TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Many football fans and experts already considered Tom Brady the greatest of all time before he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While his final season didn’t go as planned, fans say Brady certainly lived up to the hype by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy (and then tossing it on the Hillsborough River) after Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.
“I just got to tell him thank you because without him it doesn’t happen,” Bucs superfan Keith “Big Nasty” Kunzig said.
The quarterback who defied father time and rewrote the NFL record book led the Bucs to their second Super Bowl championship.
“He gave me one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for and that’s on my bucket list,” Kunzig said. “I got to experience a Super Bowl victory in our own house with my daughter.”
While TB12 reenergized Tampa Bay football fans, his presence provided a boost to business at local sports bars like the Press Box.
“When I come in on a Sunday, as soon as I walk in the door, full house and it does not stop until the game is over,” Press Box employee William Camacho said.
Kunzig said he had hoped Brady might run it back with the Bus one more time.
“Are we saddened about the news? Of course, we are,” he said. “Obviously you’d love to have him back another year. Like I said earlier, I was praying him and Gronk would come back one more year. I was just praying for it.”
But after Brady’s retirement announcement Wednesday morning on social media, Kunzig said he looks forward to the GOAT’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I don’t care if you have the Patriots-Bucs as long as you have that red number 12 in that nice little Hall of Fame,” Kunzig said.
Kunzig told News Channel 8 he plans to paint his face and put on the “Big Nasty” costume for Brady’s Hall of Fame enshrinement. The NFL might as well send out a save the date for August 2028.