While the rest of y’all spend your lives going to extraordinary lengths to disguise your true intentions, I wear my deep disdain for Tom Brady like a badge of honor.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a hater—and I refuse to apologize for it.
Since his auspicious NFL debut over two decades (!!!!) ago, the 44-year-old has collected seven Vince Lombardi Trophies, five Super Bowl MVP awards, three league MVP awards, and more regular-season victories (243) than should be legally allowed. He’s also been named to 15 Pro Bowl rosters, provided one of the most polarizing moments in the history of the league with the infamous Tuck Rule, thrown a lot of damn touchdowns, had impeccable hair, and had every intention of continuing to kick everyone’s ass well into his 60s until NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington made a shocking revelation on Saturday: Brady’s unprecedented reign of domestic terrorism was finally—mercifully—coming to an end.
“Tom Brady is retiring from football after 22 extraordinary seasons, multiple sources tell @JeffDarlington and me,” he tweeted.
An announcement of this magnitude reverberated throughout the cosmos almost immediately. The defensive coordinators and cornerbacks that the former New England Patriot tormented for decades cried tears of joy, while Tampa Bay Bucs coach Bruce Arians fell to his knees and cursed the heavens like a comic book supervillain.
Team Brady wasn’t exactly pleased with this revelation either. His father went full Republican—never go full Republican—and proceeded to deny, deny, deny, while Brady himself insisted that he had yet to make a decision on the matter.
“I’m still going through the process that I said I was going through,” he said on his radio show, Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, Monday night. “Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel, what you want to do. And I think when the time’s right, I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or another.”
He continued, “Literally, it’s day-to-day with me. I’m just trying to do the best I can every day and evaluate things as they come, and try to make a great decision for me and my family.”
He also maintained there was no timetable for his decision.
“When I know, I’ll know, and when I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not gonna race to some conclusion about that.”
Well, what a difference a day makes. Because less than 24 hours later, the Deflategater confirmed what we all already knew on Tuesday morning: That after bullying billion-dollar franchises for the past 22 seasons, he was calling it a career.
“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,” he wrote in a lengthy statement posted on 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.”
While the two-time Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year made sure to thank his Bucs teammates, the team’s fans, the city of Tampa itself, his wife, his agent, his trainer, and me and you, your momma, and your cousin too, he made no mention whatsoever of the New England Patriots, his longtime former coach Bill Belichick, or Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
I don’t know if that’s growth or pettiness, but regardless, fans, friends, and professional athletes from every sport have been flooding social media to give the greatest quarterback in the history of ever his much-deserved flowers.
After devoting his entire life to football, it’s unclear what Brady will take on next. But even though I’m a hater, let’s make one thing abundantly clear: No matter where his travels take him, he’ll always have a home in Canton.