There is a sublime solitude to Tom Brady's excellence.
Yet in a landscape as unrelenting and ever-humbling as the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback finds a ways to avoid being swept up in his own success.
"I'm still learning from a lot of people who have more perspective on life," Brady said.
"But from a football standpoint, a lot of it is trying to give younger players the information they need to be the best they could be."
There are few better equipped to do so. Brady is 43 years old, and is hours away from entering his 10th Super Bowl, though this time he enters as an underdog.
That's at least two more than 31 of the NFL's 32 franchises. The only team with more than Brady is New England with 11.
Awaiting Brady is a modern marvel in Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning champions Tampa Bay must unseat at Raymond James Stadium on Monday [AEDT].
It has been dubbed the battle of the greatest of all time, GOAT for short, and the baby GOAT. It is akin to Michael Jordan battling LeBron James in the NBA Finals. It is sport's Halley's Comet.
This is a game football fans will talk about for decades. It may be an all-time classic, it may not be. But as former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo puts it, it's the greatest who has ever walked the planet against the kid who may one day enter that same stratosphere.
The significance is not lost on a man who fell to pick 199 in the 2000 NFL Draft.
"In the end I'm just very grateful, very appreciative, and that's pretty much how I feel on a daily basis," Brady said.
"Just being grateful for all the blessings in my life and I've got more than anyone could imagine. In the end I just tried to do the best I could do with every situation and understand there are a lot of people who have supported me over time to get to this point.
"I've been, between high school, college, pro football, doing this for almost 30 years. Just so appreciative of all the different people who have helped me along the way, just so grateful for all the experiences I had.
"Hopefully I can in my own way give back as best as I can to other people who may be looking to achieve and accomplish their dreams too."
Brady's Buccaneers have taken a steep path to get here. Three road victories make Tampa Bay the first of the past 16 entrants to not have a first round bye in the playoffs.
For measure, the Buccaneers boasted one Lombardi Trophy and one playoff road win in 44 years until Brady arrived in Florida. Now they are on win away from becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl on home soil.
Brady booked his ticket to the Super Bowl with win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game.
That result saw two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time draw level on NFC championship victories. Rodgers has spent 16 seasons playing in the national football conference. Brady, just one.
Couple that with his reign of dominance in the AFC and Brady is poised to play his 10th Super Bowl in 20 seasons as a starter.
Brady's teams have reached the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 seasons, with the only exception being the 2008 season in which he suffered a season-ending left knee injury in week one.
Mahomes has engineered a 25-1 record with the Chiefs since November 2019, having reached the summit already with a Super Bowl victory over the league's leading defence 12 months ago.
"The way he's able to dissect defenses before the snap is something that I truly admire," Mahomes said of Brady.
"I'm trying to get to that level. As I continue in my career, I'm trying to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he's doing it the right way, and you can tell by ... the rings on his fingers."
On each side sit two of the finest tight ends the game has seen in Buccaneer Rob Gronkowski - a man who won titles with Brady in New England before coming out of retirement to join forces again - and Travis Kelce.
The latter is enjoying one of the finest seasons by a man in his position in league history. By his own admission Kelce calls himself a "scrub" to make sure he keeps pushing to improve. With every sharp movement that sends defenders hurtling out of shot on our television screens, one suggests the tactic is working.
I'm trying to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he's doing it the right way, and you can tell by ... the rings on his fingers.Patrick Mahomes on Tom Brady
"The one thing about this game, you're playing the other best team in the league," Brady said.
"There's not a lot of margin for error, if you do anything that's unsound, it's not going to work.
"Execution has to be at your best, and it should be that way. That's the way this game should be played. You've got to lay in on the line and make the plays.
"At this point it's pretty much going through in your head different situations, scenarios, all your different calls you'd have, just trying to think about how they're going to play us.
"You really can't leave any stone unturned at this point. You've got to use it all. This is a game that's really going to challenge us, this team is a very tough team to beat, they haven't been beaten in a long time.
"They've got a great offence, got a great defence, really well-coached, really good on special teams.
"We've got to answer the challenge."