End of an era?
Right so let’s get this out of the way early, Tom Brady should retire following his victory at Superbowl 55. This has absolutely nothing to do with ability, Brady is still incredible and still playing at an extremely high level. So why then am I telling him he should retire, because it is nearly impossible to truly go out on top.
Thousands of people play professional sports, and to even get to the NFL you have to be a truly elite athlete. Tom Brady has not only shown he is the greatest player to ever play American Football, but there are legitimate arguments to say he is the greatest sportsman in history. With his victory this past weekend he now owns more Superbowl wins than every single franchise in the NFL.
All he does is win!
Can we just for a second stop and realise how insane of a statistic that actually is? He has won 7 Superbowls (six with New England and one with Tampa Bay) the closest rival to his 7 wins is New England, all of which he won with them and Pittsburgh both of whom have 6 Superbowls each. The NFL has been running Superbowls for 55 years, and Tom Brady has won more than every single team in the NFL, and he has been active for 35 years less than a number of those franchises.
Now obviously Brady has not done this alone, and he is one of many players on those squads who is working as a cohesive unit to win the big game, but without him, those New England teams, for the most part, do not make the Superbowl. That statement however cannot be said for the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Who really wins these games?
The statement has always been defense wins championships and without a doubt we saw that in the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The narrative shows Brady winning his 7th Superbowl as this unstoppable juggernaut who will stop winning titles when he wants to regardless of the opposition, however when you actually break it down, the cracks appear in the armour of the almost mythological ‘playoff Brady’.
Without that Defense the Buccaneers do not play in Superbowl 55. Okay so they still beat Washington, Brady had a great game, and then he followed it up with a mistake free game against New Orleans where we watched Drew Brees implode in front of our eyes. Huge difference maker here were the three interceptions of the future hall of famer, meaning Brady had a relatively easy night.
Still Mr Playoffs?
Next up was Green Bay, with playoff Brady showing us that he is in fact human, throwing 3 interceptions in 7 throws, which is a crazy statistic, however a crazier statistic is that Green Bay did not score of these three gifted opportunities. The Defense were constantly on Rodgers pushing him to his limit and forcing him to miss. Next up was the Superbowl and without question Brady played well, but the Defense dominated Mahomes and the Chiefs for the entire game. He had absolutely no time all night, and let’s be perfectly honest, give Mahomes time in the pocket and this is a very different game.
I am not saying Brady doesn’t still have it, because he absolutely does, he upgrades every single franchise in the NFL, and he is without equal. The question now becomes, when does it end? Will he get another opportunity to go out as the Superbowl MVP? When will father time finally get to him, as it has every single player to ever play this game we love? We are watching modern greatness, and him retiring would end an era, so why do I want it to happen so bad? It comes back to the statement; it is so hard to retire on top.
Going out on top
Peyton Manning did it, but he confesses that he won his final Superbowl because the Defense carried him to it, Ray Lewis did it, and he had basically one arm but was too angry to lose. These two legends of the sport went out on top and will always be remembered for it. Tom Brady would add to his already incredible legacy by calling it quits now. He holds every important post season record, he is without question the Greatest of all time, he just won his 7th Superbowl and he is currently sitting at the mountain top. I do not want to ever watch a version of Brady that is not the elite player I see today. In this moment it takes more courage to call time on your career than it does to carry on.
He still has it, whatever it is, he is still an elite player. Even as a fan of the Dolphins, watching Brady time and again destroy my beloved team, I am in awe of the true greatness that is number 12. I want the legendary greatness to be the story that we all remember, how the best to ever do it, retired at the pinnacle of the NFL. Brady has nothing left to prove; he did everything that everyone ever doubted he could. So I say again, Brady… Please retire.