Immediately after winning the first Super Bowl of his prolific NFL career, Tom Brady always referred to “the next one” as his favorite championship triumph.
That apparently wasn’t just a slick line used to heighten Brady’s legend as he built a remarkable football résumé. The future Hall of Famer would share that sentiment with those around him even when the cameras and microphones weren’t around.
This was confirmed by former New England Patriots teammate Tedy Bruschi, who summed up Brady’s unrelenting competitiveness with a story shared the day the seven-time champ announced his retirement.
“We all made the Pro Bowl together after we beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl,” Bruschi said Wednesday on “Gresh & Fauria,” as transcribed by WEEI. “We had just gone back to back. Back in those days, the Pro Bowl was played, and then teams were announced. Representatives were announced, and the last ones in the locker room were the Super Bowl champions. We were about to be introduced, and Tom looks to myself and (Adam) Vinatieri and (Ryan) Izzo was a Pro Bowl special teamer and I think (Richard) Seymour was there also. He says, ‘Nobody has ever won three in a row.’ Gresh, fellas, I still had confetti on the bottom of my cleats from the celebration in Jacksonville. You love it, but it’s like, ‘Bro, I’m trying to relax right now. We’re all just trying to relax and enjoy this Pro Bowl. We’re about to be introduced as world champions. I’m not there yet.'”
Now that he’s closed the book on his playing career, there’s no “next one” for Brady to pursue with razor-sharp focus. That doesn’t mean the well of accolades has gone dry for TB12, though, as he’s a no-brainer pick to receive football’s highest individual honor by a unanimous vote.