These Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks can teach us all a lot about determination, taking the high road and other ways to win at life.
- Posted on Feb 5, 2021
By all accounts, the matchup between NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes in Sunday’s Super Bowl is one for the ages.
On the one side, we have 43-year-old Tom Brady—widely considered to be the greatest quarterback of all-time—trying to clinch his seventh Super Bowl Trophy during his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Opposite him is wonderkid Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Only 25 years old, he already led his team to victory in last year’s Super Bowl and was named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2020—and those are only two of the many honors he’s received during his three years in the NFL.
You don’t have to play football or even like football to be impressed.
Personally, I like Super Bowl parties and have occasionally needed to be reminded of who is playing before I walk in the door. But that doesn’t mean I can’t glean some inspiration from these two gridiron giants. Here’s some life lessons that can make us all winners.
1. Never give up. Like the Energizer Bunny, Brady has just kept going and going—through injuries, scandals (remember Deflatgate?) and the inevitable aging. He wasn’t born with extraordinary skill. At first meeting, his high school football coach was unimpressed with Brady, who he found to be “slow as molasses.” But through sheer determination and hard work, Brady currently ranks as one of the most impressive football player of all time.
2. Look for role models. Mahomes grew up in the world of professional sports; his father was a major league baseball player until Mahomes was 8 years old. He credits being able to get up close and personal with players like his dad, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter with teaching him the amount of discipline and hard work it takes to rise to the top.
3. Take the High Road. After leaving the New England Patriots in early 2020 after 20 years, Brady could have easily gloated about his return to the Super Bowl with another team. But he refuses to say a bad word about the Patriots or head coach Bill Belichick—no matter how often the press tries to goad him into it.
4. Trust in God. Mahomes has been vocal about the fact that his strong Christian faith is what keeps him going—and has kept him humble during his rapid rise to stardom. “It’s given me a lot of blessings in my life and I’m trying to maximize and glorify Him in everything I do,” he said after last year’s Super Bowl win.
5. Give back to your community. Both quarterbacks have committed time and big bucks to a number of charitable organization. Mahomes has worked to build tiny homes for veterans and in 2019 founded a charity, 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, which raises money for a wide variety of children’s causes. In 2015 Brady started the TB12 Foundation, an organization that encourages athletes—especially those at risk with financial problems or debilitating injuries—to keep going. The group also focuses on easing the burden for active duty military members, veterans and first responders. Brady has worked closely with a variety of other organizations and is credited with raising more than $45 million for Best Buddies International over two decades.