Tom Brady became a New Englander, through and through, over the past two decades.
Not only did he win six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots, endearing him to a passionate fan base and establishing one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. He also embraced everything else the region offered, including the people, the weather and the uniqueness of New England’s vacation spots.
So, while Brady prepares for his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 seasons with the Patriots, there’s no doubt he’ll do so with fond memories of his old team and his old home.
In fact, Brady revealed Monday in an article for The Players’ Tribune what he’ll miss most about New England, where his two youngest children, Benny and Vivian (now 10 and 7, respectively), were born.
Here’s what Brady wrote:
But more than any one physical place, it’s the relationships I made in New England that I’ll miss the most. Of course, it starts with the entire New England Patriots organization, and Robert Kraft and the entire Kraft family. It extends to countless other individuals who played such a valuable role in my 20 years as a Patriot. Teammates and coaches, past and present. Old friends, new friends, the neighbors we went trick-or-treating with every year. But mostly, I’ll miss the fans.
If there’s one thing anyone can say for sure, it’s that New Englanders understand what fandom is all about. New Englanders just really, really love their sports. That’s maybe because compared to New York, or Chicago, or Los Angeles, Boston feels less like a big city than it does a large small town. Even if you don’t know everybody in Boston, you feel like you know everybody. The fans feel like they’re part of our team, and my teammates and I felt the same way about them.
Brady offered some thought-provoking perspective in his Players’ Tribune article about his decision to leave the Patriots — the only NFL franchise he’s ever known — and sign with the Bucs in free agency. It’s clear he’s fired up for a new challenge and motivated to prove he’s still capable of performing at a high level.
Brady always will remain a part of New England, though, and the admiration obviously is mutual, with the quarterback especially thankful for the support Patriots fans showed over the years.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images