Tom Brady reflects on the 20-year anniversary of his first NFL opportunity

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Twenty years ago today, Jets linebacker Mo Lewis blew up Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, collapsing his lung and opening the door for Tom Brady. Twenty years later, Brady is still going strong.

“Twenty years ago – time flies,” Brady told reporters on Thursday. “It goes pretty fast. It’s been a long time since that’s happened. A lot happens in 20 years.”

Could he have imagined what would have happened to him over the next two decades?

“I don’t think anyone thinks 20 years ago where their life would be,” Brady said. “I certainly don’t think in my wildest dreams I could’ve imagined what’s happened. I am just very appreciative and grateful for all of the different things that have happened over time. Really, it’s just about the support system of people. My teammates over 20 years, my coaches, my family, my friends — I just have great memories. I think sports have a great way of bringing a lot of people together. Sports are kind of integrated into the fabrics of our society for a reason. When I was a kid, it brought our family together on Sundays to watch the 49ers and we had season tickets. It was kind of what our Sundays were all about. We played a lot of softball in our house — my sisters played a lot of softball. They took our family out to the softball fields every night, soccer fields [too]. Our family was just kind of based around sports. Sports have a great way of bringing people together, and I think for my family still. It still has allowed everyone to come [together]. Like two weeks ago, I had everyone here for the opener which was a lot of fun. It’s been a great journey.”

Indeed it has, and the journey continues. Indefinitely. At some point in the next 20 years, Brady surely will retire. When he does, he’ll likely set a standard that won’t be matched in our lifetimes — or maybe ever.

Tom Brady reflects on the 20-year anniversary of his first NFL opportunity originally appeared on Pro Football Talk