Tom Brady’s retirement from the NFL shows he’s more human than immortal
Father Time finally beat Tom Brady. He won fair and square, with no shame for TB12. Plus, playing past his 45th birthday, Brady had the best of Father Time long enough.
But now it’s reversed. Game over. The credits roll.
Here’s hoping Brady can get more than a few good nights sleep.
Knowing the passion the former New England Patriots/Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback brought to his profession, this decision to retire (again) must have been so agonizing – even though signs have been around for ages. Brady wouldn’t go into the sunset as a John Elway-esque Super Bowl winner.
He tried to walk away last year but just couldn’t bring himself to stay in retirement beyond 40 days. So he returned, looking to add to his collection of seven Super Bowl rings.
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Over the past few weeks, since his 23rd season ended in an ugly loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the NFC playoffs, Brady, a person close to the icon, told USA TODAY Sports , was considering retiring as you might expect – back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, tapping into her inner feelings to find the final answer. The person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Deep down I guess Brady knows he can still play the game, even if not at the consistent level he’s shown for so many years.
After his last game, Brady said he would use a “one day at a time” process while assessing his future, but calmly said that at this point he was more eager to have a good night’s sleep. sleep.
More recently, Brady was anything but calm as he snapped at co-host Jim Gray during his “Let’s Go!” podcast on Sirius, twice dropping an expletive claiming he was still processing.
The sarcastic response was an indication that Brady was annoyed by the question and maybe even with his records, gear and a lucrative Fox Sports contract in hand, he’s still human.
No, as his career wound down, Brady wasn’t anyone’s cyborg quarterback.
In his final season, he was a man still chasing a footballing dream while dealing with the immense personal drama that comes with a divorce. Since exploding into stardom after winning a Super Bowl in his second season in the NFL, Brady has never looked as human as he did in his final season.
He also looked like a ripped man, losing enough weight to make you wonder if the change in his appearance had anything to do with his TB12 workout regimen and a lot to do with his split from his model wife, Gisele Bundchen. When father-of-three Brady left training camp for 11 days in August to take care of “personal business” rather than embark on the painstaking work of preparing for the season, speculation about his personal life have intensified.
Brady taking personal time off? Yes, he is also a human being.
Despite everything that taxed him personally with the divorce that was announced in late October after a 13-year marriage, Brady, predictably, desperately tried to want himself – and his team – on another legitimate run. of the Super Bowl.
This idea turned out to be a slow burn to the finish line. It wasn’t all about Brady. Like all football teams, the Bucs have had their share of injuries that have impacted their supporting cast. There was no racing game. The offensive line lacked cohesion. The defense wasn’t as strong. The offense has lacked pace and consistency pretty much all season. And Brady was not the constant Brady.
Sure, he led the Bucs to a division title his last campaign, but that was half empty. For the first time, Brady made the playoffs on a team with a sub-.500 record.
Then that last game, a 31-14 thrashing of Dallas, was a microcosm of his season. Several passes were off the mark. He threw a red-zone interception for the first time in his three seasons with the Bucs. He lost to the Cowboys, for shouting out loud, a team that had never beaten him.
“That’s not how we wanted it to end,” Brady said after the game, the words now having an even broader meaning.
No, Brady, the legend who entered the NFL as the 199th overall sixth-round pick in 2000, didn’t want to come out like that. Last season’s playoff ouster against eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams gave hope after Brady led a big carded comeback … only for the defense to allow a big play in the last minute that sealed the defeat.
This time the elimination game was complete and indisputable – and another piece of reality check that it was time for Brady to move on for the rest of his life.
Even if it didn’t end in a shower of confetti, at least Brady isn’t drunk from too many concussions – which was the biggest fear Bündchen has expressed publicly about her then-husband playing until forty. Brady started all 18 games of his final season, including the playoff exit, and maintained his health intact.
There’s no reason to feel sorry for Brady. Just acknowledge that he too is all too human.