons for you to throw to this upcoming season. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have emerged as one of the league’s top wide receiver duos. You also have an offensive mastermind in Bruce Arians as your head coach. Have fun with that defense, however, as their secondary is still one of the league’s worst. However, from 2010-2017, you had to score a lot in some games just to scrape by, so you’re used to that.
As a lifelong Patriots’ fan, I am forever grateful for you. When you were drafted 199th in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, the Patriots were in a state of mediocrity. For the first 40 years of their franchise, the Patriots were 0-2 in Super Bowls and lost their one appearance in the AFL championship in 1963. They had a quarterback named Drew Bledsoe at the time that was the franchise. He led them to a Super Bowl in 1996 and was the clear starter going forward. In your second year, you took over for him after New York Jets’ linebacker Mo Lewis knocked him out in Week 2. The rest, as we shall say, was history.
You gave me a lifetime of memories that I will be forever grateful for. Growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I was constantly surrounded by fans of enemy teams such as the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. But with your excellence, it made all the hate thrown my way more than tolerable and even fun. When you destroyed the Denver Broncos 45-10 in the 2011 AFC Divisional Round, it made going to school the following Monday a fun experience.
There are two memories that stand out to me that will live with me the rest of my life. The first was your fourth Super Bowl champion when you and the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. The two Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants really stung and I was hoping for a victory to make up for those losses. Down 24-14, I was nervous but hopeful. Then you were excellent. You led two flawless touchdown drives and seeing you jumping for joy after Malcolm Butler’s interception always makes me smile. The fact you led that comeback against the mighty Legion of Boom is still very impressive to this day. Then, you led an insane 28-3 comeback over the Atlanta Falcons two years later and that still is sometimes hard to believe. That game truly showed how great you are, and that score is even a sticker on my laptop that I am writing this on.
You are without a doubt the greatest quarterback of all-time. You have channeled Michael Jordan by winning six championships and even left your team for a random one during the twilight of your career. You are second in both passing yards and passing touchdowns along with the fifth best career quarterback rating. You have the stats and success to go with great leadership that has helped lead your team to the success you have achieved.
I will always be a Patriots’ fan despite your departure, but I will always be grateful for the dynasty you led and the memories you created along the way. Good luck in Tampa Bay.
Sincerely, Sean Clark