A few hours before the New England Patriots kicked off their first Wildcard appearance in close to a decade, Tom Brady, presumably aided by his social media team, posted a video to his Twitter account. The video, captioned ‘It’s Too Late to be Scared’, was a two-minute-long montage of a lion roaring intercut with footage of Brady and the Patriots from this season.
A Christopher Walken monologue from the film ‘Poolhall Junkies’ accompanied the video. Walken’s monologue describing an old, tired lion being bitten at and annoyed by jackals before growing tiresome of the jackals and retaliating- reminding everyone who the real king of the jungle is.
It’s too late to be scared. pic.twitter.com/Yv6GRDrqtR
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 4, 2020
Well this time, the jackals won.
Brady and the Patriots suffered their first Wildcard loss since 2009.Following the ‘It’s Too Late to be Scared’ video, Brady finished the game 20/37 comp. with 209 yards, no touchdowns and a game-sealing pick-six.
What is next for the greatest quarterback of all time?
Brady’s ultimate goal has always appeared to be to conquer time. In countless interviews in the past, Brady has expressed the desire to play until he was 45 years old. Until recently, that’s seemed like a strong possibility, with Brady winning a regular-season MVP, three Lombardi Trophies and two Super Bowl MVPs since 2014.
However, as we have seen in the past with greats such as Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, time waits for no one and the drop off from MVP to liability can be a matter of months, weeks, moments. Manning went from breaking the touchdown record in 2013/14 to looking like a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ homage at quarterback at the end of Super Bowl 50.
The drastic and severe drop-off has not completely come for Brady just yet, the Patriots did begin the season 8-0 and end it 12-4, first place in the AFC East. Brady finished the year with 4057 yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Despite Brady’s satisfactory end of season stat-line, the 42-year-old finished the year with his lowest Y/A since 2002, 6.6 Y/A.
The fact of the matter is, Brady is 42 years old, playing the most demanding position in all of sport. Although the man himself argues that it’s ‘pretty unlikely’ that he retires, it’s probably better that the greatest to ever do it retires sooner, rather than later.
Tom Brady doesn't know what the future looks like for him but it is "pretty unlikely" that he will retire pic.twitter.com/yBpijKnXmZ
— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) January 5, 2020
Knowing the fierce competitor that Brady is, it’s highly likely that he decides to continue playing.
Rumours have been swirling for months that Brady could be close to the exit door in Foxborough. Tensions have been mounting ever since the Jimmy Garropolo trade back in 2018. Rumours of a falling out between Brady and Belichick’s camps followed suit and a Super Bowl victory against the Rams in 2018 papered over the cracks.
If Brady does decide to return to football, there is a chance it will be someplace other than New England.
One of the most suitable options is for Brady to move west to Los Angeles and play for the Chargers. The Chargers are rapidly approaching NFL irrelevancy after owner Dean Spanos elected to move them from their beloved home in San Diego to LA. However, the move so far has been a complete and utter disaster.
No one is strolling around Beverly Hills wearing Mike Williams jerseys.
Rightfully moving on from elderly vanguard Phillip Rivers to the even older Tom Brady seems like the kind of asinine, counter-productive move Dean Spanos would make to grasp for any sense of relevancy.
Odds are Brady moves to the sunny west coast to rake in the sun in his old age and get one last payday after taking countless discounts in NE to win. The Chargers’ grand opening season in their new state of the art, empty, stadium will go horribly wrong and Brady in a Chargers jersey will be like Favre playing for the Jets or Emmitt Smith running for the Cardinals.
Tom Brady has been responsible for pioneering a multi-decade dynasty. He is the greatest quarterback of all time. But when Father Time comes knocking it’s normally best to answer.