Tom Brady is one of the few athletes who can convincingly prove he’s the greatest of all time, and he’s getting the GOAT treatment thanks to a new ESPN documentary miniseries.
Man In The Arena: Tom Brady, the nine-part series that debuted this week on ESPN+, has followed the NFL legend throughout his long and record-breaking career. Each episode focuses on his Super Bowl appearances and traces his progress from unannounced sync to the most accomplished player in league history.
Brady took to the field in a New England Patriots jersey before it suited him throughout his football career – from pissing ball to the University of Michigan to NFL fame. At the same time, Brady told a story of his own.
The NFL loves to make male legends, and legend Tom Brady is part of the Hollywood magic.
Slightly neglected, a draft in the sixth round of the NFL Draft, Brady took centre stage in his rookie season when the starting quarterback in front of him was injured. He led his team to the championship dramatically, going around in circles and never looking back. Now, more than twenty years later, Brady has seven Super Bowl rings and nearly every statistical record a quarterback has.
But still, do we know Tom Brady? Humans are passwords, sometimes wooden, sometimes quirky, and despite all his achievements, he can feel very inaccessible to sports fans. Man In The Arena promises a welcome window into the record quarterback balloon.
It’s really very easy to forget that there was a time when we didn’t know Tom Brady’s name and didn’t associate him with Super Bowl glory. But back in 2001, it wasn’t the name he half-jokingly promised his family one day. He’s too young to rent a car, interested in being a backup quarterback, and is staying away from anyone as a future game-changer.
Man In The Arena: Tom Brady is structured to focus on one of the quarterback’s first nine Super Bowl appearances in each episode (he made ten if you count last year’s wins as the Tampa Bay Buccaneer, but this one is too fresh to consider here). Whether you acctually love or hate the New England Patriots, there’s something very appealing about his first outstanding performance in the 2001 season.
He is expected to sit behind Drew Bledsoe for many years:
Brady stepped down the middle when a devastating blow left Bledsoe. With internal bleeding and out for weeks. An established starter who has just signed the biggest deal in NFL history.
Brady started winning осто and never stopped, leading the Patriots to a last-minute win. Over the coveted Super Bowl champions, Biggest Show At Turf St. Louis Rams and then five more New England titles before they last went to Tampa.
This season does has been a lot of fun to play. And there’s a lot to remember for Brady as an unproven rookie. With wet ears, given what we know about the next two decades of his career. Brady himself provided much of the story with the help of several teammates from this season. The midfielders Willie McGuinness and Bledsoe, who offered his rearview, backed by the future GOAT.
What Man In The Arena has to offer isn’t particularly illuminating. That is, we don’t get a lot of unseen archival footage from The Last Dance. But it doesn’t come at the expense of the documentary. The real value lies in in-depth on-screen interviews.
That provide a much-needed human benefit for something that should be nothing more than a highlight. Brady himself looks more charming than before and sometimes looks like a human. It’ll be actually interesting to see how the story stays interesting. As Brady’s character goes from a daring underdog to a decorated champion. Still, if the first episode is any clue, there’s a good chance of success.
For football fans, Tom Brady has been a part of our lives for over two decades. But it’s still easy to feel like you don’t know him. Man In The Arena: Tom Brady went to great lengths to change that.