Tom Brady isn’t the only Boston athlete with aspirations of playing well into his 40s.
Brady, who turns 40 next week, is borderline obsessed with extending his career and playing at a high level as long as possible. He has said he’d like to play beyond the big 4-0 and coming off his fifth Super Bowl title, it’s hard to see him slowing down anytime soon.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara hasn’t dominated his sport to Brady’s level, but the B’s captain is still going strong. Chara already turned 40 — he turns 41 in March — and has expressed a desire to play for at least a few more years.
It’s not surprising that Brady is someone Chara looks to when it comes to excelling at an “older” age.
SI.com explored how Brady is leading the charge among athletes looking to erase the notion that success in pro sports is impossible after 40. According to the story, Brady and Chara have met just once, and while their situations have plenty of differences — mainly their respective sports and sizes — Chara uses Brady’s success as part of his motivation.
“After comparing notes, Brady signed a jersey for Chara,” the SI.com story reads. “He framed and hung it in his children?s play room, where it serves to remind Chara of his quest — to play deep into his forties, same as No. 12.”
Also among Chara’s inspirations is future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, who’s 45 and still looking to play in the NHL.
“I watch Jagr, and I watch Brady, and I could see myself playing at 46,” Chara said, per SI.com. “I really want to.”
When Brady was struggling in 2014 (an unfortunate start to a season that ultimately ended with a Super Bowl title), Chara knew Brady’s preparation would help him regain his standing as one of the best in the NFL.
“He’s going to be fine,” Chara told ESPN.com at the time. “He’s talented and such a gifted athlete. He works really hard, and I know that. I know he’s getting better results (from his workouts) than when he was younger.”
Considering virtually no one in Black and Gold works harder than Chara, it’s not inconceivable that he — along with Brady — will continue to play and succeed into his 40s.
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images