Tom Brady and Gisele after winning the Super Bowl in 2021.
How different it looks now (Photo: GettyImages, Kevin C. Cox)
"You could have saved the marriage a year ago, but you decided you'd throw it away for 300+ days. You'd rather lose your wife, cause your kids heartache, crush your wonderful life, and for what? For one season?
" If that's indeed what happened, Tom Brady released Giselle has a triple finger." The
speaker is Megyn Kelly, the popular TV anchor who previously worked at FOX News and NBC. What particularly turned her on in Brady's retirement announcement were five words: "I wouldn't change a thing." She fumed: "No Would you change the part where you lost your wife after 13 years of marriage because you didn't retire, which you did 365 days later?
Honestly, Tom Brady seems like a nice guy, I don't think he's a bad person, but ending your marriage for another year on the field seems like something you should regret."
In most cases, we tend to separate the personal lives of athletes from their performance on the field, and rightly so.
Being celebrities, their relationship may not be their exclusive property, but it shouldn't affect their abilities.
After all, athletes always pride themselves on the fact that when they go on the field, they concentrate only on the competition.
Still, in the case of Brady, who announced on Wednesday his final and absolute retirement from football, it is simply impossible to make the separation even if you really want to.
Brady's previous retirement announcement, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, American athlete ("He should be emblazoned on the Mount Rushmore of athletes," said former New England Patriots teammate Dion Branch), was not done on his terms. ESPN's Adam Schefter posted at the end January 2022 that he was retiring, the quarterback initially denied and on February 1 did announce that he was hanging up his helmet. The explanation at the time was that he would devote more time to family and children as his wife expected, but Brady announced 41 days later that he was returning to play. The sequence of events that followed - Gisele Bündchen left home and the couple divorced - left little doubt that the two events, sporting and personal, were connected. Not many saw it as a coincidence.
Until the former power couple decide, if at all, to talk about the issue, we will not know whether the egg came before the chicken - whether Brady experienced a family crisis that caused him to regret and quickly return to the court, or whether, as Kelly and many others believe, the return announcement was the straw that broke Brady's back. Giselle.
The bottom line, as Kelly emphasized, is that a year later he came out with the same message - only in a completely different family setting.
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Brady decided not to give this or that journalist the pleasure of setting the time and place this time.
In the morning light, without a crowd of photographers around him, with gray and casual high-rise buildings behind him, he took a video and uploaded it to social networks.
He looked exhausted, it really wasn't the same Brady Zohar we used to know.
The message was simple and full of routine thanks and nothing more.
Telephone device - and bye.
There is a certain magic to it.
It can be said that for the first time, perhaps, in his illustrious 23-year career as a professional football player, Brady presented himself out of the spotlight by choice.
He looks exposed and vulnerable, more human than ever, but like the calculating person he's always been, there seems to have been deliberate intent here too.
Why did he choose to do it this way?
Maybe because he knew there was no other way to control the message, but only he knows the true and complete answer.
Not a bad year professionally, but Brady started to see the slope (Photo: GettyImages, Kevin Sabitus)
If we go back to Kelly's words, it is worth noting the emphasis she gave to the period of time he played after the previous retirement announcement.
"For what? For one season?"
Asked more than once.
The implication of this rhetorical wish is that Brady's trade - a family for a career - could have been accepted with understanding if he had continued to play for several more years.
Kelly wasn't the only one.
The trend "Brady gave up his family for 9:8" - the balance with which Tampa Bay finished the season - was already running on the networks.
It is likely that in March 2022, when he announced the return, this is what he really had in mind.
In the past, Brady said he planned to play until he was 50. He truly believed in his abilities to do so.
Despite losing the Lombardi Trophy, which he won the year before after a huge Super Bowl victory over Kansas City, his ability in the 2021 season was good, Tampa Bay still looked like a team that could make a run to the end.
Unfortunately for her, she lost a close battle to the defending champions, the Los Angeles Rams, and was eliminated before the Super Bowl.
This year came the significant decline.
She didn't show up so much in the numbers, in fact she wasn't bad at all, but Brady felt that wasn't it.
He saw the slope at his feet and decided to jump before it became slippery and made his old age shame his glorious youth.
The Buccaneers finished with a negative record (the first time in Brady's career as a starter that he finished with more losses than wins) and qualified for the playoffs only because the house in which they played, the NFC South, was terrible.
In the game against Dallas Brady looked tired and helpless, and there he probably realized that this was it, he reached the very high glass ceiling he had built.
The question, in retrospect, is whether he really does not regret anything.
Brady says his decision to retire was for the sake of the children, but even here many remain skeptical.
Gisele's message on Instagram - "I wish you only wonderful things in the new chapter of your life" - stood out in its coldness and passive-aggressiveness.
Brady will have to deal with a completely different family environment than the one he knew.
Another question is what his new TV career will look like.
Last May, Brady signed a contract with Fox to comment on the network after he retires - $375 million for ten years.
"It will be a difficult challenge," said Neil Pilson, former president of CBS Sports, "Tom is a serious guy, and he will be expected to entertain. The way of entertainment he has known until now is to play football."
Meanwhile, it is still unclear if Brady will take the microphone already in the Super Bowl, in the game between Kansas City and Philadelphia.
Pilson believes that it is better that his television debut does not come exactly there.
Will we get to see amateur videos of Brady throwing an elliptical?
Rob Ninkovich, his former New England Patriots teammate, is satisfied: "When Michael Jordan retired from basketball, you still saw him playing 3-on-3, he had a passion for the game," he said, "In football it's not like that. Once the helmet and shoulder pads come off - that's it . You can talk to people about football, but you wouldn't think of going back and getting beaten up."