After Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced Sunday that he was returning to the field for another season, many critics felt his retirement saga was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., said there is a much different explanation for his son’s flip-flopping on retirement.
“I think people kind of put him into a corner and all these rumors and things before he was ready to make a decision and he had to say something just to get the news people off his back,” the elder Brady told reporter Dan Hausle of WHDH-TV in Boston.
So why did Tom retire? “ I think people kind of put him into a corner and all these rumors and things before he was ready to make a decision and he had to say something just to get the news people off his back.” That’s what Tom Brady’s dad told me. #7News pic.twitter.com/fl2Sv8KbcW
— Dan Hausle (@dhausleon7) March 14, 2022
It’s possible Tom Brady really did want to be the center of attention and this comment was just an attempt to make him look better. With that said, his father’s explanation makes some sense.
According to The Sporting News, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter broke the news of Brady’s retirement on Jan. 29.
“Tom Brady is retiring from football after 22 extraordinary seasons, multiple sources tell @JeffDarlington and me,” Schefter wrote in a tweet.
Tom Brady is retiring from football after 22 extraordinary seasons, multiple sources tell @JeffDarlington and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2022
Brady’s agent quickly pushed back on the report and said his client would be announcing a decision about retirement “soon.”
During a podcast on Jan. 31, the 44-year-old quarterback himself contradicted Schefter’s report, NBC News reported.
“I think when the time is right, I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or the other,” Brady said.
“I understand my decision affects a lot of people’s lives, so when that decision comes, it’ll come,” he said.
The next day, Brady officially announced his retirement.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” he said in an Instagram post on Feb. 1. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.
“I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
Given that it followed Schefter’s report, many people were not surprised by the news.
There is no way to prove Brady had decided on retirement before the ESPN reporter broke the news, but it is easy to see how it could have impacted the quarterback’s decision.
If Brady had truthfully not made a retirement decision when Schefter reported on it, that might have put pressure on him to make a decision.
His father seems to feel this choice was made for him, and he implied that is why Brady reversed course less than two months later.
In any case, the elder Brady was ultimately pleased with his son’s decision to return to the huddle this fall.
“Upon reflection and spending time with his family and stuff, he’s happy and we in the family are happy,” Tom Brady Sr. said, according to WBZ-TV.
“We’ll be more than happy, we’re all elated and it’s going to be a wonderful, one more year. He’s said all along, ‘I’m going to play until 45,’ but I’m not sure that it’s so much the 45 as he just loves playing football.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.