Tom Brady after a win against the Cowboys. Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported that Tom Brady was going to retire.

This set off a massive wave of pushback from the Brady camp, up to and including Brady’s father denying the report on the record, and Brady himself going on his weekly radio show last night to say he hadn’t made up his mind.

To any reasonable observer, it wasn’t hard to see what happened: Brady had been scooped before he could make whatever big announcement he had planned, potentially costing him precious social media engagement that could have helped launch some kind of NFTB12 program or whatever.

Or, hey, maybe you’re one of the truthers, who really believed that Brady was going to keep playing, that somehow two ESPN reporters had gotten it wrong on a story that ESPN pushed out plenty of shoulder content for in the aftermath, despite Brady’s denials. This group presumably contains mostly Tampa Bay fans praying for one last season of elevated relevance. That group’s dreams were dashed this morning, when Brady predictably announced his retirement.

Schefter and Darlington didn’t seem too broken up about the fact that Brady had essentially spent days trying to discredit their work on a massive story:

So, yeah, Brady just essentially spent the last two days lying about things, which is a weird way to go about your life. Not saying anything and then announcing anyway would have probably been a better course of action, right? Or just saying the report was true immediately with your own statement? It’s hard to see a world in which the Brady camp’s chosen path was the best way to handle things. But, here we are, in a world without Tom Brady playing quarterback in the NFL.

Also of note: Brady didn’t thank New England fans in that statement, which is hilarious. Surely he’d point to all the many mentions he gave them when he left New England in the first place. But you just know some New England fans are crushed by this today.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.