Tom Brady said he didn't want a farewell tour.
It would've been a distraction, he said. And as arguably the most hyper-focused athlete in the history of North American professional sports, that makes sense.
Still, in the age of the TB12 Method, BRADY the athleisure line and Brady the Subway pitchman, it made all the sense in the world for Brand Awareness Brady to maximize the business opportunities a farewell tour would present.
That's what makes his reported retirement announcement stunning. It came on a Saturday afternoon. When much of the hub of his fanbase -- New England -- was in the midst of dealing with a blizzard. About 24 hours before the NFL's conference championship weekend.
He would've garnered more buzz had he done what every stone-age PR department does when it's trying to bury news: Announce his next step on a Friday night.
But, in a way, that's what makes the timing of Brady's decision to hang 'em up more admirable. He's not seeing dollar signs, apparently. He felt it was time, whether it was because he was tired, his family had had enough, or he believed that finally he had nothing left to prove.
No song and dance. No series of NFTs commemorating his swan song in real time. Just a guy who knew he was done and let it be known like any number of other athletes would. Only this guy is arguably the most accomplished of them all.
I believed Brady would play one more season. Said as much on "Early Edition" nine days ago. He'd said prior to the 2021 campaign that he planned to be back for 2022. He'd said previously he'd play until he was 45, which would be next season. He's also said, famously, he'd retire when he sucks.
He doesn't suck. He probably won't win the MVP this season, but he was arguably the best quarterback in football when you really take a close look at his performance versus that of Packers passer Aaron Rodgers.
I also believed, however, that Brady should retire. There's nothing left for him to prove. He has his health. But just because any of us believed this was a possibility doesn't make it any less stunning now that it's actually gone down.