Tom Brady has always believed in himself, and he’s always carried himself with plenty of confidence. Yet, not even the New England Patriots star quarterback ever thought he’d be here.
“Here,” of course, is in yet another AFC Championship Game. On Sunday in Denver, Brady will play in an unprecedented 10th conference championship game, easily an NFL record. He’ll be vying for his seventh career Super Bowl appearance (another NFL record) and a fifth Super Bowl title (a record for quarterbacks).
You might think that Brady expects to win and expects to find success in just about everything he does. And while that might be true to an extent, he couldn’t have predicted this sort of success, as he told WEEI’s “The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show” on Monday morning.
“It’s beyond what I’d ever imagined in my wildest dreams to participate,” Brady told WEEI. “I remember the first one I ever participated in, which was in Pittsburgh. We had to fly there on a Friday. I had to miss Friday practice so I could do a press conference at the site of the game. I couldn’t believe, it was the first time where it really felt like, wow, this is a big deal.
“Fifteen years later, to be a part of 10 of those, I never imagined that any of this was ever even possible. I just knew that I loved the game and I played with so many great teammates who have sacrificed so much. When you play with great teammates like I have and you see what they go through over the course of the season, what they do within their lives personally, how that reacts to them professionally … kind of the blood, sweat and tears you put into it, you never take it for granted.”
It’s borderline remarkable that even after all of these championship appearances and wins, Brady is seemingly as motivated as he’s ever been. Not everyone’s wired that way, however, especially for young players who might join a team like the Patriots and think success is guaranteed every season just because you call New England home.
“It can be a natural thing to do as a human if you’ve been on the team for five years and you have five trips to this game,” Brady continued during the WEEI interview. “I think Coach (Bill) Belichick does a great job of always living in the moment. He talks about the past a little bit just to give us references to things that may have happened, but guys are geared up and ready to play every single week. It’s really about, we set the goal at the beginning of the week, and this is how we’re going to win and this is how they win, and this is what we need to do. (This week is) going to be another one of those weeks.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images