Tom Brady's impact was best measured in Goosebumps

In a post-game interview, Brady’s face was flushed, his hair disheveled like a kid from the playground. He was informed that Madden, bef...

In a post-game interview, Brady’s face was flushed, his hair disheveled like a kid from the playground. He was informed that Madden, before the last practice of the game, had insisted that the Patriots play conservatively, settling for overtime.

“Madden was afraid you were doing something stupid,” a reporter said.

Brady, then 24, looked hurt at first. Then he considered what he had just done.

Grinning mischievously, Brady said Madden, the game’s biggest celebrity at the time, was wrong. Brady added: “I can say that, right?”

He could then, and for the next two decades, could say almost anything he wanted. Brady’s stardom and his football magic became deeply intertwined with the narrative of the cultural monolith the NFL would become over the course of his career.

On Tuesday, Brady retired, the last simple gesture in a legendary life of professional football so complex, productive, triumphant and relevant that he became one of the most well-known – and sometimes reviled – people in America.

Generally calm on the field and elegant off it, he started more NFL games, won more championships, set more records than nearly all of his peers, and was embroiled in multiple scandals ending with the “-gate” suffix. “. Above all, he let goosebumps build up in his wake. Brady will take his place in a separate wing of the pantheon of North American sports greats reserved for Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, et al.

Perhaps longer than anyone else, he was the face of the NFL during a period that saw the league rise to preeminent status among sports played in the United States.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tom Brady's impact was best measured in Goosebumps
Tom Brady's impact was best measured in Goosebumps
Newsrust - US Top News
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