Tom Brady will officially end his NFL career as a member of the 99 Club.
The Madden NFL video game has officially elevated him to the 99 Club for the second time this season -- he was also moved there in October when he set the NFL's all-time passing yardage mark. Now, with his career at a close, the player considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time will be honored as such in the video game most associated with the sport.
Brady, who retired Tuesday after 22 NFL seasons at age 44, led the league this season in passing yards (5,316) and passing touchdowns (43) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes were the two players on the video game's cover entering the season.
It has been a long journey for Brady, whose name wasn't even in the game when he first appeared in Madden '01 (he was "QB No. 12" then) and had ratings of 57 and 51 his first two years in the game. Since then, he has been on the cover twice, been rated a 90 overall in the game since Madden '04 and has six editions in which he has been a 99.
Brady, when he spoke to ESPN last year about his initial rating, wondered, "What's up with that?" before explaining how much it meant for him to be on the cover after growing up near EA Sports' headquarters in San Mateo, California.
"We all started somewhere," Brady told ESPN last year. "At least I was on the game, that's how I thought about it. ... I've creeped my way up [the rankings] over the years."
Brady still plays the game -- lamenting last year how he is unable to beat his kids in the game all that often. When they would play, he would always use himself and often lose -- to the point where his kids didn't want to play him much anymore.
"And now I have zero chance," Brady said last year. "I mean, it's not even close. ... You know, they'd rather just play with their friends, but yeah, they are definitely into it and I still have fun playing it."