Not only is Tom Brady one of the greatest football players of all time, but it’s also easy to argue he’s one of the most competitive athletes in any sport to take the field, court or ice.
How else do you describe the ongoing pursuit of excellence that is the New England Patriots quarterback’s 18th NFL season, where he’ll play in an eighth straight AFC Championship Game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs? At stake is a chance for Brady to win his sixth Super Bowl ring.
Year after year, we hear about how driven and focused Brady is. The “no one works harder” cliche always applies to him, and it’s something that dates all the way back to his beginnings with the Patriots.
Everyone knows the story by now about how Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe and helped turn the Patriots into the greatest dynasty the sport has ever seen. And you’d better believe that Brady — a sixth-round draft pick — wasn’t going to allow the veteran Bledsoe to regain his job upon getting healthy.
In a piece for The Players’ Tribune on Thursday, Patriots great Ty Law recalled the early days with Brady, including one notable anecdote about Brady’s refusal to cede the starter’s job to Bledsoe, no matter the circumstances.
You pick him off in practice, and he’ll come right back at you the next play. You and the guys on defense will dance in his face and celebrate and taunt him and talk about his Mama … you’ll be ruthless. It’ll be damn-near comical.
But he won’t ever back down.
One night, you’ll be out at a team dinner at Abe & Louie’s in Boston. You’ll be talking about what’s gonna happen when Drew comes back. And Tom will speak up and say, “He’s not getting his f****** job back!”
So yeah … dude’s pretty cold, and he’s got some swag to him.
But as it turns out, he can kind of ball, too.
That he can, and he’ll get the latest chance to prove it Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with another chance at greatness just 60 minutes away.