This is a story about Tom Brady but it applies to all champions.
First, I want to say up front that I have never been a fan of the New England Patriots. In fact, I’ve pulled against them every single game that they have played since 2001. I’m a Chiefs fan and a Peyton Manning groupie wannabe.
But last night I decided early on that I might root for Brady. My husband raised his eyebrows a bit. I wasn’t for the Patriots so much but as with Peyton, Brady is nearing the end of his great career so with my team out of the running and Peyton out of the game, I thought I could pull for him one time in my life.
Most people know his story if they follow football. No one wanted to draft him. He was skinny and slow and didn’t display any indication of the great quarterback that he would become.
But when he was given a shot, he made it count. Many times, people squander their one chance at being a champion or other things in life. I have squandered so many opportunities. I can imagine that Tom Brady knew that might be his only chance. He worked out, he practiced, he ate healthy meals and wouldn’t even drink alcohol even when his wife was drinking. His teammates couldn’t understand how he maintained his body even in the off season.
He’s as hot as hell but he’s tough. He plays hurt. He played at least one time with a broken bone. He’s been sacked many times and gets up and goes back at it.
He took his one chance and became a champion. From his play on field to his model wife to his perfect kids to his castle with a moat around it. He was far from perfect. He apparently deflated his footballs to a lower than regulation weight. Maybe he was just taking it to the edge of the rules. He wanted them that way and got caught. What was sad to me was that he never had to cheat if he did. He was proven to be a great quarterback. He didn’t need an edge. But again, he is a human. He paid up with his suspension and embarrassment and he went out and played all year as though it never happened. All champions are human with imperfections. That’s why I admire champions. They are all of us.
Being a winner doesn’t mean you are a champion. What makes a champion a champion is that they defy the odds. They never give up. When it gets hard, that’s when you know if they are champions or not. It’s not whether they win in the end but their drive to win.
During the first 3 quarters, I saw a glimpse of Brady on the sidelines and he had a bit of a defeated look on his face. Men with those faces always get to me. I thought the game was over and he was about to be humiliated. Champions don’t let those odds stop them. After that, all you could see on his face was that of a fierce competitor.
He’s a dad, a husband, a son, a patriot and a champion.
I have said in the past that I love winners. What I should have said was that I love champions.
There are many champions in the world. Champions can be soldiers, policemen, people with disabilities, old people, young children, men, women and yes, sports figures.
~Be a Champion, Be a Patriot~