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The G.O.A.T. has spoken and now it’s official.
Three days after a report that Tom Brady had decided to call it a career after 22 seasons in the NFL, the 7-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback announced his retirement on his own terms via social media Tuesday morning.
After more than two decades of watching the often unmatched QB, what will football and the sports world do without him?
It’ll start by saying farewell.
The Buccaneers were first on the list of official Twitter goodbyes, sharing a dramatic almost two and a half minute video of Brady’s time in Tampa Bay from start to finish.
It also included clips of his teammates praising him in press conferences after practices and after games.
His former competitors also, naturally, gave their best wishes.
As they say, greatness recognizes greatness.
Who better to make one of the first public statements than Peyton Manning, who shared these kind words via his entertainment company’s Twitter page.
“Congratulations to my friend Tom on an unbelievable football career. To do it as long as he did, at the highest of levels is absolutely incredible. It was an honor & a privilege to compete against him on the field, and I truly appreciate his friendship off the field.
“I have always admired & respected his competitiveness, his dedication, his discipline, and his commitment to being the best. I wish him the best in his next chapter. Congratulations again, pal!”
As for the other Manning brother, Eli, well, he said congrats and thanked him for the two Super Bowl championships his Giants claimed over Brady’s Patriots in 2008 and 2012.
“Hey Tom, just want to congratulate you on a unbelievable NFL career,” the younger Manning brother said. “Twenty-two years, seven Super Bowls, multiple MVPs. I mean really no one did it better than you during your time. It was an honor and a privilege just to watch you compete, watch you play and to do it at such a high level for so long. In your 22nd year, you’re playing as good as you ever were.
“Just unbelievable to watch you win a Super Bowl, when I was in college I got to watch you win a few, while I was in the NFL and I saw you win one when I was retired. That’s a pretty impressive career right there. So good luck in retirement. Congratulations on an unbelievable career and I appreciate your generosity, you know, at least sharing a few of those Super Bowls with me. All the best, pal.”
There of course were others who bid adieu to Brady in fittingly sarcastic ways.
He did spend 22 seasons pummeling every single team in the NFL.
Enter the Indianapolis Colts, who gave Brady their best with this Spongebob meme.
And the Jets, who were infamously embarrassed by Tom Brady in almost every meeting he had with them, replied to his retirement with disbelief.
“This better be real,” the team wrote on Twitter. “But seriously, congrats on a first-ballot, Hall of Fame career, Tom Brady. We may not miss seeing you on the field, but the entire football world will.”
His first year of eligibility for the Hall, for anyone counting, would be 2027.
Yes, people were quick to spot that in Brady’s retirement monologue, he curiously made no mention of the New England Patriots or Bill Belichick, both of whom he spent the first 20 years of his career with.
He did thank his Bucs teammates, “all the Bucs fans,” the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg, the Glazer family, Jason Licht, Bruce Arians and the rest of the Bucs coaches, “every single Bucs staffer and employee,” Alex Guerrero, Don Yee, Steve Dubin, his parents, family, extended family and friends, his wife, Gisele and his kids.
What about this tweet from our fellow Daily Newser and Yankees beat writer, Kristie Ackert: “Is Tom Brady the last Montreal Expos draft pick to retire? I think he may be.”
In all of Brady’s success and of all the time that’s gone by, not many remember this little factoid of Brady’s overlapping sports history.
The Montreal Expos drafted Brady, who was seen as a catching prospect, in 1995 after he already committed to playing at the University of Michigan,
Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft still doled out his praise for the guy that won him six Super Bowl championships.
“A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated,” Kraft said in a statement shared by USA Today’s Henry McKenna. “I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special.”
And the Patriots shared their own special tribute, a drawing of Brady staring off into the sunset with his Super bowl trophies behind him.
Can’t forget the obligatory commissioner’s words of gratitude:
“Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL,” Roger Goodell said in a statement. “An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.
“Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.
“He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history. It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future.”