Future Hall of Fame quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, walking away from the gridiron at the top of his game after his 22nd season in the NFL.
According to Forbes, the seemingly ageless footballer earned $293 million in salary with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – and an additional $160 million in endorsement contracts.
Tom Brady toyed with playing an additional year and was given plenty of financial incentive to do so. In the end, he decided to retire. Based on his statement released via Instagram, the quarterback has decided to pursue something that all the money in the world could never buy – time with his family.
Earlier Tuesday, Tom Brady wrote, addressing his wife, Gisele, and children, Ben, Vivi and Jack:
“You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always come off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family.”
He then added:
“Te amo amor da minha vida” – Portuguese for, “I love you, love of my life.”
Tom Brady’s two-decades plus career hasn’t been without its controversy, and many have taken issue with some of the things the three-time MVP has done and said over the years – but I appreciate and admire the prioritization and acknowledgement he’s making about his family.
Success in this life is fleeting, especially in the world of sports. Culture lionizes heroes of various games – but it’s not long before these stars quickly fade. Most of them are forgotten. Who won the Super Bowl ten years ago? I suspect few remember, even though it seemed so important at the time.
Merriam-Webster defines an achievement as “a result gained by effort.” It takes effort to be a good husband and father, and raising a family seems more and more challenging by the day. In the end, though, it’s by God’s grace and favor we’re blessed with any earthly successes involving human relationships. We do our best. There are things we can do to improve the probability of things going well with our families – but there are no guarantees.
Based on press reports, it’s not exactly clear where Tom Brady is regarding his personal faith. He and his wife were married in a small Catholic church, but he also told a reporter, “I think we’re into everything. … I don’t know what I believe. I think there’s a belief system, I’m just not sure what it is.”
During a “60 Minutes” interview last year, the now retired star said there’s more to life than winning Super Bowls. He’s certainly correct about that – and it’s always encouraging to hear people grapple with and ponder the meaning and purpose of their fleeting days on earth.
Turning points and milestones provide us with opportunities to reevaluate and refocus. There’s universal agreement that Tom Brady reached the summit of his football career. He’s been blessed with a family that he loves and that loves him. I suspect he will pursue this next chapter of life with his characteristic zeal and enthusiasm. In doing so, I will be rooting for him to find the answers to life’s most pressing questions he seems to be pondering. Success in this endeavor will easily trump any accolade or trophy in football.
Photo from Twitter.