Tom Brady has shown a remarkable amount of determination and desire to still play at the top of his game in his mid-40’s. At the age of 43, he won a Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he’s performing at a high level once again in 2021.
However, Brady admits that he might not be leading an NFL offense this productively had it not been for some adversity along the way.
In Brady’s new documentary series, “Man in the Arena,” the 44-year-old specifically points to when he failed to pull off a perfect, undefeated season with the New England Patriots in 2007 as a potential reason for why he’s able to still be successful today. He explained that the shocking loss to the New York Giants in that year’s title game might’ve kept his drive alive for longer.
“Had we won that game — I don’t know, I’m not a big hypothetical guy — but maybe the desire is a little bit different, if you’re looking at silver lining,” Brady said in Episode 4 of his ESPN+ documentary series in a conversation with Randy Moss and Michael Strahan, per NESN. “Maybe the desire to reach that point, maybe I would have been fulfilled — not to stop playing at that time, but I don’t know. Maybe I’d play another seven or eight years, and maybe I’m fulfilled. Maybe not.”
"Had we won that game — I don't know, I'm not a big hypothetical guy — but maybe the desire is a little bit different."
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) December 2, 2021
Few will forget when the 18-0 Patriots fell to underdog Giants Super Bowl XLII. The shocking upset prevented Brady from landing another championship until 2014.
Brady has gone on to win three more Super Bowls since, in 2016, 2018 and with the Buccaneers in 2020. However, he still thinks that 2007 Patriots were the best team he ever played on and perhaps the best football team in league history.
“I still think that it was the best team I ever played on, even though we didn’t win the Super Bowl,” Brady said. “It wasn’t the most accomplished team, but it was probably the best team. It was the best team. It was probably the best team in NFL history. … In my mind, the greatest football team that ever played.”
Best team or not, Brady’s sole focus is now on the 2021 Buccaneers. He’ll hope to capture his eighth championship at the age of 44 in Tampa Bay.