Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady sat down with legendary sportscaster Jim Gray to talk about what has allowed him to be so successful in his 21 NFL seasons and the difficulties he faces each game in trying to live up to a measure of perfection that he himself set.
At 43 years old, Brady is largely considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league and has no doubt secured his place in NFL history as one of the greatest of all time but the six-time Super Bowl champion says he often struggles with trying to live up to that level of perfection.
“I obsess over it,” Brady explained on Fox Nation's "Talking to GOATs." “It’s more relief when we do things well and it’s more frustration when we do things poorly. So I would say there’s probably a lot less joy. But there are different emotions that I feel that are positive that add to experiences in my life.”
Brady parted ways with the New England Patriots in March after 20 memorable seasons. He has long expressed his desire to play well into his late 40s and moving down to Tampa Bay allowed him that opportunity. But a different jersey didn’t change his mindset – he was there to continue his success story.
“When you’re trying to do things that people have never done, you’re going to face challenges because you might be the first person facing this challenge and you’re going to be the first person that has to overcome this adversity and then maybe you’re the first person to ever experience a certain degree of career success at a later point in life. That’s what I’m trying to get after.”
So what has allowed Brady to do the impossible? For him, it’s mirroring the successes he has in his personal life.
“Sports is so important in all of our lives. It brings out the best in us. It brings out the most competition in us,” he began. “So many great people that I know, that have been a part of my life, have been – the reasons why they’re successful in sports is because they’re really successful people in life. They take those and they’re not one or the other. You know, they have great discipline in sports, they have great discipline in life. Their marriage is important to them, their kids are important to them, their career is important to them, their relationship to their teammates is important to them, and those are so many people that I’ve been around and they continue to inspire me.”
The future Hall of Famer added that there are also certain qualities that he believes an athlete must possess to be considered “great.”
“I think there’s a lot of different reasons why people are successful and I would say some people have, let’s say in its highest form, just natural ability. Size, speed, explosiveness. There’s intangible things – competitiveness, durability, sustainability, leadership, determinations, being a great team player.”
He continued: “All those things probably, in different aspects in different sports, come into play. How clutch a guy is. How he performs in the biggest moments at the biggest times. So there’s a lot of ways that people can define it, there are a lot of people that embody those things. For me, it’s a really unique combination of both and maybe it’s not always the most of one but it’s kind of an accumulation of all. And when you have all those things, it’s pretty unique to see but you kinda know it when you see it.”
So who does Brady have in mind? Who inspired the veteran quarterback to be the player he is today?
“Joe Montana, Barry Bonds and Michael Jordan were the three that were the most impactful in my life (growing up).”
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