Brady retires at 45, leaving behind his life on the field

image of Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

By Sasha Abrams

Boston University News Service

Brady’s retirement marks the end of an era for sports fans who watched Brady throw the football for the last two decades.

“It feels like my childhood has ended,” said Owen Gund, a senior at Boston University and Weston, MA native. “I’ve watched him throw my entire life… the NFL just won’t be the same without him.”

Besides the sports fanatics who mourn Brady’s decision to retire, the news has heavily impacted the sports media world and the entertainment industry.

NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Holley wasn’t surprised with the news, given the results of the 2022-23 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Brady led the team to the worst record he ever had as a starting quarterback.

“I wasn’t surprised that he did it,” Holley said. “I was surprised by the timing. I didn’t expect it to be one year exactly after his first announcement. The way he looked at the end of last year was not great…he still could play probably at a very good level but not at top three quarterback in the league level, so I think it was time for him to leave.”

Despite announcing his retirement in 2022 after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship, Brady unretired just 40 days later in an attempt to win his second Super Bowl in Tampa. However, Brady’s last-ditch effort at winning it all for the eighth time did not go as he had hoped.

“This was his version of sucking …he doesn’t suck, but for him, the end of last year probably felt foreign to him because he’d never been on a team that was 8-10 and never really looked like that on the field,” Holley said.

Brady will take the 2023 season off before moving to Fox Sports in 2024 as part of a 10-year, $375 million deal to be an analyst and color commentator. Brady’s future with Fox Sports will keep him involved in the game, but moving on from playing a sport one loves is an adjustment on a person mentally and physically, according to Boston University’s psychology of sports professor and former offensive coordinator of the BU football team, coach John McCarthy.

“Retiring from a sport can be challenging for anyone, but for a supremely successful athlete like Tom Brady it can be excruciating,” McCarthy said. “The intensity of the experience leads to a rewiring of these athletes’ brains to seek and overcome daunting challenges. The adrenaline rush of 80,000 fans cheering for your accomplishments, the camaraderie and closeness found with teammates[…]are just some factors that leave such players in a vulnerable place.”

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