Monday, February 6

Tom Brady retires: Can NFL teams replicate his impact, success?

What happens to a sport when its greatest player retires?

For athletes who leave the game, the cruel realities of their current situations set in. Life moves on. The game moves on. The locker room gets populated with new people, new attitudes, new catchphrases, new postgame dances and cafeteria inside jokes. Most jersey numbers get re-worn. Games are won without them. The frantic, beautiful sideline conversations that take place after an outstanding play—when everyone cares for one second about how these players were able to jump in front of that pass or see the defender trip before throwing that ball—gets to be had between two other people they may have never met before.

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