Celebrating one’s birthday is supposed to be a fun event for people. At least it is for me, as I like to treat myself to a nice dinner with a friend, or maybe we will go to a movie. Others may go out and party, or just hang around their homes, and just relax. Everyone, even celebrities, famous musicians, and athletes has a birthday, except the athletes, and celebrities can afford to have fun more lavishly.
Birthdays, however, especially musicians, and athletes are a sign of getting older. As each year passes, the athlete, or musician go through phases of their careers, especially the great ones. They have their green years where they are just showing their potential talent. They have their prime years where they are at the top of their game, and the peak of their career, and are considered “untouchable.” The next phase is when they show some slight signs of slowing down, but are still excellent at their craft, and the last phase is when they still perform despite it being obvious they are not near the performer/athlete they used to be. As these performers/athletes get older, their bodies are not as flexible, and don’t come back from injuries, etc like they did when they were younger.
Anyway, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to step on the gridiron, and arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, Tom Brady celebrates his birthday on Friday, August 3, 2012. He will be turning 35. At 35, that is right around the time where athletes start to decline, but still have enough to be excellent, if not to start into the decline phase. However, from reading training camp reports, and from watching videos, it looks like Mr. Brady has not lost a step.
My question is: How great can Number 12 still be at 35? Well, let’s see here. Last season, at age 34, despite having one of the worst defenses in the NFL, he lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl where they lost a heart breaker to the NY Giants, after a 13-3 regular season. The supposed “experts,” doing their best amature hour routine, just pilloried Brady, and tried to say the loss tarnished his legacy. However, they forgot that the team would never have gotten to that Super Bowl without him, and he carried that team which I think enhanced his legacy. I will never forget one comment that Rob Parker said about Tom Brady on ESPN’s First Take, after Super Bowl 46. Parker, who is from New York, said, “Tom Brady is no longer elite. He is just another guy with multiple rings.” That had to be the DUMBEST thing ever said by an announcer. I refuse to watch ESPN if he is on there. By Parker’s logic, Secretariat is just another horse with a saddle, and a jockey on him. In 2010, the year prior, at 33 years old, he not only set a record of most consecutive passes without an interception, he was voted the unanimous NFL MVP, and led the team to a 14-2 regular season, but lost to the Jets. The Jets themselves got whooped by the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, and Mr. Bart Can’t Wait Scott couldn’t tackle in said game.
It is quite unusual for a quarterback like Brady to play this brilliantly at such a high level into his mid 30’s. I mean, to pretty much lead a team to double digit wins almost every year, and lead them into the playoffs at his age is quite remarkable. Yes, I know about 2008 when he was out for the year with the knee injury, and the team went 11-5, but they didn’t make the playoffs, and I think he would have won another one, or two more games they needed to get into the playoffs that year. I think that is what people leave out. I think his success comes from his dedication to the game, having Bill Belichick as his coach, and still having that “fire in the belly,” to get out there to compete.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead
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