Will Brady’s end live up to the story?

by Gary Shelton on January 23, 2023

in general

How will it end for Brady?/TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

Most of the time, it ends badly. Life, love, football. All of it.

We want to believe in fairy-tale endings. We want to believe the guy kisses the girl and, together, they ride off into the sunset. We want to believe that winners win until the final reel.

The truth is that it doesn't happen that way. For most of us, it ends in tears. It ends in disappointment. It ends short of our goal. Life laughs at you in the final chapter. It humbles you.

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Even now, as the internet fights over Brady's future, if there is one, that looms large. If Brady walks away now, he will remember his final season as underachievement. He got divorced. His team fell miles short of expectations. His offensive line fell apart. Yeah, he made a lot of money, but finances are only part of Brady's goal.

Look, it usually ends badly. It ended badly for Dan Marino, on the wrong end of a 62-7 game against Jacksonville. It was a bad ending for Joe Namath, struggling in a Rams' uniform. It ended horribly O.J. Simpson, who failed with the 49ers. It ended badly for A-Rod and Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, all of them swirling in controversy. It ended badly for Warren Sapp, who finished in bankruptcy. The less said about Pete Rose the better.

Joe Montana was a Chief. Michael Jordan was a Wizard. Emmitt Smith was a Cardinal.

Only rarely is there a John Elway ending, riding off after a Super Bowl win. Usually, there is regret.

For Brady, you figured he would fashion a better ending. This is the guy who led the world in moments, the most comeback wins, the most Super Bowl wins.

Maybe that's why he comes back, to chase his goal one more time. But the odds are he doesn't end up with a great team, so the chances of him collecting that wonderful ending are still long.

Yeah, if he comes back, Brady will add more yardage, and more touchdowns, and more comebacks. But the odds are he won't win a Super Bowl. And will anything else satisfy him?

In the end, no one remembers Willie Mays as a Met. In the end, his remarkable story will overcome whatever sting waits for him in conclusion.

Still, shouldn't it feel better than this?

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