Marcus Hayes: Tom, Petty: Brady, both NFL villain and G.O.A.T., retires again -- this time for good?

Marcus Hayes, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

PHILADELPHIA — Happy Tom Brady Day. It’s Feb. 1, the day each year that Tom Brady retires.

This is the second annual TBD, and, while we wish you all many felicitous returns, we do not wish the same to Brady, the greatest athlete you’ll ever hate. We wish for him to stay retired this time. We wish him the best of riddances.

Brady posted a retirement video on Twitter at 8:12 a.m. in front a beachfront condo, during which he said, “You only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.’

Then, in typical Brady style, he proceeded with a super-emotional retirement video. Narcissism is a disorder to be pitied, not mocked.

The first comment under Brady’s announcement was, “See you next year.” Exactly. Let’s see how that ages.

With several prime openings at quarterback today, and with the inevitability of more need in hot spots around the league, and with a dearth of developed QB talent in the NFL, it will be fascinating to see if Brady moves to TV for $540 million and stays there. What if Trey Lance isn’t full-go in San Francisco? Would the Colts be enticing enough if they move on from Matt Ryan? The Saints have baffled Brady for years; might he consider another encore, this time in Nawlins?


Or, consider this scenario: Jalen Hurts goes down in Week 9 of the 2023 season, the Eagles are 8-1, Blaine Gabbert is Hurts’ backup, and Brady’s bored in the booth.

It could happen. Philadelphia might choke on its, er, pride, but Jeffrey Lurie is a Boston native who still loves all things Brady and New England, so yeah, it could happen. And Philadelphia would experience self-loathing unlike anything we’ve seen since Michael Vick traded prison clothes for an Eagles uniform.

Brady, the millennium’s poster boy of smug, quit football a year ago today, then returned about two months later, forsaking his family, his marriage, and, from his evermore youthful appearance, millions more nerve cells. Now he’s divorced, and diminished; he lost 15 pounds, and whatever remained of his dignity. Not that the cheating, lying, bullying boor ever displayed much dignity.

Brady will be remembered for winning seven Super Bowls and 251 games, winning five Super Bowl MVP awards, passing for nearly 90,000 yards, throwing 649 touchdown passes, and making 15 Pro Bowls, all records. He also won three MVPs, the most recent after the 2017 season, when he was 40, which made him the oldest to win the award.


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