Tom Brady Returns To Mixed Reactions

Tom Brady playing for the Buccaneers during the 2021-22 season.

Alex Menendez AP

Tom Brady playing for the Buccaneers during the 2021-22 season.

Chase Kim, Photojournalist

On February 1, Tom Brady retired. After his 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams eight days prior, he wrote on social media how playing football requires an unwavering commitment and that he was no longer going to make that commitment. He wrote, “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.” Following a very successful 22-season run, it was all over. Tom Brady, it seemed, would never play again.

His retirement lasted for a grand total of 41 days. Turns out – he’s just not ready to stop.

Brady, now 44, Tweeted March 13, “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”

His announcement means that he’ll spend his 23rd season with the Bucs, likely joining former Patriot Grownkowski in another search for the Lombardi Trophy.

It was also met with controversy. A lot of controversy.

Much of it surrounded Brady’s “last touchdown” football that sold for over $500,000 dollars just hours before Brady announced his return. Despite not being entirely Brady’s fault since it was an anonymous fan who caught the ball thrown into the stands by Mike Evans, the incident speaks to the misleading nature of… well… un-retiring 41 days after retiring. 

Especially since Tom Brady said March 12 during his Let’s Go podcast that he was perfectly content in his retirement, and since coaches and teammates reported he had no intent to return, nobody had reason to suspect that Tom Brady would be retiring.

– which also ultimately meant that some people were very, very disappointed when Tom Brady announced that he was coming back. Let’s be honest here. Tom Brady isn’t the most beloved figure; either you love him or hate him. In fact, it seems like only the fans of the team he’s playing for are really the only ones who like him, particularly so after Patriots fans have mostly turned their backs on him since he jumped ship. 

I think he should end his career on a good note.”

— Derek Moore (9)

Talking to some at Yorba Linda High School, many echoed similar unenthusiastic viewpoints. I heard “Too pretty” and “Give other people a chance,” but – there was that one voice impressed with his athletic ability in his mid-40s that supported his comeback. Derek Moore (9), for instance, said, “I think he should end his career on a good note,” relating to the idea of Brady’s “unfinished business.”

Moore makes a good point.

Brady, defying expectations as a sixth-round pick, has won 7 Super Bowls (the most recent with the Bucs in 2021), 5 Super Bowl MVP Awards, and 3 league MVP awards. Retiring on a loss of just 3 points after rallying back 24 points in the second half leaves a bitter taste after such accomplishments. With such a fierce competitive spirit, his return was almost inevitable.

My thoughts?

To quote Batman (Harvey Dent, more specifically), “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” While in a completely different context for ol’ Two-Face, the idea stands with fierce accuracy regarding Tom Brady.

With 22 seasons under his belt, I think it’s time for him to enjoy his retirement… but, it’s very understandable why he chose to return.