Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and Brady discussed the Rodgers retirement situation during the latest episode of Brady’s Let’s Go! podcast, via JoeBucsFan.com. It’s a revealing look at Young’s views on what it means to walk away — and Brady’s current views on calling it quits.
“What he’s contemplating is,” Young said regarding Rodgers, “in my mind, a death. And who chooses death? . . . Because when you’re the best at something in the world and then you leave the game and the next day you’re not that anymore and you find out — you know what? — I’m not actually even good at anything else. . . . So you end up wanting so much to go back to the thing I was great at. Not because you want the adulation and people to tell you that you’re great, like there’s something that you’re great at. And as a human being you don’t want to — [‘suck’, Brady said] that’s my highest and best use.”
Young wanted folks to realize the significance of Rodgers’s current deliberations.
“What [Rodgers] is contemplating is a really difficult thing, and people have no idea — having been there and felt that and have to deal with it,” Young said. “I always tell people, ‘The next day you’re at the bottom of a cliff in a broken sack of bones. And then you gotta stand up and start doing something different. But it’s never going to be the same. It’ll never be as all-encompassing, every bit of yourself poured out every week. There’s nothing like it. And that’s why Aaron is sitting in that spot, looking over the cliff going, ‘I don’t want to fall down there. I don’t want to go there. I don’t.’ And that’s really [how I] viscerally feel him today.”
Brady made it clear that he agrees with Young’s take.
“Steve brings out the perfect point,” Brady said. “Those are absolutely legitimate feelings and emotions. And I think the most important thing is the day after the season, and I made this mistake, is not to decide the future.”
Of course, Brady didn’t really decide to retire last year. He was retiring from the Buccaneers and joining another new team — the Dolphins. Once the Brian Flores lawsuit blocked the plan to bring Brady and Sean Payton to Miami, Brady’s only option was to truly retire or to go back to the Buccaneers.
Young said during the pregame show on the night the Bucs erased a 16-3 deficit to beat the Saints that players usually retire because they can’t do it anymore, not because they don’t want to. Brady, in Young’s estimation, can still play at a high level.
So why stop? Once Brady stops, there’s no going back again (unless there is, again).
Brett Favre came back at one point because he heard Phil Simms explain that he had decided to play until they ripped the uniform from his torso.
Brady just set, for the second straight year, the single-season completion record. He may not be as great as he once was, but he’s still pretty damn good. He’s good enough to play for one of the NFL’s teams. And he’s good enough to fill a stadium every week.
Really, why stop now?