NFL | NCAA Football

Tom Brady Turns 35, How Great Can He Still Be?

Tom BradyCelebrating 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.

This happens with singers, boxers, NFL players, and even in horse racing. I remember near the end of Frank Sinatra’s career, it was so obvious he could not sing any longer, he kept on going. I am hearing it in KISS lead singer/rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley’s voice. He is 60 now, and it is not what it was 10 years ago. NFL fans saw it in Brett Farve. He had that one last gasp in the 2009 Season with the Vikings, and had virtually nothing left in 2010.

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.

From reading reports, and I know it is early in camp, but I think Tom Brady is going have another stellar season, barring injury. I think he will have another 2 to 3 years of playing at the elite level. He has incredible accuracy. He is the best in the business in manipulating the pocket. I just love his pocket awareness. He knows where he wants to go with the ball. I just am amazed every time I watch him play the position. The one weakness he has, if you want to call it that is that he is immobile. He is the prototypical drop back, and pass. He doesn’t throw on the run much, if at all like Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, or Cam Newton. Brady will run if he has to, to get a first down, but that is about the extend of it. I do think he can keep going at the elite level. Having Coach Belichick along side will help immensely as well. I would take Brady over any QB in this league, bar none.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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