Tom Brady Gives Metaphorical Middle Finger With Glaring Omissions in Farewell Retirement Letter
Quarterback Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL today after 22 seasons.
The 7-time Super Bowl champion leaves the sport with a plethora of records, including most passing yards, most passing touchdowns, most Super Bowl championships, and more.
The majority of his records were built in his 20 seasons with the dynastic New England Patriots.
His last two seasons were played in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.
In Brady's lengthy farewell message he posted on his social media pages, it's what he didn't share that's raising eyebrows.
Notice any glaring omissions?
The full statement is below.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition. If a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you wont’ succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game. 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.
“To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys, and I have loved going to battle with you. You have dug so deep to challenge yourselves, and it inspired me to wake up every day and give you my best. I am always here for you guys and want to see you continue to push yourselves to be your best. I couldn’t be happier with what we accomplished together.
“To all the Bucs fans, thank you. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base. What a Krewe!!!
“To the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region, thank you. It has been wonderful to be a resident of such a fun place to live. I want to be invited to our next boat parade!
“To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me. I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.
“To Jason Licht, thank you for your daily support and friendship – I will never forget it. I had never been through free agency, and I had some trepidation about how we could achieve success. Your leadership gave me confidence, and I will always be grateful.
"To my head coach Bruce Arians, thanks for putting up with me! Your firm leadership and guidance were ideal. There is no way we could have had success without your experience, intuition, and wisdom. I am very grateful.
"To all the Bucs coaches, my sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication, and discipline that goes into creating a winning team. I have learned so much from all of you and will value the relationships we have.
“To every single Bucs staffer and employee, thank you. Each of you is critically important, and I was greeted with a smile every day. That means so much to me. Your work is made up of long hours and hard tasks, but please know I see each and every one of you. Thank you so much.
“To Alex Guerrero, thank you. I could never have made every Sunday without you; it’s that simple. Your dedication to your craft and our friendship and brotherhood are immeasurable. We have an unbreakable bond, and I love you.
"To Don Yee and Steve Dubin, thank you. You’ve been with me every step of the way since I left the University of Michigan and before I entered the league. What a journey it’s been, and I couldn’t do it without you.
“To my parents and entire family (and extended family of countless friends), I love you and thank you for your never-ending support and love. I could never have imagined the time and energy you have given for me the past 30 years in football. I can never repay you. And just know I love you so much.
"And lastly to my wife, Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida.
“My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against – the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and keep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
“The future is exciting. I‘m fortunate to have cofounded incredible companies like @autograph.io, @bradybrand, @tb12sports that I am excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day. I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people’s lives, just as so many have done for me."
In nearly 1,000 words, Brady didn't mention anything related to the Patriots.
Make no mistake, this was not an oversight by Tom Brady. This was purposeful.
Was it a true metaphorical middle-finger to his former coach Bill Belichick, New England owner Robert Kraft, and the entire Patriots fanbase?
Honestly, it's not surprising Brady didn't mention Belichick.
Following the 2019 season, he penned an open letter about his exit from the Patriots, thanking the fans and Kraft, but only referenced Belichick one time, pointing out how Bill wasn't the coach who called him when the Patriots drafted him in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft. (He left plenty of subtle parting shots at the time)
For what it's worth, Kraft and Belichick gave warmhearted goodbyes to Brady when he exited for Tampa Bay in 2019. The Patriots did the same today, as did Kraft.
Clearly, things didn't end in New England the way Brady would've hoped but after two decades and 6 Super Bowls with a franchise, and a fanbase who continued to support him even while he was on another team, one would think TB12 could muster a little gratitude to some of his former coaches, teammates, and certainly the fans.
Then again, Brady is an ultra-competitor, whether he's on the field of play or not.
Perhaps it's another strategic marketing move by Brady. The internet gets up in arms, then he has an extra special goodbye planned for New England, getting more coverage as a result.
Time will tell.
UPDATE: Brady responded to the Patriots tweet with 10 kind words.
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