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Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reviews plays on a tablet as head coach Bill Belichick walks the sidelines during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On Tom Brady’s Instagram page, before you even got to his statement today, you were greeted by a video featuring two big, bold words: SHOP NOW. That was the portal into Brady’s farewell from football, the end of an incomparable career and needlessly protracted drama and the start of the continuance of the Brady brand.

But then, that’s what Brady’s stay was here at the end – one drama after the next. He didn’t want Jimmy Garoppolo here. He skipped OTAs. He didn’t get his pass-catchers or his contract. Maybe that’s why Brady’s farewell to football included no mention of the Patriots, the city of Boston, the region of New England, the owner of the Patriots or coach of the team (Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick) – or of you, the fans who showered him with well-earned adulation. Brady seemingly thanked everyone in Tampa from the janitors to the beachcombers, but he somehow couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge Robert or Bill, let along Bob from Easton.

I know, I know … he said goodbye two years ago. But this is different. This was his farewell to football. Brady mentioned even his agents and his alma mater, the University of Michigan, but he couldn’t bring himself to mention the people or place that launched his career, that gave him the footing for the greatest career in NFL history.

Know what this was?




And it is all further evidence that the doubt is what always fueled Brady, even when it came from those who once believed in him most. He took the end personally here. And he still does.

Let’s be clear here: Brady probably had a right to be mad, certainly had a right to script his own end. From the Patriots and from Kraft, that is what he wanted most. Kraft graciously gave him that when he agreed the Patriots would not use the franchise tag to keep Brady in New England beyond the end of the player’s last contract with the team, a decision the team is still paying for. In two years with the Bucs, Brady went 29-10, including 5-1 in the postseason, winning another Super Bowl. He threw 96 touchdown passes. The Patriots meanwhile went 17-17 with Cam Newton and Mac Jones, the former of whom is cashed and the second of whom is now learning to crawl.

The breakup, like Brady’s last year or two in New England, was bitter. Brady’s father called 98.5 The Sports Hub and talked trash. Brady’s Instagram posts featured a serious of cryptic photos and messages. His actual interviews were conducted almost entirely between the lines. Brady eventually came back to Foxboro as a member of the Bucs and Bill Belichick visited the Tampa locker room following another Brady victory, the two seemingly bringing closure to what was Boston’s latest star-studded sports feud.

Then came yesterday, when Brady opened it all back up again at a time he could have prevented it all with a simple sequence like the following:

Thanks again to all the people of New England, including owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick, as well as Patriots teammates and fans for a journey I never could have predicted or expected, no matter how optimistic. I thanked you two years ago but I want and need to thank you again now. I will see you all again sometime soon.

Instead, you literally got nothing.

For those defending Brady today, don’t be ridiculous. Brady always has been image conscious and he has a team of advisors who scrutinize every message he posts. In erasing his Patriots years, he either knew exactly what he was doing or he was stupid beyond belief. Either is entirely possible. Regardless, the takeaway should bring you to the same place, whether you’re Kraft or Belichick or a season-ticket holder who trudged up and down Route 1 for the better part of this millennium.

He didn’t care enough to mention you.

Or he ignored you just to piss you off.

You can hear Mazz weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.

Dec 23, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and head coach Bill Belichick head out onto the field to shake hands with the Buffalo Bills after their 24-12 win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Prominent sports figures pay tribute to Tom Brady after retirement announcement

  • Tom Brady talks with owner Robert Kraft before a preseason game in August 2019.

    Despite the glaring omission of anyone from New England or the Patriots, Tom Brady’s retirement announcement still got a glowing statement from Robert Kraft. The team posted their own statements and tributes to Brady’s career as part of an outpouring of adulation for the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

    Others who gave their own statements or tributes include Peyton Manning, Alex Guerrero, and others across the NFL.

    Here’s a quick look at the most notable tributes and statements on Brady’s retirement.

    Patriots Twitter

    Duck Boats have become something of a Boston sports icon, mainly due to the success of Brady and the Patriotsover the past two decades. So it makes sense to pay tribute to him through artwork by honoring all the winnin’.

  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

    Goodell’s statement likely induced eye-rolls from Patriots fans more than anything. Publicly, anyway, Brady’s relationship with Goodell in the league offices was at times adversarial. The commissioner and his minions were Public Enemy No. 1 during Deflategate, and that may never change in the hearts and minds of New Englanders.

    So, those people are probably hoping that Brady saw this statement and said “Uhhh thanks?”

  • Peyton Manning

    Brady vs. Manning was arguably the greatest competitive rivalry in the history of professional sports. They weren’t “rivals” in the sense that there was any bad blood, but their games were always the must-see game of the year, and they obviously have a rich history of playoff competition.

    There are probably a lot of people out there who consider them to be the two greatest quarterbacks of all time. What other sports rivalry can say that?

  • Alex Guerrero

    It wouldn’t be a Brady celebration without Guerrero, his longtime trainer and business partner with the TB12 brand. It’ll be (mildly) interesting to see what their relationship looks like going forward, now that he won’t need Guerrero’s help getting ready for and recovering from football games.

  • The New York Jets

    It’s funny because he even ripped the Jets’ hearts out earlier this season.

  • Robert Kraft

    Brady caused a massive stir when New England realized that he made no mention of the Patriots, anyone within the organization, or their fans when he announced his retirement. But Kraft took the high road.

    Soon after the above statement, Brady quote-tweeted it, thanking “Patriots Nation.” Wasn’t nearly good enough to undo the damage he’d done with a lot of fans by omitting them from his initial announcement.

PHOTOS: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Celebrations

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