Reimer: Tom Brady is adamant he's not going to retire after Super Bowl. So please, for the love of God, stop asking him

Alex Reimer
January 28, 2019 - 12:55 pm
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Over the last month alone, Tom Brady has said the following about his plans to play football next season:

“I absolutely believe I will. I know I've talked about it for a long time: I have goals to not only play next year, but beyond that. I'm going to try to do it as best I possibly can. I'm going to give it everything I have, like I always have.” (Dec. 26)

“I’ve talked about this a bunch. I don’t think it’s a mystery. Again, this is about this year. I love football and I’m going to keep playing –– everyone knows that.” (Dec. 31)

“There’s zero (chance I retire after the Super Bowl). I have said that for a long time. I feel like I am asked that a lot and I feel like I repeat the same answer, but no one wants to believe me.” (Jan. 27)

Sounds like a guy who is definitely going to play football next season, right? Anybody who asks Brady this week about whether he’s going to retire after the Super Bowl is depriving all of us of precious oxygen, because it is a complete waste of time. For years, Brady has affirmed his commitment to play until he reaches his mid-40s. He briefly appeared to waiver last year, ending the final “Tom vs. Time” episode with a long rumination about losing his conviction, or something. 

Then he spent the spring and early summer in Monaco and Qatar instead of Foxboro, adding to the intrigue. But from that point forward, Brady has seemingly been all-in. His father, Tom Brady Sr., who once infamously predicted it would end poorly for his son in New England, told the Herald’s Karen Guregian recently he thinks Tom Brady Jr.’s time away from the team last offseason was essential for his boy's mental clarity. 

“I just think right now he’s very, very content in his life of football,” Tom Sr. said. “He was able to spend that time in the offseason, which was very special. You need that. You need a little more rejuvenation than what you need when you’re younger.”

Brady’s jubilation is apparent. He told Tracy Wolfson everyone thinks the Patriots suck, reportedly called himself the “baddest mother-bleeper on the planet, and said it’s “un-effing-believable” to head back to the Super Bowl when the odds were stacked against them all season long.

Yes, Tom Brady is fully embracing the underdog role, no matter how ridiculous that might sound to those who live outside of the I-495 corridor. 

But Brady, who is now four years removed from Deflategate, two years removed from Trump –– except at Hogwarts Castle, apparently –– and one year removed from “Alex Guerrero is Yoko Ono” talk, doesn’t seem to care. He is clearly loving this. Even the old man agrees. 

“I’ve never seen him more delighted than he was than at the end of postgame last week,” Tom Sr. told Guregian.

Not to get dark, but one way to derail all of that happiness, of course, is taking a big hit from an incoming 260-pound defensive lineman and not being able to get up. Rodney Harrison insinuated the possibility in his weekend plea for his ex-teammate to walk away following Super Bowl LIII.

“Me? I would want my buddy to move on. He’s a very bright individual, he has a lot of things going for him. I would like to see him move on,” Harrison said on NBC Sports Radio Saturday. “I don’t want a guy like him taking the unnecessary hits, upside the head. That’s obviously his choice, but as a friend, I would like to see him win this championship, and move on.”

That advice mirrors what Gisele Bundchen has said publicly about her desire to see her husband retire from football. She revealed in 2017 that Brady has suffered concussions during his career and said playing football isn’t a “healthy thing” for the body. In December, however, Gisele told Ellen she’s stopped trying to convince Brady to retire, because, you guessed it, he definitely wants to play football next season.

One reason why Brady might dismiss his wife’s concerns about head trauma and Harrison’s fear of a life-altering injury is because he actually believes neither of those things will happen to him. He hasn’t missed a single game due to injury since tearing his ACL in 2008 and is reportedly “healthy as he’s been” this postseason.

At 41 years old.

Brady dedicates large portions of the TB12 Method to stressing the importance of preventative care, saying conventional weight training is antiquated and stupid. He says he hopes to revolutionize the way athletes train and live. “We’ve all read the definition of insanity –– doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Brady writes. “Well, sports training is the apotheosis of that. Way too often, we get trapped in the same old routines.”

Brady seems to believe his rigid lifestyle can protect his body from harm: the pliability allows him to withstand physical punishment, the brain teasers “wire” his brain for contact. He claims to have never experienced arm pain since linking up with Guerrero in the mid-aughts. 

And even if Brady does get carted off the field next season or the year after that or the year after that, he thinks it will have nothing to do with his age. He tore his ACL when he was 31, remember?

“You could be 24 and get hurt, you could be 26 and get hurt. It’s a contact sport. Anything can happen,” Brady told Mut & Callahan Monday. “But again, you just do your best to prepare your body for the types of hits you’re going to take. Again, it’s a yearlong process. I never really get out of shape, I stay in good shape. I love playing football and I love the competition and love competing at the highest level. I don’t know what’s more fun for me than running out against Kansas City in the biggest game of our season in front of 70,000 people and coming away with the win. That was one of the great joys of my life.”

In summary, Brady doesn’t fear injury and loves playing football. That should be the mantra of Super Bowl week, so we can be saved from hearing the same question over and over. There's a better chance Trump's Wall gets erected than Brady walks away. 

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