The iconic quarterback left the team he’d led to six Super Bowl titles.
Then, in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 43-year-old Tom Brady pushed more pain on the New England Patriots by winning another Super Bowl ring.
The celebration that followed has been spectacular.
First, the Feb. 10 parade down the Hillsborough River in Tampa, with beverages aplenty, grabbed attention from just about everywhere.
And then came the notorious trophy pass, which Brady finally addressed almost two full weeks after the act.
Brady launched the Lombardi Trophy over open water, from his boat to a boat ferrying Tampa pass-catchers including tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate.
Not everyone enjoyed the toss — especially critical was the daughter of the original trophy’s silversmith.
While Brady did use Twitter to issue some self-deprecating comments about his overall behavior, he had not talked about the toss – which was very much NOT a perfect spiral.
During the weekend, he finally mentioned the pass on social media.
Via Instagram, Brady posted an image that included a sign saying “ChampaBay” and he called the toss “the riskiest pass I threw all season.”
For those who didn’t see the parade box score, the pass was caught by Brate. And the 29-year-old teammate certainly realized potential for very bad things.
“If I had dropped that? I think I would’ve had to retire,” Brate said after the parade. “That was amazing. He pointed it at me. We talked about it earlier. It was a great throw. I mean, what do you expect from Tom Brady? A great throw.”
A relieved Brady could be heard on another parade video saying to Brate, “If that hit your face, it would’ve been a disaster.”
And that “riskiest pass,” like Brady, has become iconic.