Sometimes quitting is winning.
This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t know Tom Brady. I don’t even know Gisele Bundchen. Regardless, I’m going to offer some opinion (advice?) on the latest reports about their marriage saga.
If the report – stating Brady needs to retire or she’s gone – is true, then Brady should absolutely retire. Not because Bundchen is a beautiful super model, but because she is his wife. Family is the most precious thing on planet earth. Maybe this isn’t a fact. Maybe it is. I don’t know. But Brady has never shied away from declaring his love and adoration for his family.
By all accounts, he’s a solid father and husband. He clearly understands those roles because he’s talked about how his father modeled them. My favorite clip of Brady is before one of his many Super Bowl appearances where he talks about his Dad being his hero.
“I think my dad is my hero.”
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 21, 2020
For Brady to be that hero to his sons and daughters, he has to choose them. At all cost. Football is fleeting. Fame is fleeting. Family is forever.
It won’t be easy, quitting something that you’ve mastered and been revered for doing for so long. But imagine the cost. Holidays without his kids. Missing birthdays because they’re at their Mom’s. Not waking up next to his wife with the chaos of kids echoing off the walls. If his ego won’t submit to the wishes of his wife, I hope his love for his children does. The NFL has never and will never need Tom Brady like his children do.
We don’t know the actual details of their situation, and I’m not defending or criticizing the way Bundchen has gone about this, but I think it’s safe to say she is fighting for her family. Some may call her selfish, but she’s a mother first. There’s nothing a mother will fight for with such tenacity and desire like her family.
Sometimes we see football as this special calling, when in actuality it’s just another profession. The profession has impacted the Brady family in a way where it can no longer be the father’s profession. Family requires sacrifice. They’ve clearly sacrificed a lot for Brady over the last decade just as he has sacrificed a lot to provide for them and be present at the same time. The providing stage is over. Present needs to be the new permanent.
Will he be called a quitter if he leaves in the middle of the season? Yes. Could this partially disgrace what has mostly been a pristine career? Yes. But the love and adoration of millions and millions of strangers won’t fill his life with warmth and joy like his family will.
Tom Brady has been a hero to so many. He’s defied the odds and been greater longer than any athlete before him. He has the opportunity to inspire so many with how he handles this delicate situation. I hope he fights for his family.
For Brady, right now, quitting is fighting, and fighting is gaining something so much more valuable than winning.
Thursday Night Pick; Ravens +2