Two years ago, when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned from a suspension to lead his team to a Super Bowl win in unprecedented fashion, erasing a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons, Mrs. Brady suggested that it would be the perfect time to walk away.
Now, with Brady closing in his second straight chance at winning his sixth championship, the question of whether the GOAT would head for the green, green grass of home will re-emerge, and potentially intensify.
Brady has long insisted that he’ll play until he’s 45. Some think that he continues to point to an expiration date well into the future in order to never have what would amount to a farewell tour. Under that theory, Brady would unexpectedly bid farewell at some point short of hitting the halfway point to 90.
The wishes of Mrs. Brady can’t be overlooked. She has spoken publicly regarding her concerns for his health, blurting out during an interview nearly two years ago that Brady has had concussions. Although Brady has managed to keep her on board for two more seasons, she now has 13 days to make the case that the ultimate quarterback needs to become the ultimate showman and walk away on top, before he becomes the ultimate meatball.
The fact that Brady and the Patriots will face in Super Bowl LIII the team that Brady an the Patriots beat in Super Bowl XXXVI gives the moment a certain bit of symmetry and poetry. Brady can bookend his initial championship, put a sixth pelt on the wall, and call it a career.
Of course, Brady has long said that his favorite championship is the next one. And if the Patriots get to No. 6, the next one will be the most that any team has ever won. So he might be tempted to give it one more spin.
If he is, he should go back and watch Rocky II. Apollo Creed didn’t want to get into the ring against with Balboa, and Brady should regard Patrick Mahomes as the upstart who could, if he gets another chance at the champ, knock Brady’s block off.