Okay. This will be my nicest post to Tom Brady. I still think he’s a big old knob and an annoying crypto shill snake oil salesman and I will still mock him at every chance I get, but if this is truly it, we’ve just witnessed the end of probably the most notable career any of us will ever see, and that’s worthy of note.

I saw the GOAT talk start to really pick up steam for Tom after he won the 4th ring after beating the Seahawks. Some folks saw him as the best before that ring, but after he officially tied Montana the chatter really turned in his favor. I did not agree. I became somewhat known here for purposefully trolling Pats fans about it because Pats fans are hilariously insecure and poking them with a stick is always a good time, but I also didn’t actually think he was the best. I’ve always maintained that Peyton was the best I ever saw play the position. Brady was an incredible executor under center, but Peyton was an innovator. He changed the way the position was played with his audibles. Peyton was incredible to watch. Brady was more consistent, rarely making mistakes and always playing at a high level, and Peyton certainly had lower lows, but he had higher highs. That was what made the difference for me. I found Brady boring.

But what made Brady special was really after that 4th ring. Brady just…kept going. I viewed Tom as excellent, maybe the best executor at the QB position, but his real innovation was simply never slowing down. Every QB faces the harsh realities of time towards the end. Peyton went out with a Super Bowl win carried on the back of the defense. He could barely throw a ball. Drew Brees’s final season was depressing and in his final game, against Brady, his arm looked shot. Big Ben spent the last two years throwing 2-yard checkdowns in half a second from the snap because he couldn’t do anything else. Brett Favre, the previous reigning champion of old men, looked like a zombie in his final season. Brady ended his career by completing a massive comeback that fell just short due to the defense letting him down. He looked like a better QB this year than he looked like a decade ago. I have no trouble believing that Tom could play for at least another 2 seasons like this. He just…never stopped being great. Time never got him. He’s 44 and he’s walking away by choice, not because he can’t do it.

I’m actually really pissed we never got to see old Tom spend a year or two looking like a wet noodle. It was the one thing we were looking forward to and he is going to deny us the pleasure.

So ends the greatest football career we will ever see. 7 championships over two decades and two teams. Basically every passing record you can own. An absurd level of accolades, all deserved. You’d have to be stubborn to not think he’s the best after the 5th ring, crazy to think he wasn’t the best after the 6th, and just a downright lunatic to watch him go to Tampa and win one without Belichick and still put him anywhere but 1st. He’s not the greatest athlete of all time, but he’s the best football player of all time. Nobody played the position as well as he did, as long as he did. Rodgers is still good but he’d have to win every Super Bowl from here out till he’s 45 to stand above Tom.

I remember being really impressed with him in 2001, watching him take the Patriots to the top. I can’t believe I watched him for over 20 more years. I am genuinely in awe of what he managed to pull off. Divorced from any opinions you have of him as a person, there’s never been a better football player. I salute that football player, and it’s kind of silly we have to wait another 5 years to put him in the Hall of Fame. Just stick him in now. Tom Brady is the GOAT.

It’s going to be weird next year without him.

As a side note, I want to point out that since he retired the same year as Ben Roethlisberger, now Big Ben’s retirement party and Hall of Fame induction will be completely overshadowed. Ben is now officially the “other QB” in the presumed 2026 HoF class. Brady spent his career owning Ben and the Steelers, and he did it one more time for the road. Respect, Tom.

Now enjoy retirement and stop shilling crypto at me.

EDIT: He unretired 2 months later the fucking piece of shit