Over the last two decades, it’s been impossible to talk about the NFL without mentioning Tom Brady. The longtime New England Patriots quarterback, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, has won a record-setting seven Super Bowls during that span. In doing so, he’s placed himself alone at the top as the near unanimous greatest player of all time.
Brady will be back with the Bucs next year, but at the age of 44, it’s worth asking him a very important question: what motivates him to keep going?
With all that Brady has accomplished in football, he has no need to prove anything else to anyone. But for the Buccaneers quarterback, it’s no longer about proving something to other people.
Instead, it’s about proving to himself that he can still play and compete at the highest level.
“It’s hard to walk away from something that you still feel like you can do and you wanna do,” Brady told James Corden in an appearance on The Late Late Show. “So it’s not about proving it to others what you can do, it’s more about proving it to yourself. And I still feel like even though I’ll be 44 this year, I still have a chance to prove it to myself that I can still do it at 44, because I really worked to a point where I can still do it at this age.”
— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) June 24, 2021
For most of his career, Brady used the hatred he received from others as his own personal motivator. After being drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, he leaned into that underdog mentality and used it as fuel for his success.
But it sounds like Brady has moved past that part of his career. In 2021 with the Buccaneers, he’ll be playing for himself, which may be even more frightening for his opponents.