Zoe Yanco ‘25
For most of the College of the Holy Cross student body, a life without star quarterback Tom Brady in the NFL has been unknown. In the midst of a record-breaking blizzard and a weekend of NFL conference championships, the sports world stopped to focus on one thing: Tom Brady’s retirement. On Jan. 29, ESPN released the news that the proclaimed ‘Greatest of All Time’ would end his career after 22 seasons in the NFL. Even Brady’s own wellness company, “TB12,” reacted to the retirement, tweeting congratulations, making fans believe that the news was true. However, rumors started stirring when Brady’s own father, Tom Brady Sr., dismissed the reports by claiming that his son had not yet decided what the future would hold.
Even on the occasion where Brady was not on the roster for either team in the conference championship, the chatter remained around him. Had the ‘GOAT’ really retired, or was this a hoax, or possibly even a marketing scheme for Brady’s company?
Just two days later, Brady relieved the public’s curiosity, revealing his retirement in an Instagram post. 44-year-old Brady said he would no longer be making the “competitive commitment” to the game of football, and it had come time for him to focus on “other things” in his life, most notably his family. While it came as a satisfactory notice to some who had been waiting to know if the rumors were true, many dedicated New Englanders remained dumbfounded that they received a record blizzard and no note of gratuity in Brady’s farewell announcement. The star quarterback paid his respects to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his trainer, Alex Guerrero, his coaches at the University of Michigan, and his family. While all of these ‘thank you’s’ may sound normative, the lack of appreciation expressed towards ‘Patriots Nation’ left all of New England buzzing. Brady leaves the game of football without any display of gratitude towards his organization of 20 years, which gave him a chance as the 199th pick in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Sure, Brady won seven out of the ten Super Bowls he competed in, but will his legacy be tainted by his lack of respect for the Patriots?
While fans may have mixed feelings about the methodology behind Brady’s farewell, even Brady’s former coach, Patriots Bill Belichick, affirmed his status as the GOAT. With three league MVP awards and seven Super Bowl rings, it’s tough to argue with the fact that Brady changed the game of football forever.
Now, the National Football League turns a page as they look towards the first season in 22 years that won’t feature Tom Brady. With young talents like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow, will anyone ever compete with the legacy of Tom Brady? Maybe the TB12 Method of training, recovery, and nutrition left Brady with the ability to outlast and outplay the rest, but could he have done it without the New England Patriots? Patriots nation doesn’t think so, but maybe Brady does.