Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, wants him to retire. It would be a fine time to do so, after winning a record fifth Super-Bowl. Brady is 39. Hardly ancient, but an awkward age for an NFL player. Awkward or not, Brady is in no mood for retirement talk. At least not now while the cheers from Sunday night’s miracle are still echoing across New England and Patriots Nation.
“Too bad, Babe,” Brady said after Gisele’s last request that he hang up his cleats. “I feel like I can still do it, and if you love what you do and you’re capable of doing it, then… I’d be so bored if I wasn’t out there, knowing that I could still do it. So I’m going to work hard to be ready to go, and I still plan on playing a long time.” (I urge Tom to use more diplomatic language with his bride than, “Too bad, Babe.” He may be a champion on the field. But at home… And I can imagine situations where she could turn this unlovely phrase on him.)
Tom has a point about being at the top of his game, and being at loose ends if he weren’t playing football. Brady is a bright, energetic, and capable fellow. But his vocation and his obsession has always been football. There’s no indication he has any talent for or interest in anything beyond football and his family. Gisele might well change her mind after having him underfoot all the time, year round, for a year or two. Tom Brady without football could be a very high maintenance item.
Gisele has a point too. I’m sure her concern is that on any given fall Sunday afternoon, some 330-pound block of bone, gristle, and buttermilk might land on her Tom, and he would get up, slowly, a couple of marbles short of a Pee Wee Tournament.
Tom Brady will doubtless soldier on. He still has five fingers left without championship rings. At 39 he remains at the top of a very considerable game. But time forgets no one. It’s just a matter of whether age catches up with Number 12 first, or some huge slab of damnation with breath like a landfill wearing uniform number 99. I pray it’s the first.
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