Mid-career retrospective of the New England Patriots’ three-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback.
It takes a truly charismatic individual to transcend football’s inherent facelessness—22 players, wearing helmets that obscure their features, playing an all-for-one game—to become a bona-fide star. Tom Brady, with his just-one-of-the-guys mentality, unrelenting determination and walnut-cracking chin, is one such individual. Pierce (Sports Guy, 2000, etc.) chronicles the Patriots’ 2005 season while spotlighting Brady and telling the story of his rise from skinny teenager to two-time Super Bowl MVP and media superstar. The author discusses Brady’s experiences in high school, the coaching he received from throwing guru Tom Martinez and his up-and-down career at the University of Michigan. Through trials and tribulations that included a cross-country move away from his close-knit California family and a lack of support from Michigan boosters (who would have preferred that he be benched in favor of local product Drew Henson), Brady won over teammates, kept improving and ultimately thrived in the hypercompetitive NFL. After an incredible run of success, 2005 proved to be a season of injury and adversity for the Patriots, though a disappointing loss in the playoffs didn’t prevent Brady from displaying his characteristic combination of competitive fire and maturity. Pierce provides sharp descriptions of in-game action and humorous asides that help keep the game in perspective despite hyperbolic rhetoric from the quarterback’s teammates, coaches and opponents. The quarterback himself remarks that he’s too young to have this type of book written about him, and he may be right.
An entertaining, though overly effusive look at a star whose unparalleled accomplishments to date are just the beginning.