Tom Brady’s Return to the Field


Tom Brady shouts in excitement before his “last” Superbowl. (Source: Mark LoMoglio)

After a hectic off-season and a brief retirement, Tom Brady has returned to the field. This comes just six weeks after announcing to the world that he was ready to move on to the next phase of his life to prioritize his family and breaking the internet when he failed to mention the Patriot Nation in his infamous speech and posts.

 As a seven-time Super Bowl winner, Brady is indisputably one of the greatest football players of all time. With 624 passing touchdowns and over 84,000 passing yards in his career, Brady has cemented his legacy and will work to add to his already impressive list of accomplishments in this upcoming season.

Announcing his return in a post on Instagram and Twitter, Brady says that his place “is still on the field and not in the stands.” His announcement comes just before the start of the National Football League’s (NFL) free agency period, and Brady is reportedly already working to gather up the best team for some “unfinished business.”

In the 2021 season, Brady led the NFL in many stats, with 5,316 passing yards, 43 touchdowns, 485 completions and 719 attempts. His team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he, however, fell short of a Super Bowl appearance, losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of playoffs. This loss cast doubt on Brady’s ability to perform on the biggest stage, and critics started to wonder whether Brady was finished as a dominant player. As one of the most successful players in NFL history, ending on such a loss would have been unbecoming for Brady.

Sharing a similar sentiment, Wilson Zheng (II), who plays for the Boston Latin School football team, was not at all surprised by Brady’s return. According to Zheng, “It was obvious [Brady] wanted another ring,” and would only retire when he started to play poorly.  Zheng also believes that Brady’s return has more significance as it means that the Buccaneers will be able to retain more of last season’s players and therefore “are once again title contenders with Brady at quarterback.”

Zheng’s teammate Eammon Foley (II) agrees with him, saying, “[I] would have been much more surprised if he stayed retired.” He continues that it “was a good move” for Brady to continue his career, because until his retirement, Brady hadn’t shown any signs of decline in his skills. Foley also believes that Brady’s return will be impactful on the NFL, generating strong interest among fans since he is one of the best quarterbacks in the League.

Even though fans believe Brady’s return was inevitable, some are disappointed in it because it will intensify the competition. Justin Stephenson (I) explains, “I hate this move because I’m indeed a Panthers fan, so having to ask a defense like ours to make it difficult for him twice a year is most definitely going to be hard.” In contrast to Foley, Stephenson believes Brady will not be extremely impactful for the League but enough “to get the job done (winning another ring), especially with the supporting cast around as well.”

The football team’s wide receiver Charles Chung (II) opposes Stephenson: “I really liked Brady’s return because he’s my favorite player.” Chung was not surprised by Brady’s decision, believing that it was a good move because of how competitive the Buccaneers are and will be with Brady. Fans, whether they support Brady or not, feel that his return will be tremendously impactful for the NFL. Chung says, “His return will be extremely impactful since Bruce Arians retired. This means he will be in full control of his offense.”

Other fans, such as BLS AP Biology teacher, Mr. Lawrence Spezzano, have more reservations regarding Brady’s return to the game of football. Spezzano explains, “I don’t believe it’s good for the player, given the inherent risks to his body, the inevitable decline with time and potential impact to his family and time away from [football].” Citing his emotional commitment to the sport, Mr. Spezzano, like many others, believes that a life away from football is difficult for a competitor like Brady.

It comes to nobody’s surprise that Brady has returned for his twenty-third season of dominance in the NFL. The start of the 2022 NFL season begins September 8, and the impact of Brady’s return to football will be interesting to watch no matter what happens.