icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
1 Feb, 2022 19:12

Tom Brady’s Patriots snub divides opinion

NFL fans have offered differing views on why Tom Brady didn't mention his 19-year stint in New England in his lengthy retirement announcement
Tom Brady’s Patriots snub divides opinion

NFL icon Tom Brady confirmed rumors of his retirement on Tuesday when he released a lengthy statement to social media announcing that he was stepping away from the sport he has dominated for more than 20 years – but some fans of the gridiron couldn't help but notice that not a single mention was made of his six Super Bowl wins as the quarterback of the New England Patriots.

Brady, who turns 45 in August, checked practically every box throughout his career. He personally won more Super Bowls than any other team in the league. He is the all-time passing leader in NFL history, the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and, in a stat which demonstrates his greatness, was also once the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl before losing that particular accolade to Ben Roethlisberger several years later.

And as with any career such as his, Brady had a lot of points to hit in his extended statement issued early on Tuesday. His team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got a nod, as did their coach Bruce Arians, with whom he has worked for the past two seasons.

His family, the fans, the NFL... they were all in there. But where exactly what the nod of recognition to his 19 seasons of unequaled success up north in New England?

And why exactly was the picture he used as part of his announcement one of him in a Bucs uniform (that part is understandable) – an image that was taken from Brady and Tampa Bay's victorious return to the Patriots' Gillette Stadium?

The internet has some thoughts on this.

"Not one word about Pats fans who stuck by him for 20 years – even when he went to Tampa," one reader commented.

"The photo Tom Brady used to announce his retirement was taken on October 3 – inside Gillette Stadium when the Bucs beat the Patriots. I do not think that’s a coincidence," added another.

"Tom Brady used a picture with the Bucs uniform and in a 700-word post didn't mention [former boss] Bill Belichick's Patriots once," said a third.

Someone else, less succinctly, wrote: "Yo, this dude hates the Patriots."

If that is indeed the case, it doesn't seem like the feelings of distaste are mutual after the Patriots and their own Robert Kraft paid tribute to the man who spent so long wearing their number 12 jersey.

"It was quite the ride," read a note from the officials Patriots Twitter account, while team owner Robert Kraft also paid tribute with a statement of his own.

"Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career," wrote Kraft in part.

"You didn't have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.

"I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added his voice to the love-in. "Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," he said. "An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.

"Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments."

NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes – perhaps the man most tipped to be Brady's successor – reacted to the news with an emoji suggesting that Brady is the greatest of all time.

Another legendary quarterback, Warren Moon, wrote: "Congratulations to TB12 on arguably the finest career an athlete in any sport has ever achieved. You're leaving on top. All the best on your next journey. See you in Canton."

JJ Watt, himself considered to be among the sport's best players, said: "Greatest of all time. Without a shadow of a doubt. Enjoy the next chapter."

If Patriots fans were a little bemused by Brady's apparent snub in his statement, those concerns were eased somewhat when he finally referenced the team at which he enjoyed the most success in his career online.

"Thank You, Patriots Nation," wrote Brady. "I’m beyond grateful. Love you all."