At the backup site I noted with Irony that Andrew Luck is retiring before Adam Vinatieri but his situation should be a reminder to Patriots fans in general and to Tom Brady in particular just how lucky we are.
As a rule in any sport, basketball, hockey, baseball and football etc an athlete is only one injury away from retirement, but in football this is more true than any other.
This is a sport where one is continually hit by extremely muscular people weighing 200 pounds or more if they’re small or 300+ pounds if they’re not and this takes place every 45 seconds for a period of 15 minutes. Often a person will be hit by more than one such man and it’s not uncommon for a person being hit to not see the person about to hit him until it happens.
Even with the new rules every single person on that field understands that they are one hit away from surgery and extensive rehab.
And that brings us to Tom Brady.
Tom Brady has been playing this game for 20 years and has had only one serious season ending injury in that time. That’s pretty good when you think about it, but he has been constantly on the field every other year. When he scrambled for a 1st down in last Thursday’s preseason game every single Patriots fan was asking himself “What are you doing, it doesn’t count!” but Brady being Brady knows that if he’s on the field he’s expected to play to win.
Yet he knows and most importantly his wife knows that each year the odds of an injury that will force him to live in pain for the rest of his life (presuming he already isn’t already living in pain every day) increases. That’s why his wife has been pressuring him toward retirement (I also suspect that such a compromise with her is the reason he no longer shows up to voluntary pre-season camps). Every single snap there is a tackle or a defensive end who dreams about wrapping him up and taking him down and if he scrambles for a 1st down those linebackers are not going to show him any mercy of deference, nor should they and in fact Brady would he expect them to do so.
I expect Brady to have a good year this year and likely a good year next year too but he has defined the odds, not only in terms of skill and victories but in terms of injury and that as much as all his other attributes is why is has managed to become the greatest player every to play his sport.
So was we wish the 29 year old Andrew Luck well, let us remember how lucky we have been to have a healthy Tom Brady leading our team to victory for two decades and be grateful for it.
I’m sure Tom Brady and his wife and family are.