Tom Brady: When older athletes just can't say enough already
Here we go again. To retire and then un-retire (a.k.a The Brett Favre Dilemma). That is the question.
By now if you follow the news...or social media, you know the current Greatest QB of our time has decided to come back after retiring in January.
Tom Brady will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 25th season at the ripe old age of 44 (he'll be 45 by the start of the 2022 season).
No, like most of you not on TV or Sports Talk Radio, I wasn't surprised. I always figured Brady to be one of those guys who will be willing to ride off into the sunset willingly. Sure, like the rest of you I was hoping the January announcement was him doing the right thing and walking away on his own terms, but clearly that's not going to happen.
None of this is to currently diminish the guys greatness. He's very obviously a shoo-in Hall of Fame player and will be remembered as a legend as long as football exists as a game. Dude has totally earned it. Just look at the resume'.
But like many before him, he just couldn't say no. Remember what Brett Favre did towards the end of his career. Threatened to retire, moved on to the New York Jets (where he was terrible) and then "retired again" before signing of two years with the Minnesota Vikings (less terrible) before finally admitting he was done in 2010.
And for several years AFTER he walked away for the final time, rumors persisted every off season that Favre would be coming back.
This is not just a football player thing. In almost every other sport, players reach the end of their careers, often saying they plan to retire and then don't. They'll end up on a random team, away from their previous successes and struggle before finally hanging them up.
I'm not saying that Brady is going to be that guy. Not yet. The guy keeps doing amazing things and had a great 2021 season in his 24th year in the league at age 44. Want a list of football players who didn't kick, but played a position at age 45?
Truth be told, Blanda was a kicker who also played backup quarterback. But that's your list.
My point here is this. Even Tom Brady will not be immune to age related decline. It doesn't matter who you are, time always catches up.
Maybe 2022 won't be that season and he'll continue lighting up scoreboards in Tampa. But maybe he won't. Do any of you really want to see him going out as a mediocre QB? Or what happens if someone hits him low and he blows up his knee? Do you want your last image of the game's greatest quarterback being him writhing in pain on the Raymond James Stadium turf?
Just throwing it out there because the odds are very much NOT in Tom Brady's favor. Sure, he's managed to avoid serious injury throughout his lengthy career, but how many NFL players can say that?
Just be prepared.
Even if the guy makes it through 2022 healthy, will we see Brady again in 2023? I wouldn't rule it out. You'll certainly here the sam discussion and speculation we heard every day of Dec. 2021 and Jan. of this year.
Yes, his contract with the Buccaneers technically ends after the 2022 season. I suspect it's a big reason why he decided to return one more time, because--why not?
I hope he puts it all to an end after this season and walks away relatively healthy and on his own terms for real.
Please don't come back any more Tom. It's not that we all hate you, we don't. We just want to keep the image of you winding up your career healthy and on your own terms, even if you don't win another Super Bowl, because to perfectly honest, we don't usually get to see many happy endings in sports.
Let's try to have one again, soon.