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Tom Brady says he is a ‘Patriot for Life’ as franchise honors him with halftime ceremony

Tom Brady and his family made a dramatic return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, where the New England Patriots paid tribute to the recently-retired quarterback with a ceremony at halftime of their season-opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Patriots put together an emotional two-minute video that made sure to highlight Brady‘s enormous contributions to the franchise, including half a dozen Super Bowl wins and the NFL records for passing yards and passing touchdowns.

Brady returns to “his house”

Brady was a guest of Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Sunday for New England‘s season opener against the reigning NFC champion Eagles. The 46-year-old may have turned his attention to ownership now that his playing days are over, but he will always have a home at Gillette Stadium — which opened in 2002, Brady’s third season in the NFL.

Brady won six of his record seven Super Bowls — along with four of his five Super Bowl MVP awards — while playing for Bill Belicheck in New England. He is indelibly linked with the franchise as the most well-known figure of its nearly two-decade dynasty, and his exit through free agency in 2020 was a bitter pill to swallow for many Pats fans.

But Brady quieted any doubts Sunday as to where his loyalty lies, proclaiming that he is a “Patriot for Life.”

Pats honor Brady

The Patriots announced that Brady would be enshrined as the 33rd member of the team’s Hall of Fame next June, in honor of his significant contributions to the franchise across 20 glorious seasons in Foxboro. It was the icing on the cake of a ceremony to remember for Patriots fans — who saw Brady don his old #12 jersey and take part in his old pregame ritual — including a healthy fist-pump.

Typically, there is a four-year waiting period for entry into the Patriots Hall of Fame, but team owner Kraft thought it necessary to grant an exception owing to Brady’s legendary status. And the June 12 induction date bears its own significance — the sixth month of 2024, honoring the number of Super Bowls that Brady won in New England, and the 12th day in honor of Brady’s famous jersey number.

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