Just a few things not achieved by Tom Brady


With Tom Brady retiring after 22 years in the NFL, everyone is in awe of his records and great moments. His career was truly remarkable.

He will be remembered for his ability to come through in the clutch — an opponent unfazed by pressure. A fierce leader and competitor.

Here’s a list of his major accomplishments: Seven Super Bowl wins. Five Super Bowl MVPs. Three NFL MVPs. Started 316 games. Passed for 624 touchdowns. Completed 7,236 passes for 84,520 yards — that’s 48 miles, if you’re keeping score. More than 50 fourth-quarter comebacks. And he’s married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen.

Looking back, Brady is 44 years old, born in 1977. All of this was done in half his lifetime. Hearing fans and sports show hosts recite his highlights now reminds me of the way we recall peak moments in our lives that stay with us forever.

Like, you know, “I remember exactly where I was when we put a man on the moon.” Or my first kiss. Or when my daughter was born. I’m sure each of us carries within our hearts such indelible memories.

But I am also a New York Jets fan, and can feel the way Brady especially seemed to loathe our team — a bully who delighted in beating us on a regular basis, never missing an opportunity to belittle the team and rub Jets fans’ faces in the dirt of humiliation.

To be fair, Tom’s nasty side may have been an extension of his desire to please his head coach, Bill Belichick, whose disdain for the Jets has been an obsession since he jilted the team to become the New England Patriots head coach in 2000 — the year he drafted Brady.

But I digress. This is not about Capt. Ahab’s influence over Tom, or Belichick’s win-at-all-costs tactics. It’s not about the Hoodies Spygate or Deflategate episodes. It’s about the greatest quarterback of all time, as he departs, basking in accolades.

His unquenchable drive to triumph never wavered right down to his last game at MetLife in January, when he threw a touchdown pass to beat the Jets 28-24, with just 15 ticks of the clock left, as the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In an effort to set the record straight, add balance and perspective, however, I felt compelled to gather some facts and failings about Brady that have gone unnoticed in all the golden accounts of his glories. These are unlikely to be etched on his plaque when he is enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Our legend, you see, has clay feet.

Tom wasn’t born in time to keep the Jets and Joe Namath from winning Super Bowl III. He also was 21 years too late to celebrate my bar mitzvah in the Bronx, and never RSVPed to my 1974 wedding invite.

Perhaps his greatest disappointment was not seeing the Beatles at Shea Stadium — some heard him say he would have traded his first Super Bowl ring for a ticket to hear “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Brady not only missed the midnight ride of Paul Revere in 1775 by 202 years, but he also failed to sign the U.S. Constitution 12 years later.

No. 12 didn’t show up for Christopher Columbus’ bon voyage party, either.

Actually, compiling a list of things Tom Brady didn’t do is endless, and far exceeds his heroics. It is one downtrodden fan’s hollow revenge. So, I’ll leave it there, as I remove the mud from my face and lick the wounds.

My grudging farewell to the GOAT: The greatest quarterback of all time.

The author kept official statistics for the NFL and the New York Jets from 1980 to 2020

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Fred Smith,