Tom Brady famously became the 199th overall pick and seventh signal-caller selected in the 2000 NFL Draft. Those facts helped motivate the greatest quarterback of all time to seven Super Bowl championships.
As he heads toward his 44th birthday, Brady joined The Late Late Show with James Corden and said his motivation for continuing to grind forward in a game in which many of his teammates are half his age is more internal than external at this point.
"It's hard to walk away from something that you still feel like you can do and you want to do," Brady said. "So it's not about proving it to others what you can do, it's more about proving it to yourself. And I still feel like even though I'll be 44 this year, I still have a chance to still prove it to myself that I can still do it at 44, because I really worked to a point where I can still do it at this age."
To play armchair psychologist, Brady's athlete-speak answer belies the truth that it's the external motivation that fueled the internal fire in the first place. After 20-plus years of shoveling "I'll prove them wrong" coals, it's dang near impossible to shut that engine off. Brady viewing his goals as internal underscores how the fuel has permeated his entire character. It's not untrue that Brady's focus is more internal than external at this stage. It's only a fraction of reality -- a reality humans have an innate ability to compartmentalize.
Following Brady's answer about why he continues to toil at his age, Corden asked TB12 how often he thinks about being the Greatest of All Time.
"I don't," Brady responded.
"Really?" Corden said. "You never sit and think: At what I do, I'm the best?"
"It's like saying what do you like better, steak, fish, chicken?" Brady said.
"Steak," Corden said, cutting him off.
Brady is one of the most manic competitors on the planet. It's what drove a player with the physical gifts of a sixth-rounder to G.O.A.T. status. Surely, there are times when he thinks about himself in comparison to other QBs of past and present. It's human nature to do so. And it's perfectly fine if he doesn't want to share those thoughts with the world.