Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady embraces one of his children after the Buccaneers beat the the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. Ashley Landis/Associated Press

“I think we knew this was going to happen, didn’t we?”

Those words echoed out throughout Raymond James Stadium on Sunday night as Tom Brady accepted his Super Bowl LV MVP award. Standing next to his daughter and two sons, Brady held the Lombardi Trophy in his hands for the seventh time in his career. Of course, Sunday night’s championship win over the Kansas City Chiefs was very different from those previous six titles.

In one season full of many hurdles, Brady showed he could achieve the highest honor in sports without the Patriots and without Bill Belichick. The mere fact Brady took a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that went 7-9 a season ago to the Super Bowl was incredible. The fact that the quarterback played in his 10th Super Bowl was absurd.

What’s the right word for Brady actually winning a title in his first season in Tampa Bay, which included dealing with a pandemic?

Unreal. Historic. Legendary.

“Every year is different. This year has been incredible for me,” Brady said in Monday’s Super Bowl LV MVP press conference. “It’s just been incredible. It’s great. That’s where I rank it, it’s been a great year. Fun.”


What this 43-year-old did in Super Bowl LV only added to his already historic legacy. This is a player we’ll talk to our grandchildren about — a man who will be on the Mount Rushmore of professional athletes, never mind NFL players. Brady now has more Super Bowl titles than any team in NFL history and one more than the Patriots. He now has more titles than Michael Jordan.

Brady’s latest Super Bowl title might be his most impressive. After 20 years in New England, many wondered how much the “system” was the reason for the Patriots success. Brady always said he “knew the answers to the test.” He’d been in Foxborough for so long he knew the playbook better than anyone did. That offense was built around him and allowed him to succeed. How would he do outside that “‘system?” How would he do in Bucs Coach Bruce Arians’ system?

Brady needed to overcome several different hurdles in 2020. The first was getting acclimated to a new offense. For Brady, that meant learning new terminology, a new playbook and getting on the same page with his new teammates in a short amount of time.

“It just took time. It’s not easy,” Arians said of Brady learning the Bucs system. “I can’t give Tom enough credit just hanging in there with the coaches, knowing this is going to work out sooner or later and it did.”

Although Brady has always been a good teammate, due to COVID-19, there were a lot of restrictions. That meant Brady wouldn’t get as much face-to-face time with his new teammates. That meant Brady didn’t get OTAs, minicamp or any preseason games to work out the kinks in his new playbook or with his new receivers.

Little did any of us know, Brady also dealt with family issues to start the 2020 season. This past week, Brady’s parents – Tom Brady Sr. and Galen Brady – revealed they both had COVID-19 this past fall. Brady Sr. told Andrea Kramer of the NFL Network he was hospitalized for 18 days in September because of the virus. When he finally returned home, he collapsed and injured his knee.


While that was going on, Brady was starting his first season in Tampa Bay. At the time, no one knew what his family was going through.

“Anything that affects your parents is pretty tough,” Brady said. “Especially on the other side of the country. They’re in California, I’m in Florida. I think a lot of families have been affected by this COVID situation. It hit my dad pretty hard. My mom recovered pretty quickly … In the end, he came through like he always does. He’s a fighter.”

The Bucs entered the playoffs as a wildcard team. In order for Tampa Bay to get to Super Bowl LV, it had to beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Brady has beaten a lot of good quarterbacks in the playoffs before, but to get his 10th Super Bowl, he went head-to-head with Brees and Rodgers and then met up with Patrick Mahomes.

Just when you think he’s done impressing, Brady somehow does even more. That’s what’s made him the greatest of all time. He always perseveres and always proves us wrong. From being a sixth-round pick to a major underdog in Super Bowl XXXVI to the comeback in Super Bowl LI, Brady’s story is full of unbelievable moments that sometimes defy logic.

This latest triumph just might be his most impressive.

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