We all know Tom Brady‘s NFL origin story: a mostly afterthought sixth-round pick who was thrust into the limelight in his second NFL season and led the New England Patriots to their first Super Bowl. Two decades and six more rings later, and the underdog status that Brady has long discarded still motivates him.
If Brady’s legacy had any question marks, and that is a big “if,” they were answered last season. Leaving Bill Belichick at the age of 43, he led a second franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to a championship. He’s back for at least one more year in Tampa, and the team has geared up to repeat.
This week, Brady sat down with Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan, and discussed how he keeps pushing forward. He says that the “what have you done for me lately?” nature of the NFL helps him stay sharp, and prevents him from resting on his laurels.
“I was always kind of motivated by people that say ‘you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, don’t have a good enough arm,’” Brady told Strahan. “I’ve had a body of work over a period of time, so you know, you just say, hey, quickly you forget.”
GMA EXCLUSIVE: @TomBrady sits down with @michaelstrahan and reflects upon winning his 7th Super Bowl: “I was always kind of motivated by people that say you can’t do it. You know you’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, you’re not good enough arm.” pic.twitter.com/uWEx2rV0zk
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 7, 2021
“I think that’s a great part about football,” Brady continued. “It’s not really about what you did last year, it’s kind of what you’re going to do this year, so for me it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way.”
Even his wife Gisele Bundchen has asked Tom Brady why he keeps playing, and did so again after this most recent Super Bowl with the Buccaneers. Brady made it clear that he’s going to keep playing until he knows that he absolutely can’t do it any longer.
The superstar quarterback’s wife whispered “what more do you have to prove” after the epic win in Tampa Bay, but for Brady it’s more about playing the game he loves for as long as he can.
“I don’t think proving it for me is the motivation,” he explained. “I still want to play, I got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a frickin spiral you know what I mean.”
He added, “once you stopped you can’t go back and do it, I got some more football [in me] I mean not a lot, and I know that, but what I got left, I’m gonna go I’m gonna give everything I got.”
When that will be is truly anyone’s guess. We’re long past the time where doubting Tom Brady was appropriate.