Tom Brady Unlikely Champion by Matt Doeden

September 30, 2012
How does one become one of the all time greatest figures in sports history? One makes the best of every opportunity presented to them and never gives up on their dream. That’s exactly what Tom Brady did to become successful. Tom Brady, the quarterback for The New England Patriots, was not born with natural talent and did not have an easygoing to the National Football League (NFL). Tom received little playing time throughout his high school and college career and was considered just a back up by his coaches. When he did play, he was extremely criticized for being slow and having poor footwork. That did not stop Tom Brady from becoming one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time to play in the NFL. Matt Doeden put Tom’s path to success into words with the story called The Unlikely Champion.
The best aspect of the book is that the author shows Tom Brady’s path to success from various viewpoints and puts them all together into one piece. Matt Doeden uses various newspaper articles, pictures, and different quotes to describe specific events. With all of those different perspectives it is as if you were actually there yourself. You feel like you are on the field alongside Tom Brady and you can feel the roar of the crowd after a touchdown. Matt Doeden does an unreal job at making you feel like you were actually there with Tom throughout his journey to the NFL.
Tom Brady did not even begin seriously playing football until high school. As a freshman, Tom played linebacker, but his dream was to play quarterback. He wanted to be like his idol Joe Montana, who was an elite quarterback in the NFL. It wasn't until his sophomore year that Tom began to play quarterback for his high school's junior varsity team. Once Tom played on the varsity team the criticism really started to come about.
The criticism was just fuel for Tom to become better. He was most criticized for his poor footwork. “ I’ve never been real fleet of the foot, I enjoyed the struggle of improving. I gained a lot out of it, in terms of mental toughness (11).” Those words by Tom Brady sum up his desire and determination to succeed. In every bad situation Tom found some good in it that benefited him. He believed that everything happened for a reason.
Tom’s high school football coach Tom Mackenzie once said to Tom “ things in life are earned not given (11).” That sentence describes everything that Tom ever did in his life; he earned it. He was given nothing, no one gave him a special chance at anything, no one went out of his or her way for him, and he earned everything he did by working hard.
Every high school athlete has a dream about playing their sport in college and so did Tom. Knowing that he wasn’t going to be noticed by scouts, Tom decided get scouts to notice him. He sent a highlight video of himself to 50 major colleges and that’s when he began to get noticed. Now multiple schools began to notice him only because Tom got himself noticed.
After multiple offers from the top college football schools in the country, Tom chose to attend The University of Michigan. Things here were not even close to what Tom expected them to be. He choose to go there because of the coach, but that coach was fired the summer that Tom accepted the offer. The new coach was Tom Brady’s worst nightmare. Everyone knows how hard it is to play for a coach that flat out does not like you no matter how good you do. It is almost impossible to stay on the team. Since Tom was redshirted he was going to spend the next 5 years on the team! Imagine spending 5 years of your life spending nearly everyday with someone who did not want you to succeed. Tom knew that he couldn’t quit. If he packed his bags and went home he would look like a failure to NFL scouts and then he certainly wouldn't get drafted.
Tom Brady did not give up. He kept his mouth shut and worked his hardest everyday. Michigan offensive coordinator praised Tom’s efforts by saying “Tom Brady never flinched, never complained. He took a difficult situation and handled it beautifully (26).” Eventually his hard worked paid off and Tom was given an opportunity to play in his junior year. After Tom got his chance to play he made sure he got to play the rest of the season by putting up amazing numbers in a come from behind win against a team that was considered to be the best in the country. From there Tom’s college football experience went from bad to good, winning the Orange Bowl that season.
Every football player has a dream of playing in the NFL and that was Tom’s dream as well. He had pushed through criticism his whole life and now he was entering the NFL draft. The criticism didn’t stop there though. NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. crushed Tom by saying that Tom “didn’t have the total package of skills.”
New England Patriots sixth round draft choice, the 199th overall pick of the draft, was Tom Brady. Even though he wasn’t drafted in the first few rounds, Tom finally was in the NFL. Anybody would be happy to be in the NFL no matter what draft picks he or she were.
Even though Tom did not play hardly at all as the third string quarterback, he still did not give up. He once said “ You’ve got to prepare each week like you’re going to start, and if you do that, you know you’re ready (34).” Finally after weeks of putting in extra work Tom was promoted to primary back up quarterback.
Then the opportunity came in the beginning of the following season, the starting quarterback got hurt and it was Tom who had to take over. From that game forward Tom Brady would be the starting quarterback for The New England Patriots.

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