A Spoiled Sports Fan: Football will never be the same without Tom Brady


Credit: Courtesy of Flickr user Brook Ward

In the first installment of “A Spoiled Sports Fan,” WSPN’s Emily Roberge discusses Tom Brady’s retirement, and its implications on the sports world.

Emily Roberge

I’m a spoiled sports fan. There’s no other way to put it. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I’ve been accustomed to the New England Patriots winning my whole life. I don’t know anything else. Growing up during the dynasty of the Patriots, I never thought much about making it to the Super Bowl year after year; it was just the icing on a pristine cake of a season. Even before the season started, I had my plans solidified for the Super Bowl parade and what Patriots gear I would wear on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s just how it was. And there is truly one player to thank for that: Tom Brady.

Brady has earned his reputation as the Greatest of All Time, also known as the ‘GOAT.’ During Brady’s 22 seasons in the NFL, he won seven Super Bowls, six with the Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No quarterback has ever come close to that, and most likely, no quarterback will ever do that again.

Other than the fact that Brady almost has enough rings to fill two hands, his underdog story is the most impressive. Starting as the 199th round pick in the 2000 Draft pick from Michigan, Brady’s 40-yard dash was absolutely horrific, and he even beat his 40-yard dash 20 years later! No one would have guessed that Brady would come off the bench for then-Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, much less that Brady would create one of the greatest football dynasties in sports history.

Brady didn’t have that natural, one of a kind athleticism that many of his counterparts had. Rather, it was his work ethic, leadership, calmness and poise that set him apart. It’s no surprise that Brady didn’t have speed, my grandma could have beat him. However, lacking speed made his game even smarter and more strategic, as he had to be fast with getting rid of the ball, a skill he mastered. If there was one thing Brady could do right, it was a comeback. Even if the score was 28 to three in the Super Bowl, once the ball was in Brady’s hands, a comeback was always expected. I loved watching every second of his time on the field, even up to his last moments. The game will never be the same without him.

Now, you may be asking yourself “why am I writing this?” After Brady announced retirement on Feb. 1 in an Instagram post, word of his retirement spread through the internet like wildfire. Not only was it sad to consider the thought of a Sunday night without Brady in the prime time game, but it was disheartening to hear Brady didn’t mention the Patriots in his initial Instagram post. He would mention the Patriots organization later in an Instagram story post, but the point still stands. Yes, he was retiring from the Buccaneers, which is why he would cater the post to their organization, but the Patriots are his roots. Our organization is what made him the “GOAT,” so Tampa Bay can never really claim him. Brady will always be remembered as a Patriot.

The Patriots without Brady is like ripping off a bandaid, you’re expecting the shock, but you don’t want to experience the discomfort and pain that follows. That’s exactly how I feel. It’s a sore subject. In my family, some of my family members rooted against Brady when he left for Tampa Bay. Although I never did, I understand where they were coming from; they didn’t want to see Brady without the Patriots. They wanted Brady to need them. In fact, he proved he didn’t need us to win, which is a bittersweet feeling.

No matter where you stand on Brady’s departure from New England to Tampa Bay, we shouldn’t let our opinions change how we feel about Brady’s career. He is simply the best. He showed his loyalty to New England for two decades, which is longer than most of my peers and I have been alive. He is a great piece of a puzzle that has given Boston a refined reputation: a sports city of champions. Even though he didn’t throw his last touchdown pass to Edelman at Gillette Stadium or announce his career while on a duck boat at the Super Bowl parade on Boylston Street, he gave Patriots fans some great 20 years. What else could we really ask for?

Our dynasty will never truly be the same, and that’s okay. It’s hard to accept that your team just isn’t as good anymore as a sports fan when it’s been the best of the best for your whole upbringing. It’s life, and the name of the game as a spoiled sports fan.