Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft. If you don’t understand the draft or football, you only need to know these two things: 1) Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL ((I actually think Peyton Manning is the best, but the two are nearly interchangeable for the title.)) 2) There are 7 rounds to the NFL draft, 32 slots in each round, and finding a talent — a legendary talent, nonetheless — in the 6th round is a steal (a very good selection considering the slot the player was drafted, and the player’s talent) and VERY hard. Like many drafts, the NFL draft can be a crapshoot, but the Patriots did right in 2000.
Peter King, a writer for Sports Illustrated, published in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that Tom Brady had only one gripe about his career thus far: he was drafted in the 6th round. ((I wish I could find the column, but it escapes me.)) If you still don’t understand football or the draft, you only need to know this: being drafted in the 6th round means that 32 teams passed on choosing you to play for their team at least 5 times. According to Peter King’s expose, this was Tom Brady’s only gripe.
Hearing Mr. Brady say that this was his only gripe had to mean something, and, of course, it does. One of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played the game was drafted in the 6th round. In more accessible, albeit trite, terms, Tom Brady overcame the odds. He is inspiring.
What does this mean for me and you? Sure, Tom Brady, an athlete with exceptional gifts and talents, overcame the odds and made a career for himself in the NFL, but what about us? We aren’t Tom Brady, but that hardly means we can’t do as he did. This is an extreme example, but if you’re set up 90 metres behind in the 100 metre dash, will you give up? If you give up, you lose. If you still race as if you were in parity with the other racers, you will probably still lose, but you’ll have exhibited an exceptional spirit and attitude. That spirit and attitude is inspirational; it is vital in overcoming any odd. That spirit and attitude is habitual of the excellent, and practiced by the world changers. That spirit is Spirit, and that attitude is Attitude. Tom Brady has that spirit and attitude. Do you?
Note: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady’s “nemesis”, was drafted in the 1st round, the second slot. I like Peyton better than Tom, but I should also mention that I like Peyton’s brother, Eli, even more than Peyton.
The top image is a capture of Tom during the scouting combine when NFL scouts run the draft prospects through drills to get a better feel for their attributes; the photo is almost humiliating, almost like a shame on top of the shame of being drafted in the 6th. The bottom image is a capture of Tom overcoming his draft slot, and winning, as of writing, 1 of his 3 Superbowls wins.