Tom retired. Again. He made a quick video for his social media that was him saying (paraphrased) “yup, this is it, I’m not going to do another long emotional speech because I used it last year, and you only get to do that once”. It was short, sweet, and to the point. I liked that he said that, acknowledging the nonsense that was his previous retirement. I also made the big, pro-Brady retirement post last year, and I’m not going to waste my time making a big follow-up to that, either. One, because it basically said everything I wanted to say, positively, about his career. Two, because it’s no longer true. He challenged Father Time to another round, and Father Time kicked his ass.

That’s it. Brady went out still looking like the greatest QB of all time (despite the divisional round loss) and retired looking like he could have kept going. Then he decided to keep going and all of it fell apart. I bemoaned the fact that we were being robbed of the pleasure of seeing Tom stumble through a season playing like a washed-up old fart. Almost every great sports figure in existence has suffered the sad, washed-up final seasons. He was kind enough to hear my prayers and answer them with a sufficiently bad year (for him). Thank you Tom, I’m genuinely glad you gave me that.

Is it for real this time? Probably more likely. Last year’s retirement felt off from the get-go, from Schefter stealing his thunder to the rushed nature of it, most of us were suspicious. I genuinely debated not even doing the retirement post because I really doubted it would stay true, but ultimately did it just in case it was. This year? Tom isn’t coming off another great season where he looked like he still had it. He looked tired. He went through a lot of personal turmoil. He’s another year older. He’s got a big fat lucrative contract from FOX sitting in his inbox. I think he’ll be pretty good in the booth.

But this is Tom Brady, a man who has already unretired once and has a pathological love for football. There is a non-zero chance he is on a team next year. Maybe he lasts longer this time and just hops back in to play for a team like the 49ers who suffer some bad QB injury luck. A Twitter follower pointed out that there is also a chance that could be a set-up for a Super Bowl ad stunt, and I hate that we live in a world where that is absolutely possible.

So this is unlikely to be our final Brady comic either way. If he unretires again I vow to be even meaner next year. As it stands now, even the media has largely had a subdued response to the announcement thanks to last year (OR IT’S AN AD CONSPIRACY). Tom went out with a meh, and that’s all there is to it. See you in the booth you bum.