The Patriots honored legendary quarterback Tom Brady during Sunday’s season opener against the Eagles at Gillette Stadium.
Watch Tom Brady’s celebration at Gillette Stadium
Watch Brady’s celebration here:
Watch the highlight reel that aired on Gillette Stadium’s new video board prior to the ceremony:
Brady, sporting his No. 12 jersey, took the field to Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” and made a lap up the sideline as fans roared.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft kicked off the festivities by announcing Brady would be inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame on June 12, 2024, in a special ceremony at Gillette.
“Patriots fans didn’t get an opportunity to appropriately thank Tom when he left,” said Kraft. “I wanted to give them that opportunity. Unfortunately, a halftime ceremony just doesn’t provide enough time to honor Tommy the way he deserves.”
Brady thanked his teammates and family before declaring: “I’m a Patriot for life.”
What Tom Brady said during his ceremony on Sunday
Here’s a transcript of Brady’s speech:
“Thank you. Thank you guys. What a day. You know, that run out was a little longer today than it used to be. I’m not quite in game shape. But it’s impossible for me to be in this stadium full of you amazing fans, with some of the best teammates, with my family, with all my friends and not run out like I did for 20 years.
“This is an incredible celebration for me, for our family, for my teammates, for all of us to come back and thank you guys, for what you’ve done for us. I was so fortunate to be drafted here two decades ago, 23 years to be exact — not even knowing where New England was on the map. And not that we put it on the map, but I think a lot more people in the U.S. know where the New England Patriots play.
“Thank you, RKK (Robert Kraft), JK (Jonathan Kraft), the Kraft family, Coach Belichick all the staff, the coaches, my teammates, you fans. Nobody, 23 years ago, would imagine that this journey would bring us here today. We had six championships, a lot of countless memories in this stadium — celebrating wins against great teams in Foxborough weather like today, where we love, love seeing the opponents come in and be a little worried about what the conditions were gonna be like.
“We dealt with whatever came our way. We dealt with a lot of adversities and it toughed us up. And we, as a team, represented you guys every time we took the field. It’s one of my core beliefs — there’s nothing significant in life that can be accomplished as an individual. It’s always about the team.
“We [had] a culture of teammates and cared about two things. They cared about each other and they cared about winning. And if you didn’t care about those two things, you did not last here very long. And we were very happy to play against you. So I think we proved to America what teamwork’s all about. We prove that believing in each other, believing in playing for this community, and believing in playing for a common mission, we were able to pull down six of those banners and celebrate them in this stadium.
“All our lives take us on different journeys. They take us to different places. They bring different people into our lives. But one thing I’m sure of and that will never change, is that I am a Patriot for life.
“Thank you guys for an incredible day. Thank you to my teammates, some of whom I see right here, my family, my friends, my second family, and all of you guys for making it another day in this stadium that I’ll never forget. I love you guys so much. I’ll see you next summer. Thank you.”
A new tradition at Gillette Stadium?
Brady kicked off the day by ringing a bell on the top of the new lighthouse situated at the north end of the stadium.
The Patriots posted a video on social media saying Brady is the first “Keeper of the Light” — implying this could become a new tradition.