Why does it matter that Tom Brady leaves the Patriots?

His goodbye marks the end of an era. Because Brady was winning the war on time. The ‘Pats’ have contested four of the last six Super Bowls, winning in 2015, 2017 and 2019

Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots and everything is (even) worse. “How serious is this?” Asks a friend. As if Messi announced that he is leaving Barça , I explain. “But Messi in five years, right? This was already an old man,” he insists. I insult and hang him. For two reasons: because he doesn’t know what he’s saying and because Brady is the same 42 years as me. It’s just what was missing: locked up at home, the best player in NFL history leaves your team and they call you old.

Brady’s decision, who was a free agent this summerand he could freely decide where to spend the two or three years of his career (he wants to play until he is 45), he had been insinuating himself for months, but nobody had just believed it. Why was he leaving? Where would I be better than in Boston? Who offered him more assurances to augment his legacy, if possible, than his longtime partner Bill Belichick, the greatest coach dead or alive, and the most proficient franchise in the league? Since the quarterback was voted 199th in the 2000 draft in one of the greatest geniuses (or pure filly) in the history of sport, they have together turned a competition governed by anarchy (anyone can always win, no one can always win ) in a dictatorship. With Brady in front, the Patriots, who had never achieved the title, added six rings, played nine Super Bowls, They won their division 17 times … The NFL has never seen such dominance. And you will never see him again.

But none of that prevented Brady from uploading the Instagram post this Tuesday with the fateful words: “It is time to start a new stage in my life and career.” This Wednesday, a few hours later, we learned that this stage will be in sunny Florida, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . For historical purposes, it doesn’t matter a bit. It is the end of an era, one that did nothing seemed in top shape. Because Brady was winning the war that never wins: against time. The ‘Pats’ have contested four of the last six Super Bowls, winning in 2015, 2017 and 2019. A year ago. A year that changed everything.


Although, as it should be, everything will now be good words between the myth and the team of his life, the truth is that last season something broke. The Patriots were like a shot until the last third of the season, again favorites of course, but there everything went wrong. A couple of silly losses, an unexpected elimination in the first round of the playoffs and, why not say it, a Brady at the lowest level in a long time, although still well above the league average of quarterbacks. Divorce resides in the causes that you want to give to that slump.

The player will argue, with more reason than a saint, that the franchise was not able to give him the offensive weapons necessary to fight for the title. With Gronkowski’s retirement , Antonio Brown’s signing fiasco and Josh Gordon’s umpteenth relapse, the Patriots’ receiving corps was unworthy, one of the worst in the competition. Before, not so long ago, Brady would only have been able to turn four street musicians into the Rolling Stones, but that’s a lot to ask for a 41-year-old man, however immortal he is. And there Belichick will look for his reasons, which has never let sentimentality spill over into his decision-making, so as not to offer the legend the irrefutable contract that would have avoided all this.

But sometimes, being wrong is the best decision. We don’t know if Brady was just a victim of his surroundings and is still elite or has really accelerated the natural decline so many years behind schedule. We don’t know and it doesn’t give a shit either. The player who announces his goodbye today is not a star, he is much more. He is a three-time MVP, the player with the most rings and the most wins in history , he is a prodigy of nature. He is bigger. It’s the fucking goat. It is the New England Patriots.

And that will always remain so. Hope my friend understands it now.

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