Number 199

Tom Brady retired from football today. Not that anyone was shocked by the “official” announcement, as we all surmised it on Saturday.

To think we knew Tom when he was nothing but a wet-behind-the-ears 24-year-old with a beat-up blue pickup truck who couldn’t dance his way around a Duck boat.

Thanks for the heart-wrenching and often heart-stopping moments, the many championships and the memories. Even if Tom doesn’t care to remember or acknowledge New England in his retirement speech, New England will always remember and acknowledge him.

Although he went from a humble QB who had to quickly learn his way around the NFL field to a cocky, sometimes selfish QB who thought nothing was good enough and felt he could let his teammates know it if he didn’t like what they did, nobody can argue that Tom will go down in history as the best QB of all time.

I will always remember the day my husband told me that Drew Bledsoe had been taken out of the game the day before and was replaced by Tom Brady. I wasn’t really following them at that point and I asked, “Who’s Tom Brady?” and my husband replied, “He’s nothing special”. At that time he really wasn’t. Special isn’t something you are; it’s something you become. And “special” is what Tom Brady eventually became.

It’s sad that Tom forgot where he came from. He forgot draft day when team after team passed him by. When he threw things in anger because he hadn’t been selected yet. When he moped along the sidewalks of San Mateo because he hadn’t been selected yet. He forgot that the Patriots selected him at 199. He forgot he got his true chance through nothing but pure fucking luck. It’s sad that in the end he didn’t remember how he got to where he truly is. But fame can often do that to a person.

Yes, I understand the speculation of why Brady left out mentioning the team he led for 20 years and the fans who adored him for the same amount of time is because he plans to sign a one-day contract and retire as a Patriot. Whether that actually happens still needs to be seen. It still doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t even mention New England fans in his good-bye speech.

One thing Tom Brady forgot in his retirement speech was to remember that to have an ending, you need a beginning. And the 20 years he spent in New England was one hell of a long, beautiful beginning, especially for someone who only mentioned the franchise and fans he has played with for the past 24 months in his retirement speech, as if they were the team he had captained for 20 years. I feel bad for Tampa fans. They only got to experience two years of greatness, mostly on the downside. We got to experience 20 great years, mostly on the upside.

I will always be a Patriots fan. Nothing will ever change that. And although I lost respect for Tom with how he divorced himself from New England, and has acted like those 20 years never existed, I know nothing can erase what he brought to a down-and-out, never-going-anywhere franchise. For that I, and many fans, will forever be grateful.

I wish Tom Brady the best of luck in all his future endeavors and happiness always with his family.

Thanks for the memories. It’s been a hell of a ride.

Author:

I'm a writer. I'm also a wife and a parent who works too much and lives too little. In addition to writing I also love to read, listen to music, travel, cook, I enjoy looking for bargains at flea markets or thrift stores, Christmas, football and of course writing! How did I come up with the title of my blog? Two things: 1. I live in New England (duh) and 2. Canadian singer Alan Frew once arrogantly told me to "get a New England life"--again--DUH! I already HAVE one!