“Guess who’s back, back again. Brady’s back, tell a friend. Guess who’s back, guess who’s back? Guess who’s back, guess who’s back? Guess who’s back, guess who’s back? Guess who’s back?”
After speculation every single day of Tom Brady‘s “retirement”, he’s officially sick of being home with his family and heading back to the NFL. Brady announced he will be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season in the league and is just not ready to watch football “in the stands.” While this news isn’t exactly shocking, for me, it’s disappointing. I absolutely hate when players retire and unretire, especially when the retirement is shorter than Seattle’s 4th and 1 in Super Bowl 49 (cheap shot, I know). And I don’t want to hear it from those who say Brady “never officially retired or said the word retire.” He retired in every sense of the word and is now reversing his decision a mere 41 days later and I hate it.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “retire” is “to withdraw from one’s position or occupation: conclude one’s working or professional career.” When someone chooses to retire in sports, the definition has been modified to be “to temporarily conclude one’s professional career until boredom sets in or one gets sick of being at home with their family.” Tom Brady is just the most recent example of sports stars retiring and unretiring, devaluing what it means to actually walk away from a sport as a player. In the NFL there are a bunch of modern-day examples, including QB Brett Favre (on multiple occasions), RB Marshawn Lynch and WR Randy Moss. The NFL is not the only sport with an unretirement issue, the NBA saw one of it’s greatest players (I’m not getting into that GOAT debate), Michael Jordan, follow that path on a few occasions.
For me Brady’s decision caused me to lose just a little respect for him. I’m 100% sure he doesn’t know who I am or give a crap about me or my opinion of him, but it’s just getting harder to watch him and the decisions he’s making. What seems clear now is that when the rumors of his retirement were sent into the social media world, he reacted rashly and decided to make an announcement before he was ready. Instead of just ignoring the noise and doing things on his terms, like he has seemingly done his whole career, he became reactive and jumped to retirement.
A big part of me will always respect Brady and absolutely appreciate him for all the success he brought to New England, but like I would say to my 7 year old, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”