Go out with dignity, Brady

Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers+QB+and+former+Patriot+Tom+Brady+%28via+Creative+Commons%29

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB and former Patriot Tom Brady (via Creative Commons)

By Vani Hanamirian

He has served his time, done his duty, and lived out every young football player’s dream. Now, it’s time for Tom Brady to retire. 

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. has been playing in the NFL for 22—going on 23—years.  

Joining the New England Patriots in 2000, Brady led them to nine Super Bowls and won the dance six times. Following his tirade at the Pats, Brady triumphantly signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bringing yet another NFL team to superbowl victory within his first season and earning his seventh ring. At 45, Brady is currently the league’s oldest player—and although he was second in MVP voting last year, he’s struggled to look the part to this point.

In the 2018 Super Bowl, Brady completed swift passes and earned his place as one of the best on the team, exceeding expectations for his age, even at that time. Despite losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, Brady remained the G.O.A.T. Now, he throws tantrums on the sideline and loses important games. Has Brady’s time in the NFL run out?

Brady almost took an out this season after he announced his retirement after the 2021 season. That was a great way for him to go out: no negative images, just a G.O.A.T. who had finally decided to settle down and live on a yacht in Florida. Okay, maybe not all that—but at least he was ready to go out with dignity. 

Then he decided to keep playing. 

Fast forward to mid-season, on Sept. 25. Tom Brady threw a temper tantrum during a game against the Green Bay Packers, throwing two tablets on the ground mid-game. His actions mirrored those of a toddler’s more than a man of 45 or the greatest football player of all time. After his Oct. 23 game against the Carolina Panthers, fans began to tweet at Brady telling him that ‘his time was up’ and he should ‘retire now’. 

Despite fans’ ongoing pleas, Brady says on his podcast ‘Let’s Go” that he “won’t retire mid-season” and he “made a commitment to the team.”

With each temper tantrum, Brady is tarnishing his reputation, and he’s doing it at an accelerating pace. Brady is simply too old to be playing, and his final run in the NFL is harming him on and off the field.

He should have left the league when he had the chance. Instead, he became a viral meme, throwing down a tablet after losing a game—probably not the image his PR team wants all over the internet.

A sixth-round draft pick whose accolades and records put him in the conversation for G.O.A.T is impressive. To be this active at 45 years old is impressive; a worn-out quarterback who drags himself down isn’t. 

Retire now, Brady—while you can still do so with dignity.