Ever since Saturday when Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported that Tom Brady had planned to retire, football fans were wondering if the former New England Patriots star was actually going to come back to spite the premature revelation and go out on his own terms.
But on Tuesday, Brady officially announced that he’s done after 22 NFL seasons in a lengthy message/post on Instagram. That’s seven Super Bowl titles and 35 playoff victories, both of which are the most of all time.
And much of that was accomplished with the Patriots alongside head coach Bill Belichick … but Brady didn’t deem it important enough to even MENTION the franchise with whom he spent 20 years in his farewell.
This is a nine-slide Instagram post with one photo. The other eight are dedicated to his announcement/reasoning/respects and he mentions the Buccaneers a whole lot. Belichick and Kraft? New England? Boston? Foxborough? Gillette Stadium? Nowhere to be found.
Tom Brady didn’t mention the Patriots at all in his retirement message.
Cue all the Patriots fans who “don’t care” despite the fact they watched his every move in Tampa and backed him in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs … and then vehemently rooted against the Chiefs this past weekend so Patrick Mahomes would fail to replicate a “dynasty” of Brady’s caliber.
Was Seth Wickersham right all along? Was the tension in New England that bad even though the Patriots kept on winning? It’s definitively jarring there is nothing in here about the team he spent two decades with and captured 30 of those playoff wins and six of those Super Bowls.
Not even a small tribute to the fans, who backed him through everything? Every scandal, every loss, every triumph? Nothing?
Instead, he dedicated this post to the Bucs, their ownership, their fans, Bruce Arians, every Bucs assistant coach/staffer, Jason Licht, the city of Tampa, Alex Guerrero, his agents, and his wife and kids.
Just as shocking as the news of his retirement was, Brady added another layer that’s just as equally jaw-dropping in omitting such a career-defining aspect of his journey. He’s a Hall of Famer with the Patriots. He’s the best of all time with the Patriots. He’s Tom Brady because of the Patriots.
Maybe he has a grand gesture for Pats fans at the end of “Man in the Arena”? It’s at least worth holding your breath over it, because this has to hurt for the organization and its supporters.