Column: Brady’s fall from grace

Why American football’s most decorated player is falling through the ranks

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The recent controversy surrounding the once invincible quarterback of the century has him struggling on the field after his 40 day retirement period. But how will the Buccaneers possibly perform efficiently if Brady is breaking? Photo Credit: All-Pro Reels

Rhamil Taguba, Managing Editor

For weeks, the spotlight has been on Tom Brady, most notably his ongoing marital issues, his incandescent behavior on the field, and the Buccaneers’ underwhelming performance both on offense and defense. After losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers by two points, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and legendary NFL hall of famer Tom Brady made headlines after he yelled aggressively at his offensive linemen during the game. Recently, he’s faced major backlash after he compared playing in the NFL to deployment in Afghanistan.

This underperforming season is Brady’s first after his 40 day retirement, in which he returned to the league against his wife Gisele Bundchen’s wishes. His prompt “unretirement” at the ripe old age of 45 has been speculated to be the main reason for divorce. Brady’s decision to unretire has made a negative impact on both his career and personal life, and it’s slowly eating away at his massive legacy.

There’s a lot of speculation about why Brady decided to return to the field — perhaps he missed the adrenaline rush or thought he could add to the plentiful collection of Super Bowl rings he already has. But being an NFL star is massively time consuming. On top of appearances, interviews, and practice, Brady has to travel almost every week to various football games, leaving a minuscule amount of time for his family, especially his wife.

It should be noted that Tom Brady is currently the oldest active NFL player and is the oldest quarterback ever in the NFL. Concerns about his age have been going on for years, but it’s especially prevalent today. To put it in perspective, athletic legends like Michael Jordan and Joe Montana retired at and before 40. To still have to perform at the same level as your prime 20 years ago is ridiculously difficult, and Brady’s decline in performance is evidence of that. 

WALK THE PLANK: Tom Brady’s most recent stats by Rhamil Aloysius Taguba [STUDENT]

Just looking at simple stats shows how Brady’s performance is declining: over the past three games, his rating averaged out to 86 with only two touchdowns. And although it may not be entirely Brady’s fault, his aging performance combined with the Buccaneer’s failing offensive strategies have left the once great champion struggling to stay on top

It would have been more modest for Brady to stay retired. By reaching out for what is now harder to achieve at his age, Brady has let himself collapse under the pressure of maintaining his status as the greatest on the field. His recent behavior is one of the reasons why many speculators say it’s the beginning of the fall. And his outbursts and failing performance could be directly linked to the team’s failing performance: if the leader isn’t stepping up his game, nor can the team. 

Undoubtedly, Brady has faced several challenges throughout his very extensive career. But the confusion caused by his sudden comeback, his aging performance, and his personal issues need to stay off the field and at home, where he deserves to be.