Shady For Brady?

News item, dated February 1, 2023, courtesy of Caleb Skinner of Buc Nation:

Tom Brady announced his plans to retire for good on Wednesday morning.  The greatest quarterback to ever play the game has decided to retire. 

Tom Brady woke up this morning and has made his decision for his football future. He took to his social media accounts and announced his decision early on Wednesday morning. 

News item, dated February 1, 2022, courtesy of Ben Morse of CNN:

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old, arguably the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, announced the news on social media.

Gee, I thought Groundhog Day was February 2nd?

A year ago, Brady was reeling from a heartbreaking loss to the eventual champion Rams in the divisional round, less than a year removed from his seventh Super Bowl ring, and his first as a leader of a team other than the New England Patriots.  He was also apparently being pressured by his wife Gisele Bundchen to hang it up and be more the kind of dad and father most 44-year-old millionaires in her circle usually are.  So when he started the second month of the year with a tweet heard ’round the football world, you could almost sense the emotion that went into it.

After all, the real storybook finish to his career would have been winning it all on his team’s home turf as he did in 2021 with his adopted Buccaneers.  But he was contractually committed to another season, and he figured, at that kind of money, why let anyone down.  He actually led the Bucs to a better regular season record in 2021 than he did in 2020, and did win a playoff game.

Hence, when roughly 40 days later as he reversed course–after the Buccaneers got rid of head coach Bruce Arians, which he may or not have been instrumental in doing–and we learned that his decision ultimately put the nail in the coffin of his struggling marriage, we cut Brady some slack.   It was somewhat understandable that he decided to roll the dice again.

2022 went worse.  While he did coax a division championship out of a significantly weaker Bucs team, and attempted a record 733 passes in the process, he wasn’t even able to topple the Dallas Cowboys on that same Raymond James Stadium turf he led the Bucs to victory on two winters earlier.  The Bucs didn’t even win the majority of their 19 games.  And during his brief retirement, he made a post-career commitment to FOX Sports to be their top game analyst, at a cool $37.5M per annum.  A commitment he basically put a pause to when he tried once again to leave the game on top.

During summer training camp, Brady went AWOL for a while, ostensibly to deal with personal issues many believed were exclusively tied to his marriage.  As we learned this fall, he was also moonlighting as an actor in a movie he has an investment and production credit in, a well-received comedic tour de farce featuring four Oscar-winning actresses: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field and Rita Moreno, as octogenarian adorers who show up at the 2017 Super Bowl and root him and the Pats on to the ultimate Super Bowl comeback, the 28 unanswered points that produced the title game’s first overtime win.

80 FOR BRADY just happens to be opening in theatres this weekend.

And FOX just happens to be covering Super Bowl LVII next Sunday night, the film’s crucial second weekend.

Call me what you will, but I do know the FOX Sports people, and I know they won’t have many cracks at an audience as large as this in the foreseeable future, and they don’t exactly have the streaming reach their competitors have yet.  If you don’t think there’s a chance Brady may wind up being a part of Super Bowl Sunday, respectfully, you don’t know FOX Sports’ braintrust as well as I do.

Which is why I just don’t fully buy the line that accompanied every one of this morning’s retirement annoucement alerts.  The words “For good”.

Brady’s too much of a master of timing for me not to be just a tad cynical about this incredibly well-timed announcement.  And the quarterback situation in San Francisco, where three injured incumbent quarterbacks are dealing with various recovery timetables, and the window on a team that made three of the last four NFC title games without it is tighetening, is not exactly stable.

Yes, the San Francisco 49ers.  Tom Brady’s hometown team, and the team he grew up cheering to several Super Bowl victories.

It’s all way too tempting, and far enough out, for me not to just hit pause myself and wonder–are we all being played again?

If Brady does indeed wind up in a three-man booth with Kevin Burkhart and Greg Olsen (anything other than that decision–shame on you, Eric Shanks!!!) in September rather than next week, then I’ll help you scrape the egg off my face, and I’ll freely admit how wrong I am.  I’d bet you, but that’s above my pay grade of late.

I just don’t think I’m all that wrong.

But don’t worry.  Anything Rita Moreno is in has my attention and loyalty, and I’m gonna see the movie.  I’ll probably like it.  In spite of who she chooses to idolize.


Share This Article