TAMPA — If you loved Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance, get ready to watch the Tom Brady version on ESPN.
The network will present a nine-part documentary series, Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, on the legendary quarterback. It’s set to be released in 2021.
“Realizing my potential has been what my career has been all about,” Brady says in the video trailer, released Thursday. “Things that I’ve dreamed about have actually come true. Things have happened in my life as I kind of hoped they would happen. It’s been just a complete evolution, just how I’ve kept fighting and clawing to continue to power forward.
“You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you keep trying to make progress. So when I look at over 20 years and how far I’ve come, but there’s not one step that I’ve took where I’ve realized, ‘Look how far I’ve come.’ But those series of steps I’ve put together, I go, ‘Wow, man, that’s quite a journey.’ ”
By now, everybody is pretty aware of Brady’s journey, which will continue for the next two seasons in Tampa Bay.
He was a backup quarterback in San Mateo, Calif., on his freshman high school team that did not win a game. When he got to the University of Michigan in 1995, he was seventh on the depth chart, eventually becoming the starter over his final two years.
Brady wasn’t selected until the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, No. 199 overall. When he got to the Patriots, he was fourth on the depth chart, behind starter Drew Bledsoe. But Bledsoe got hurt in Week 2 of the 2001 season, Brady stepped in, and the legend began.
He led the Patriots to nine Super Bowls in his 20 seasons, winning a record six. He engineered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, rallying from a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons in overtime in the 2016 season.
“I have quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech since I saw it painted on our weight room wall at UM in 1995,’’ Brady tweeted. “It’s a constant reminder to ignore the noise, buckle my chinstrap and battle through whatever comes my way.’’
Previously, Brady was the subject of a six-part documentary, Tom vs. Time, released on Facebook Watch in 2018. It was filmed during the 2017 season, ending with the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
He is the closest NFL version of Jordan, minus the superior physical attributes. But Brady’s that kind of competitor who makes players around him better and almost wills his team to win.
Who knows if it will be as good as The Last Dance. The ending hasn’t been written yet.