“At 45 years of age, you say, ‘Hey, do I want to get hit one more time?’ The answer’s really nah, I really don’t want to.”
Tom Brady’s decision to retire from football on Wednesday certainly bummed out many, but for those closest to him, there appears to be some bittersweet feelings.
Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., in an interview on ESPN Radio’s “Greeny” with Mike Greenberg, said the week has been “both a little bit sad and quite happy, to be honest.” He also made a bit of a revelation that might describe why his son opted to retire.
“This has been a really rough six months on his personal life, his family life, and on his football life,” Brady Sr. said. “He once said this, he said, ‘I’m getting tired of getting hit.’ Having played 23 years and he holds the ignominious record of most sacks against in the NFL … and there must be another two or three thousand knockdowns.
“At 45 years of age, you say, ‘Hey, do I want to get hit one more time?’ The answer’s really nah, I really don’t want to unless everything’s flipping. Unfortunately, it wasn’t clicking this year and I think it was a foregone conclusion.”
As Brady Sr. pointed out, playing at a high level for such a long time definitely has its positives, but it also has a couple of negatives, too – at least when it comes to the record book. Brady was sacked 565 times over his career, though that’s just the price you have to pay when you end up being the most decorated player in NFL history, winning seven Super Bowls and holding the all-time passing yards and touchdowns records.
In what ended up being his final season, Brady appeared to play a bit quicker in the eyes of some experts because they believed he was afraid of getting hit. Tampa Bay’s offensive line actually performed well statically as Brady was sacked just 22 times this past season, which was the 29th-most in the league, and the best pass-blocking efficiency in the league, per Pro Football Focus. But that might be because Brady was getting rid of the ball quicker, leading the league in fastest average time to throw.
While Brady Sr. seemed to be happy that his son won’t be getting hit anymore, there’s also another relief he has from Brady not playing.
“I basically feel relieved for him,” Brady Sr. said. “I’ll tell you, one reality is before he retired for the last 23 years, we put it into our perspective that basically every game that was played in the NFL, all 267 of them, had some bearing on where our son was. When he was with New England, we were thinking it was every game you’d watch and it would be how was Indianapolis appearing against New England? What’s scheduled? Who do we got to face? Who do they’ve got to face?
“Every game, we’ve been totally engrossed in it. So, before this announcement the other day, every single game counted and now no games count. We’re not ever going to feel the same emotional highs that we felt and we won’t feel any emotional lows either because our team is not losing nor are they winning. So it’s preoccupied a major part of our life for 30, 35, 40 years.”
Just two days into his son’s retirement, Brady Sr. doesn’t seem to know what to do with the new time on his hand.
“To be honest with you, it’s a little boring,” Brady Sr. admitted with a laugh.
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