Is this what Tom Brady has reduced us to, complaining about being overlooked in an Instagram post?
Was Brady supposed to announce his retirement with a parade through the streets of the North End? Sign one of those stupid one-day deals with the Patriots? Give a speech atop the lighthouse tower at Gillette, dressed head to toe in LL Bean?
Please. Brady owed nothing to New England, the place he called his professional home for two decades. The man won six Super Bowls while he was here. Isn’t that enough?
So count me among those who aren’t the least bit surprised that Brady, who announced his retirement (officially, this time) from the NFL in an Instagram post Tuesday, didn’t mention the New England Patriots, Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick, Patriot fans. , and Jim McNally for his name on nine pages of thanks. In nearly 1,000 words, Brady thanked Buccaneers fans Bruce Arians, Jason Licht, his suspected coach and the Glazers. He didn’t mention anyone from his time in New England.
Also, he said his thanks and peace nearly two years ago before he left for Florida. Why would I have to do it all over again? You have your own Instagram post, New England. Bucs fans had to share theirs with Steve Dubin.
Whether you’re offended by Brady’s omission or feel the need to punish other adults for being offended by Brady’s omission, perhaps the only certainty we can come to is that his removal of any reference to us from the record was completely deliberate. The Brady Team doesn’t release anything without a thorough review. The fact that Brady thanks each person in the letter individually and doesn’t mention Kraft or Belichick isn’t so much revealing as a sign of things to come. Brady had put us in his rearview mirror long before his official announcement.
It’s petty, for sure. Intentional, no doubt.
The underlying message of all this is that Brady’s ties to this entire region were severed when he left here in 2020. It’s not like he’ll be back anytime soon, except to take his kids on a college tour. He has a Patriots Hall of Fame jacket to collect. Other than that, name one other scenario where we can expect Thomas Edward to set foot in these parts again.
What does he owe us anyway, right? Twenty years of a memorable Hall of Fame career should be enough. That’s the easy answer to asking why Brady left us out of the will. The most pertinent has to do with why. Why did he allow his social media team to do something so deliberate that he knew he would come back to bite him? Maybe it’s just the reality that Brady will never embrace New England the way she embraced him. He played here. He did well here. He left here. He thanked you. That was it. That was the chapter.
But we’re New Englanders, and we’re easily offended when those we reverently welcome into our homes don’t immediately complain about one thing or another within the first five minutes of a conversation. You mean Brady isn’t going to spend his retirement with a crowd like that?
Just get used to it. If Brady scorns New England on the day he calls it a career, be prepared when he treats us like an afterthought, a vehicle, if you will, for what he accomplished.
In the hours after Brady’s heartfelt message, Kraft issued his own statement about Brady, a letter that emphasized Brady’s importance here in a way that Brady’s missive rejected. Brady probably took that as an opportunity to try to save face from the criticism he had been hearing all morning. “Thank you, nation of patriots”, Brady tweeted. “I am more than grateful. I love you all.”
It’s not like Brady was supposed to work with the Patriots in announcing his retirement, but the way he did it left little doubt as to where his head is as far as New England is concerned. This was a good place to work for him. But it was never going to be his life. Brady won’t be moving into a cul-de-sac in Canton and will be meeting Bob and Jonathan every Sunday in the highchair booth. Brady’s stage is much bigger.
It was never going to end well for Brady in New England. His own father said that years ago.
But it’s okay, I guess, to understand how Brady feels about New England. After all, Bucs fans received a carefully crafted nine-page letter.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism