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Top 12 Moments of Tom Brady’s Patriots Hall of Fame Ceremony



Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady waves to the crowd at the conclusion of the Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Brady at Gillette Stadium, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The New England Patriots honored Tom Brady with a night to remember on Wednesday. The June 12 date (6/12) represented the number of Super Bowls he helped the Patriots win, plus his jersey No. 12. Patriots and NFL legends gathered to pay tribute to the greatest player in NFL history.

Tom Brady being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame was the honor everyone came for. Robert Kraft announced New England is retiring Brady’s No. 12. There will be a future unveiling of a 12-foot statue of Tom Brady outside of the Patriots Hall of Fame.

There were many highlights, but this is a recap of 12 favorites.

The Red Carpet

With all due respect to Joan Rivers and others, the red carpet at major events has never interested me. However, the red carpet for Tom Brady’s Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony was sensational. This is especially true for those who have followed the team for decades. From the previous Patriots Hall of Fame inductees wearing red jackets, to championship role players, it was great to see them all.

Bill Burr

If a comedian is going to get the crowd on his side at an event in front of New England Patriots fans, it is tough to imagine a better approach than the one taken by Bill Burr. Coming out bashing Alex Rodriguez was a great way to get the crowd excited. He also took some friendly jabs at NFL coaches Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, and Andy Reid. It set up a great “us vs. the world” tone that the New England Patriots and their fans embraced for decades.

Musical Performances

It doesn’t matter if people are fans of Jay Z or Kenny Chesney. Having them perform at Gillette Stadium on a Wednesday night to pay respects to Tom Brady was awesome. With all due respect to John Hannah, the greatest New England Patriots player of all time before Brady’s arrival, the 1980s equivalents of Jay Z and Kenny Chesney were not showing up on a weekday night in June to pay tribute to the offensive guard. Despite two decades of excellence, having the Patriots be a big deal still seems surreal to fans of a certain age. Having two superstar artists perform was further validation that it all actually happened.

Drew Bledsoe’s Words

Bledsoe was recently seen at The Greatest Roast of All-Time: Tom Brady, cutting into his former backup and eventual replacement. Although the harassment of the GOAT was intended to be in good spirits, the sentiments shared on stage Wednesday night were more heartfelt. Drew Bledsoe was part of a segment called “QB Room” sharing the stage with others who shared the quarterback room with Brady. Coach Josh McDaniels, Matt Cassel, and Brian Hoyer joined Bledsoe and Brady on stage.

Drew Bledsoe pointed out that all of Brady’s former teammates were only there because of what a great person Brady was. The fans would love him no matter what since he won so much, but there wouldn’t be nearly as many Patriots players in attendance. Bledsoe also took the opportunity to throw a little jab, calling Brady, “the worst backup quarterback in the history of the NFL.”

Randy Moss Emotion

Conservatively speaking, Randy Moss is one of the top five wide receivers in NFL history. Eight of his 15-year NFL career was spent with the Minnesota Vikings, but the three full seasons he spent with the New England Patriots were special. It felt like Moss never realized how special they were to Patriots fans until Wednesday night. He got visibly emotional, wiping away tears, at the thunderous ovation he received from the Foxboro faithful. Many people use the phrase “I’m humbled” when it does not necessarily apply. It genuinely seemed like Moss was humbled by the warm reception he received. Catching 23 touchdown passes in a season for a 16-0 team does not go unappreciated, regardless of falling one win short of perfection.

Bill Belichick Ovation

Despite a 4-13 record in his final year, “parting ways” with New England following the season, and the beating he took in “The Dynasty” series, Patriots Nation did not forget what Bill Belichick has meant to their franchise. Without some prompting from Belichick to let him begin speaking it felt like the ovation would have gone on forever. He expressed his love for Patriots Nation and Tom Brady. Belichick may not have been moved to tears, but the reception clearly meant a lot to him. It was fantastic to see.

Belichick Recapping Brady Highlights

The ovation Bill Belichick received was tremendous. So was his heartfelt response and declaration of love for Patriots Nation. But for the “football nerds” among us, watching the coach recall specific plays from Tom Brady was spectacular. He mentioned passes to Troy Brown, Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski like they happened the day before. Belichick even mentioned two running plays that stood out in his memory. He said, “And we can go on and on” discussing great Tom Brady plays. It is doubtful anyone in attendance would have objected.

Boston Sports Legends

Boston is a four-sport city. There are ebbs and flows to the success of the various teams, but all four franchises won at least one championship during Brady’s time in New England. The Patriots won six, the Red Sox four, and the Bruins and Celtics each enjoyed one victory parade. A video was shown with the stars of the other three franchises congratulating Brady on his special night. Having David Ortiz, Patrice Bergeron, and Paul Pierce join the ceremony, even if only by video, was electric.

Booing NFL Rivals

Another video showed several Patriots rivals congratulating Tom Brady. The reaction from the fans was mixed, though all heartfelt. Even the negative receptions were all in good fun (from this perspective). Charles Woodson and Jayson Taylor received almost no response. Ray Lewis was booed, while his Ravens teammate Ed Reed received the only cheers of the group. Michael Strahan was booed loudly, though not as badly as Patrick Mahomes. The loudest jeers were saved for Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who helped beat the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl. It’s unclear if anyone heard what he said as the noise began as soon as he was shown. It didn’t even seem personal, just a natural reaction.

Applause for Peyton Manning

No individual was a bigger rival to Tom Brady in his playing days than Peyton Manning. For years with the Colts, and then the Broncos, the AFC usually went through Brady or Manning. The older Manning brother was there in person and received a nice ovation from the crowd. As their rivalry progressed, so did their relationship and friendship. It has a similar feel to the arc of the relationship between NBA legends Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Patriots fans enjoyed rooting against Peyton Manning, but he earned their respect and admiration when it was over.

One in a Billion

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson broke down the scientific probabilities of Tom Brady’s incredible career in a video segment. It was only two minutes long but incredibly powerful. It featured clips of Brady from Little League to the Super Bowl. Not sure if this scribe was the only one it gave chills to but it is certainly worth a watch:

Tom Brady

The entire night was an awesome tribute featuring so many people and moments important to New England Patriots fans everywhere. In addition to the 11 moments mentioned, Robert Kraft did a terrific job with his speech, and there were great Brady stories from Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Matt Cassel, and others. But nothing topped the man of the honor himself, Tom Brady.

Brady was visibly emotional at several points throughout the night. The legendary quarterback visibly felt the crowd’s enthusiasm. He finished the evening with a terrific speech. Brady cited the hard work and dedication that is necessary for greatness. He shared heartfelt words about the late Myra Kraft. Brady said Mrs. Kraft was, “A huge impact on my life.”

But the line that stood out most for New England Patriots fans was how the greatest of all time summed up the entire celebration.

“I am Tom Brady and I am a Patriot.”

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