The Return of the Great

Tom Brady returns to New England

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Margaret Hardy

Fans cheer on quarterback Tom Brady during the October 3 game.

Margaret Hardy, Staff Writer

The day had finally arrived. Since former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced his departure from the team, fans and people all across the world had been counting down the days until his inevitable return to Foxborough. After just over a year and a half, Tom Brady returned back to where it all started, and played his first game back at Gillette Stadium against his former team.

To say this game had been one of the most talked about sports events of the year would be an understatement. After Tom Brady coming off a Super Bowl victory with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the New England Patriots coming off a frustrating playoff-less season, tensions were high. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their explosive offense were the general consensus to be the favorites, but few people were talking about score predictions.

“Fans never once left their feet, and as a short video montage of Tom Brady and his years as a Patriot played on the jumbotron, the cheers only got louder.””

— Margaret Hardy

Instead of speculation surrounding the score, almost everyone’s attention was on what Tom Brady’s welcome back to his former team would be like.

After leading the Patriots to an NFL record 6 super bowls, many fans felt betrayed by his decision to not only leave the Patriots, but to join another team. Would Tom Brady be welcomed back with open arms for all that he did for New England? Or would the fanbase treat him as any other opposing team’s quarterback? The world finally got its long-awaited answer Sunday night.

The buzz of excitement could be felt for miles along Gillette Stadium Sunday night. TV cameras lined the parking lot where tailgaters had been camping out for hours. Loud cheers and excited whispers filled the air as the minutes before kickoff ticked by. Rows of tents with games, food, and entertainment filled the entrance to the stadium. It could be felt in the air; the anticipation, excitement, and nervousness surrounding a moment that had been built up so high in everyone’s head for almost two years.

As the white, red, and black jerseys of the Buccaneers ran out onto the field for warmups;  all eyes were on the numbers on the back, searching for number 12. The moment Tom Brady stepped out onto the field, the stadium erupted. Almost every fan was on their feet.

Tom Brady received the standing ovation, like many thought he would, as he did his signature field-long run and fist pump. Soon after “Brady!” chants took over the crowd, and it was not hard to gauge the fans’ feelings towards their former quarterback.

During the introduction of the Buccaneers team before kickoff, the cheers sounded almost as loud as the Patriots introduction. Fans never once left their feet, and as a short video montage of Tom Brady and his years as a Patriot played on the jumbotron, the cheers only got louder.

Tom Brady left a legacy in New England that will not be forgotten anytime soon. After being picked late in the 6th round in the 2000 NFL Draft, few expected him to be an NFL starter, let alone one that could lead a team to such high success. He built a dynasty in New England, and fans were reminded of that Sunday night. He may wear different colors and play for a different name; but Tom Brady will always be remembered as a New England Patriots quarterback, and most importantly, the greatest of all time.

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