Tom Brady’s Retirement Floors Football Fans

Hayden Audette, contributor

For most elite professional athletes, retiring when they reach their 40s is very common and not typically seen as a surprise. Tom Brady, however, shocked the sports world when he announced that he was retiring from the NFL earlier this month. 

This announcement caused some surprise in the eyes of football fans for a couple of reasons, partly because of how well he was still playing, even at age 44. It looked like there were no signs of slowing down for Brady since he was still breaking records just this past season. In 2014 when he was still with the Patriots, Brady was quoted as saying in an interview “when I suck, I’ll retire, and I don’t plan on sucking for a long time.” Fast forward to 2022, and Tom Brady still doesn’t suck. He had already won seven Super Bowls in his career, more than any NFL team has won, and he very well could have won another if he had decided to play another year. 

An interesting thing about Tom Brady’s retirement announcement is how unusual it was compared to how many other athletes have announced their retirements. At first, it was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Brady planned to retire. This led NFL fans around the world to react to the news on social media, with many people celebrating his historic career and many other people celebrating the fact that his career was finally over. A few hours later, it was reported that Brady had not officially made a decision on whether or not he would retire. After a few days of speculation on whether or not he was actually going to call it quits, he made the announcement himself on his Instagram page, thanking his fans and the NFL for their support. It seemed like that was the end of the drama, but a week after the announcement, he said on an episode of his own podcast that he would “never say never” about possibly coming out of retirement. 

It’s hard to tell what will happen next with Tom Brady. He might stay retired and be content with his legacy, considered by many football fans to be the greatest NFL player of all time. Or maybe he’ll come out of retirement and play another season to try to win an 8th Super Bowl. It’s certainly not unheard of for Hall of Fame athletes to retire and then change their mind. Michael Jordan retired from the NBA in 1993 and came back, then he retired again in 1999 and came back, and then he retired for a third and final time in 2003. Brett Favre retired from the NFL twice, first when he was with the Packers in 2008, and then again in 2010 after playing three more seasons with the Jets and Vikings. Will Tom Brady end up doing the same as Jordan and Favre? I don’t know, but it definitely seems like a possibility.