If I ever had my own personal Jesus Christ, it would be Tom Brady.
In all my years on this earth, no one has performed more miracles than the leader of the New England Patriots. The league’s premier quarterback has been dominating the sport for almost two decades now and like fine wine, has only gotten better with age. In the Brady (and Coach Bill Belichick) era of the National Football League, the Patriots have become a Dynasty, winning five Super Bowls, becoming the first team to go 16 and 0, and shattering records almost every year. Most veteran sports fans would consider it sacrilege but for me the NFL begins and ends with Brady. And if you think this is all hyperbole, go back to February 5 of this year when he performed his greatest miracle yet on the grandest stage of them all.
An hour into Super Bowl 51, to be a fan of Tom Brady and the Patriots was to be a fan of getting hit in the nuts a hundred times over. I love Tom Brady more than any other athlete but on that day, a half into the Super Bowl, it was beyond heartbreaking to be a fan. They were down 28-3 against the Atlanta Falcons. A margin no team had ever come back from, especially in the Super Bowl. Down four touchdowns with two quarters of play left, thousands of NFL fans cheered against the Patriots and the silence from Brady and the rest of New England was deafening. Social media went after Brady hard, rallying against him and throwing the broken-record accusation that he was an alleged supporter of Donald Trump. The Super Bowl was mere weeks after Trump’s inauguration and a divided country went for the easiest target they could find on the most watched sporting event in all of America. For the millions of haters, Brady’s almost certain loss was a testament to the bad karma of (allegedly) being pro-Trump. This, for them, was Brady’s reckoning.
I had never felt that level of despair as a sports fan. Not when the Celtics lost to the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. Not when LeBron James demolished my team back when he was with the Miami Heat. It was this Super Bowl, this New England Patriots team that was chasing history, that was facing their most embarrassing loss in the era of Brady, where all seemed lost. With defeat so close, I could see New England’s chance at immortality slipping further and further away. I was ready to give up and just quit altogether. Damn was that a stupid ass decision.
When it was all said and done, Tom Brady led New England to the most epic comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying back from the impossible to emerge victorious 34-28, and winning his record-breaking fifth championship, the most for any starting quarterback. From well inside the jaws of defeat, Brady came back and cemented his legacy as the greatest of all time. It was nothing short of a resurrection.
Super Bowl 51 will forever be my Easter Sunday. The day when all my doubts and fears died and my faith in Brady was confirmed and vindicated.
Few have ever accomplished as much as Tom Brady has, and perhaps fewer ever will. When we live in a world that is just predisposed to disappointment, it is performances such as Brady’s, and his nearly two-decade run as New England Patriot quarterback that turns sports, something that’s nothing more than a glorified pastime, into a goddamn religion.