After Saturday’s season-ending loss to the Titans, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said it’s “pretty unlikely” that he’ll retire. A few days later, it ain’t pretty.
“I know I still have more to prove,” Brady says at the end of an Instagram post that thanks fans for their support over the years. And while the post contains no hints about where Brady will play in 2020 or beyond, he’ll play somewhere.
Arguably, the message contains a whiff of acceptance by Brady that the deck won’t be stacked in his favor moving forward, and that his satisfaction comes not from the destination but from the chase.
“”Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best,” Brady says in the message, “spent themselves to a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly. . . . And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show — the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. . . . In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You don’t always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me.”
This new “the effort is the prize” attitude doesn’t resonate like Brady’s constant explanation that his favorite Super Bowl ring is the next one. Maybe it’s a recognition that, if he stays in New England, there will be more days like the five losses in nine games to end the season. Or maybe it’s an acknowledgement that his destination for 2020 won’t be driven by where he thinks he’ll have the best chance to win a seventh Super Bowl but other factors, professional and/or personal.
Either way, we’ll know by the middle of March whether Brady’s primary arena in 2020 will be Gillette Stadium or elsewhere.