Allegany Communications Sports
I offered a snide aside here yesterday about Tom Brady never going away, clearly not knowing he would choose first thing the very same morning to announce he was going away. Again.
He may actually stay retired this time, but I stand by the sentiment that he’ll never go away because he will never allow himself to go away, beginning with the current movie “80 for Brady,” which I hope is a lot better than the trailer is. It would have to be because it certainly has a great cast.
I am respectful of what Tom Brady has accomplished on the football field, though I could have done without the special treatment and the cheating, even in this current quarterback-accommodating world of pro football, because he has still realized more success than anybody else has. Still, after watching his 53-second self-sendoff Wednesday morning, color me unmoved.
Leave the rehearsed cracking voice at the door, please, the timing of the announcement just seems too convenient.
First of all, if the 45-year old Brady were to play again next season, and reports are he had, and may even still have, a strong interest to do so, his choices were said to be the Miami Dolphins, with whom he nearly signed previously, or to go wherever former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton landed.
As it turns out, the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa repeated their vows last week. And by the way, in case you were wondering, Tua announced in a tweet last week that his full name is Tuanigamanuolepola Donny Tagovailoa.
Anyway, with Miami reaffirming it is not in the market for a new (old) quarterback, Brady was left to see where Payton would emerge, and yesterday he emerged with the Denver Broncos, who worked out a trade with the Saints to make Payton their new head coach. And the first thing Payton said once the deal was official was he’s “excited” to work with quarterback Russell Wilson and help him get back on track after his disastrous first season in Denver.
Of all the coaching candidates, Payton certainly seems best suited to get Wilson back on track with his QB-friendly offense that gets the ball to playmakers in space. So there’s that.
Having run out of options to return to the field, it only makes sense that in this nonsensical world we find ourselves in these days that it would be none other than Rupert Murdoch to ride to Brady’s rescue, as Brady has a 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox Sports to be its No. 1 game analyst next to Kevin Burkhardt.
By the way, did we mention the Super Bowl is in 10 days and that it will be airing on national television on Fox Sports? How is that for coincidence?
Look, I understand you don’t walk away for good from a career that you loved and excelled in just for a couple of weeks of attention, but as Brady pointed out himself in his touching (Ack!) re-retirement message, he has done this before. His career speaks for itself, but I just don’t buy what he sells, regardless of what it is.
This second retirement wasn’t the stuff of “this just feels like the right time.” You can bet it was a carefully planned and orchestrated transaction as the available options for Brady to stay in the public eye to sell his brand were individually checked off one by one.
Will we be subjected to Brady in the booth for the Super Bowl? That’s tricky, for I doubt Fox would want to throw a first-time analyst into the fire in a three-man booth for the biggest television event of the year. But you can be sure he’s going to be plastered all over the Fox pregame show and will be used to offer analysis during the game.
Either way, this #NFLTheTVShow production, regardless of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, is going to be about Tom Brady. Consider it his grand farewell to the game on the game’s grandest stage in front of the world’s largest audience.
And, by the way, we did mention a potential three-man booth, right? That’s because Fox Sports already has a No. 1 football analyst in former tight end Gregg Olsen, who is really quite good at it and has been receiving rave reviews for his work.
If Olsen continues to excel, particularly with a great Super Bowl performance, what does Fox do then when Brady is ready to ascend to the No. 1 analyst position?
It’s all so very Brady, which is to say it has all been so very arranged. Which is to say, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business.
Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT