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Brennan's brief Why Tom Brady was there with the world’s elite sports stars like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer

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Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff at Raymond James Stadium. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff at Raymond James Stadium. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff at Raymond James Stadium. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It’s hard trying to put Tom Brady’s sporting career into an Irish context – but here goes. Imagine there was a truly great Gaelic Footballer, a Mick O’Connell, a Jack O’Shea, a Pat Spillane or a Stephen Cluxton, who had won more All-Ireland medals than any county.

Yes, imagine if one of them had won more medals than Kerry or Dublin or Galway or Tyrone ever had.

That’s what Tom Brady did in the stellar career that he called time on yesterday. Brady won the Super Bowl seven times, being voted best player in the match five times, while no team has won the competition more than six times.

44-year-old Brady led the New England Patriots to their six wins, they share their place on top of the leaderboard with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And then, at the end of his career, the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) went off to Tampa Bay and won one more Super Bowl there.

American Football is an exotic sport for many people in Ireland, It gets a little bit of attention at this time of year in our country because the Super Bowl is played at this time of the year – it will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday week.

In the sport, big men crash into each other, looking to knock each other down.

And for the last 22 years, big men have been looking for Brady every second he is on the pitch. And there he was until Tuesday, when all of his contemporaries are attending to their business interests, or enjoying the golf course, Brady was, until yesterday, an active player.

There is no position in Irish sport quite like an American football quarter-back. A rugby out-half is about the closest.

But then not every play on a rugby pitch goes through the out-half, the forwards can pick up the ball and run with it, the scrum-half can do the same thing or he can kick the ball away.

Yet in American football, the quarter-back takes every play, he runs the show and he gets tackled hard, accordingly. That Brady was still out there on the pitch, at 44, taking his licks, was astonishing.

Despite the very Irish name, Tom never mentioned any Irish roots. He came from California, played at College in Michigan and became a sporting legend in Boston and Tampa Bay.

He married a supermodel in Gisele Bundchen and was the very image of the American dream, a kid who achieved fame on the sports pitch and acquired the wealth that went with that status.

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But above all, Brady was just the best. Up there with the world’s elite sports stars like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer for their brilliance and longevity. We’ll miss the GOAT.

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