Challenges Gone, Passion Remains

April 7th, 2021

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The view from the summit can be breathtaking.

When you put the work in and climb to the top of your profession, you deserve all the accolades that come your way. At that point, you look around for your next challenge, eager to apply yourself again.

But what if there are no more mountains to scale?

That’s the dilemma facing Tom Brady as he prepares for his 22nd NFL season. He has silenced any remaining skeptics while raking in more jewelry than J-Lo. He can’t still be hacked off about being the 199th player selected in the 2000 draft, can he?

Finding a way to remain motivated is Brady’s only remaining challenge — and it’s a big one.

We’re talking about a guy who has led his teams to seven Super Bowl victories. He has been invited to 14 Pro Bowls. He’s one of the very few members of two All-Decade teams.

With 1,155 more passing yards this fall, Brady will supplant Drew Brees as the NFL’s career leader. He is already No. 1 with 581 TD passes. Aaron Rodgers is next among active players with 412. Brady’s 299 career starts is tops all-time for any position. He has 45 playoff starts, 16 more than No. 2 Jerry Rice.

Not too shabby for a Michigan quarterback who ran a 5.28 at the combine and was said to be saddled with a mediocre arm.

For years, Brady was obsessed with proving those pro scouts wrong.

More than two decades have passed and it’s fair to say Brady has made his point. He wasted no time as a rookie revealing his remarkable confidence and drive. Patriots owner Robert Kraft will never forget that first encounter with a sixth-round pick.

“He looked at me like a laser and said, ‘I’m the best decision this organization’s ever made.’ ” Kraft recalls.

That’s an audacious claim, but Brady soon backed it up, guiding the 2001 Patriots to a stunning upset against the Rams in the first of his 10 Super Bowl appearances.


On the face of it, Brady has run out of worlds to conquer. He has already proven he knows how to lead a club to a repeat championship. No team has accomplished that feat since the 2004 Patriots, but if the Bucs successfully defend their crown, no one would be surprised.

That’s because Brady’s been there, done that.

A year ago, it was easy to determine the driving force behind Brady’s decision to keep playing at the age of 42. He was out to prove there was life beyond New England. He wanted to succeed without the towering figure of Bill Belichick pulling the strings for the organization.

Well, Brady just went 15-5 while Belichick stumbled to a 7-9 finish, prompting a free-agent spending spree in Foxboro. Brady is brandishing another Super Bowl ring while Belichick is desperate for reliable play under center. Brady is tossing the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a boat parade while Belichick scours the landscape for safe harbor.

Even Brady’s wife, Gisele, asked the obvious question of No. 12 after the Bucs trounced the Chiefs: what more do you have to prove?

Let’s be honest, Brady has run out of real challenges so he’ll have to manufacture a few.

He came up with a doozy this week when he told Michael Strahan that his obsession is to throw “a frickin’ spiral.”

He fired more than a few during the closing 8-game winning streak, when he threw 22 TD passes and only four interceptions while Tampa Bay averaged 34 points.

The man has seemingly run out of worlds to conquer … or has he?

The only thing left for Brady is his pure love of the game, and that’s enough. The challenges are gone, but the passion remains and in the end, passion rules.

When Brady wakes up one day and doesn’t want to work on his game, that’s when he’ll know it’s over.

Thankfully for Buc Nation, he ain’t there yet.

Ira!ย  … Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, is ready to help you personally. Just call, email or stop in, one mile north of Raymond James Stadium.

16 Responses to “Challenges Gone, Passion Remains”

  1. ModHairKen Says:

    Some people need motivation. Tom Brady is not one of them. That’s how a 199 pick with 5.28 speed and a mediocre arm — so much for the importance of the Combine — gets to be the most decorated QB ever.

    And his story can never be told without mentioning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He’s not going to take so much time away from his family to play mediocre football….he is a Champion & wants to go out a Champion.

    I am convinced that winning the SB only motivated him to win another one.

  3. Swampbuc Says:

    GOAT remains GOATISH.

  4. BillyBucFan Says:

    Yep now the challenge is back to back for 2 different teams.
    Then of course 3 in a row.

    Dare I say a Cinderella year for Good Ole #10.
    Plenty of motivation for this guy still

  5. Youngbucs Says:


  6. Walter Says:

    I used to hate Brady, but thatโ€™s because I didnโ€™t see him for what he truly is. I thought he was a benefactor of playing for Belichick, now I see that Tom Brady is truly the ultimate competitor and leader of men. I love his passion for the game.

  7. Darin Says:

    Cmon Ira. Challenges gone? That would be retirement. Winning each game is his challenge. He loves competition. And I love that

  8. Hawk Says:

    I agree with BillyBucFan. The ‘challenge’ is to win back-to-back with two different teams. It’s never been done, andif accomplished, it isn’t likely to be repeated. My fear is that Brady will then decide ‘enough is enough’.

  9. dls5492 Says:

    Love of the game and the love for winning can carry you along way.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    He had a perfect season with NE but didn’t win the SB. How about a perfect season and winning the SB? Talk about a challenge. That’s something to keep you motivated, and it would come during the NFL’s 1st 17-game regular season. C’mon Tom, you can do it!

  11. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Has any QB retired on a three peat?

    There. There’s your goal.

  12. TampaTown Says:

    โ€œAnd Alexander (the Great) wept, seeing as he had no more worlds to conquer.โ€
    – Hans Gruber
    Die Hard 1988

  13. No Risk It No Biscuit Says:

    Many of us agree:

    3PEAT BABY!!!!!

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We should truly savor this. It’s something to share with kids and grandkids…well for you younger guys. LMAO

    This is like watching Babe Ruth…Michael Jordan…Dale Earnhardt…Tiger Woods.

    Some athletes are special. I was privileged to cover Dale Earnhardt and his personality matched his talent.

    He could be a great intervirw or a bit of a jerk. Bitt Elliott btw…the “fan favorite” was always a total ahole. So once in the off season I asked Dale when was a good time to talk to him to catch him in one of his great “quotes” moods.

    Always honest to the core Earnhardt looked at me and said…”If I’m winning talk to me, if I’m losing stay the hell way.”

  15. PatsBucsfan4years Says:

    Perfect season then a 3 peat against Belidouche and Kafty Massage !
    You Can Do It Tampa Bradys ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

  16. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    A 5.28 40 .. lol that’s so funny to look at!! … My daughter is 14 and runs track for school… She’s the best around and is probably going to state this year but even she can run faster than that at 14 … Again, she’s EXTREMELY fast and has only come in 2nd once when she had a muscle hurting her… But still, he’s a pro football player and she’s a 14 year old track runner!! Lol