Tom Brady’s return puts him in this group of all-time greats

March Madness is Tom Brady announcing that on Selection Sunday his retirement is over.

Brady now knows how Brett Favre felt every time he tried to retire.

He now knows how Michael Jordan felt trying to retire twice.

It’s hardly shocking news: the GOAT’s love of the game – and apparently an understanding Gisele – hastened his change of heart. Not that his heart was ever about to leave.

He always knew he had more to give, but seemed to feel some guilt for sacrificing too much family time and convinced himself that his outdoor pursuits could support him.

He may be a Superman wearing the number 12, but he’s very much like every other human in the sports arena, realizing that the void is often impossible to replace. Many icons have thought that the grass is greener in retirement and then thought again.

You are only young once. Or in his case, you’re only 44 years old once.

The lion heart in the GOAT keeps roaring. As it must be. As it should.

Jordan was a 30-year-old pup when he retired because his competitive fire had waned, but of course it flared up again after a game of baseball.

Jordan was 32 on March 18, 1995 when he tweeted, “I’m back.”

Tom Brady
Tom Brady is not retired on Saturday.
Getty Images

In January 1999 he told us he was 99.9 percent sure it was over.

On September 25, 2001, at the age of 38, he was back. Finally, on April 16, 2003, it became clear to everyone that Air Jordan had been grounded.

During his induction into the Hall of Fame, he reflected, “One day you might look up and see me at 50 playing the game. (laughs) Oh, don’t laugh. Never say Never. Because borders, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

Favre’s first resignation lasted four months. His second retirement lasted six months. His third retirement lasted two weeks. Thankfully, his fourth retirement stuck.

Hopefully Brady doesn’t allow himself to drive down Laughingstock Road.

Brady isn’t the beat-up warhorse like John Elway when he decided against a three-pointer with the Broncos at the age of 38. He still plays with the NFL defense.

“Over the last two months I’ve realized that my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” Brady tweeted. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates and I love my supportive family. You make everything possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”

His parting statement: “I’ve always believed that the sport of football is an all-in offer – if a 100 per cent competitive stake isn’t there you’re not going to succeed, and success is what I love about our game.”

Retired on February 1st.

Not retired on March 13th.

40 days and 40 nights.

Forgive Roger Goodell, who is cartwheeling after the stench of Calvin Ridley’s year-long gambling suspension as he salutes back the face of the NFL.

Brady undoubtedly sees a clear path to the playoffs in a division where Sean Payton is no longer coaching the Saints, where Matt Rhule is desperate for a quarterback and in the hot seat where the Falcons won’t have Ridley back. If the Panthers sign Deshaun Watson, he could still face a league suspension or find himself on the commissioner’s exemption list. Only the Rams, Packers and Cardinals appear to be NFC roadblocks to the Super Bowl if they can navigate Kyler Murray’s stormy seas.

Tom Brady celebrates a Super Bowl win with his kids.

Buc’s offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles were left out in the last hiring cycle, and Rob Gronkowski should announce the end of his retirement any day now.

Not that he has to worry about inflation, but Brady has a $10.4 million contract this year plus $4.5 million in bonuses. But money doesn’t buy happiness, and Brady is happiest when he can lead a team and win a game and a championship.

In the ongoing death throes between Tom and Time, Tom still has the upper hand.

Seven Lombardi trophies are not enough for the GOAT. Maybe eight is enough. Maybe he wants to ride into the sunset after another Super Bowl championship. Maybe this turns out to be his farewell tour.

Just three years ago, he told ESPN’s Randy Moss, “I’m sitting here and I’m like, ‘Well, if I didn’t play football, what would I do?’ I can’t find an answer to that. So, it’s like, “Why not keep doing what I love to do?” ”

Three years later nothing has changed. Why not? As a matter of fact.

We will thank you again for the memories when you finally retire. Welcome back Tom Brady. Tom Brady’s return puts him in this group of all-time greats


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