Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady officially announced his retirement on Tuesday morning. While it came out a lot later than ESPN initially reported it might, and perhaps that’s on purpose, the well-wishes and celebrations were in full swing.
Official word from Tom Brady: pic.twitter.com/jWCQAi9Vb8
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2022
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady said in his statement on his Instagram. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
Brady thanked his wife, kids, parents, trainer Alex Guerrero, agents, Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, the city of Tampa, the Tampa-St. Petersburg region, team owners the Glazer family, his coach Bruce Arians, and “every single Bucs staffer and employee.”
Missing in that thanks, notably, were the New England Patriots and their fanbase. Whether purposeful or not, it was a notable omission considering he played 20 seasons for New England and won six Super Bowls with them.
That didn’t stop Patriots owner Robert Kraft from sharing a statement on behalf of the franchise, celebrating their long-time quarterback.
A privilege to watch and a dream come true.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) February 1, 2022
“In a team sport like football, it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact on a team’s success,” said Kraft in the statement. “You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination, and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”
Perhaps Brady felt as though he had already said goodbye and thank you to Patriots fans when he left the franchise in 2020. Or perhaps it was on purpose. It can be a little hard to know exactly where Tom Brady the human and Tom Brady the public figure mix.
Regardless, either because word got back to him or because he just wanted to, Brady eventually thanked the Patriots and their fans in a separate social media post.
Thank You Patriots Nation ❤️
I’m beyond grateful. Love you all. https://t.co/kXm2ET27Dk
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2022
Our short, regional nightmare is finally over.