Tom Brady said he is not a “big hypothetical guy,” but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about what life would be like if 19-0 became a reality in 2008.
During Tuesday’s episode of “Man in the Arena,” which chronicled the Patriots’ chase of perfection during the 2007 season, Brady pondered if his “desire” would have been different had the Giants not slammed the door on Pats’ dream of immortality in Super Bowl 42.
“Had we won that game, I don’t know, I’m not a big hypothetical guy, but maybe the desire is a little bit different,” Brady said. “If you’re looking at silver lining, maybe the desire to, you know, reach that point, you know, maybe I would have been fulfilled… you know, not to stop playing at that time, but I don’t know, maybe I’d play another seven or eight years and maybe I’m fulfilled. Maybe not.”
The Patriots infamously wrapped the 2007 regular season with a 16-0 record. They went on to face the Giants in the Super Bowl, where New York pulled off a stunning upset, 17-14.
Following the game, Brady and the rest of the Patriots returned to their hotel, where they tried to digest what just transpired.
“Our hearts were broken,” he recalled. “I didn’t sleep but for 20 minutes that night.”
Despite the heartbreaking experience, Brady added that while the outcome itself couldn’t be changed, there were lessons to be learned.
“There’s not much I could do about it now, and maybe that’s the lesson in life is, you know, dealing with what happens, positive, negative. You can’t change it, you can learn from it. And hopefully, it can make you a good person and you can deal with life in a positive way. And when things don’t go your way, you know, appreciate the other people who it goes good for and then try your hardest to get back there again,” he said.
Brady, who had three Super Bowl rings at the time, then made a vow to himself if he were ever to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again.
“I knew if I ever won a Super Bowl again I was gonna celebrate the s—t out of that one,” Brady said.
For those keeping track, Brady did get back to the Super Bowl a few more times after the 2007 season, his first being a rematch against the Giants for the 2011 season, with New York besting New England once again.
The Patriots got their first Super Bowl victory, post-Giants, in February 2015, when they defeated the Seahawks. Brady, now 44 and with the Buccaneers, later added three more rings to his collection, including his first with Tampa Bay earlier this year.