A lifetime of memories - and 6 Super Bowl wins

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The city of champions has lost its most beloved athlete. Tom Brady announced via his personal Instagram account on Tuesday morning that he will not be resigning with the New England Patriots. Brady has spent his entire 20 -year career with New England.

"I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career," Brady wrote.

The news shocked some, but not all football fans. The writing has been on the wall for a potential Brady exit for months. That day is now here. Brady's new team, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter in a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon, will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady goes by many nicknames, but his most well-known is GOAT (Greatest of All Time). It's something all athletes aspire to be, yet only the best of the best get that recognition. The GOAT acronym is reserved for the best of the best in their respected sport; Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. has earned the right to be on that list with his legendary play over the 20 years.

Brady has been the poster child of an ultra-successful two decades of professional sports in the city of Boston. The city has won 12 major sports championships in that span, six of those being Lombardi trophies. Brady's role in those championships cannot be overstated.

Brady is the epitome of success in the world of professional sports. It would take the entire sports section of this newspaper to list all of his accomplishments and records, and I'm still not sure if there would be enough room.

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There is one stat I want to shed some light on. If you negate his first season, where he only attempted three passes, as well as 2008 when he suffered a season ending ACL tear in week 1, Brady had 18 full-seasons as the Patriots starting quarterback. Of those 18 years, he led his team to the Super Bowl in HALF of them. The Patriots reached nine Super Bowls in those 18 seasons. Brady turned Super Bowl Sunday into a regional holiday in New England with his consistent success.

As a Patriots fan, it felt weird watching a Super Bowl and not seeing your team. It almost felt like a given. Not many sports organizations, in any sport for that matter, can say they have enjoyed the success the Patriots have enjoyed with TB12 under center.

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Brady acknowledged the success of the organization in his post

"Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments," Brady wrote.

He will go down as one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of team sports. It is only fitting Brady highlighted the team success in his announcement, not wanting to take any credit himself.

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Now that the Brady era is officially over, can Pats fans come together and collectively admit that we've been spoiled? As a 23-year-old, I don't know anything other than championship parades in the city of Boston. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm just simply stating that this unprecedented level of success couldn't be sustained, and shouldn't be expected to moving forward. That level of pressure will only hurt the team.

It is not set in stone that the end of the Brady era signals the end of the Patriots dynasty, although it sure feels like the first domino to fall. Bill Belichick is still the coach, and Patriots fans will have to wait and see what kind of roster he is able to construct. The most obvious question is who will be the next Patriots starting quarterback? Jarrett Stidham is currently QB1, but he doesn't feel like the future after watching him play sparingly in the regular season.

It will be weird to see Brady in another NFL jersey after 20 years, but he has earned that right. Brady has put the team first all these years, taking pay cuts so Belichick could build a championship caliber team year in and year out. Brady deserves to play where he wants to, and if that is indeed Tampa Bay, boy will it be fun to watch him throw to All Pro receiver Mike Evans.

Thank you Tom, for all the great memories and all the victories. You have made being a Patriots fan for the past 20 years as enjoyable as it could possibly be.

The Buccaneers just gained a fan.


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