Kramer: Tom Brady’s legacy – never give up

Eventually, five of the six Super Bowl Championships won by Tom Brady as quarterback of the Patriots will be statistical accomplishments prominently displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and the Patriots Hall of Fame in Foxboro. The sixth championship, however will remain as much more than a legacy of statistics. The 68,000 in attendance at his tribute this Sunday and millions more who watched are acutely aware that there is one victory that best defines him.

In February 2017, when the Patriots were trailing Atlanta 28-3 in the Super Bowl, Brady went up and down the sidelines, screaming encouragement and firing up his teammates. Many fans  who had been watching on television had already given up due to such a large deficit. Not Brady.

Over the next quarter, Brady sacked Atlanta like General William Tecumseh Sherman did  for the Union  in 1864 and his leadership that day set an example that still sticks.

“Never Give Up.”

A card was given to those who attended the rain-soaked tribute Sunday at Gillette Stadium. It included personal records Brady accomplished over his career. The list goes on an on. He was not the fastest quarterback, nor did he have the best arm of many of his predecessors. Brady’s success centered on an unparalleled determination not to lose which surpassed that of everyone else.

The Patriots’  comeback from a 28-3 deficit against Atlanta in February 2017 to win 34-28 truly was the signature moment in his storybook career. It  provided millions of kids and others with a prime example why they should never give up.

The lesson transcends football.

The final tribute at Sunday’s ceremony was the playing of Bon Jovi’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” It was a fitting song to welcome Brady back to Foxboro. The work ethic he demonstrated for his entire career is the lesson that he has driven home. It is his most valuable legacy.

Steve Kramer is an attorney and former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts from 1980 to 1987.


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