Reimer: Tom Brady will not retire because Gisele wants him to

Alex Reimer
January 24, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Professional athletes usually retire for two reasons: they’re not good enough to keep playing or they want to preserve themselves for their post-playing career. But Tom Brady is a special case. At 40 years old, he’s in the midst of perhaps his best postseason run ever, completing 67 percent of his passes for 627 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions through two games. The legitimacy of Brady’s lifestyle brand, TB12, is dependent on him playing at an elite level for as long as possible. Last year, Brady told the MMQB’s Peter King he wants to stay on the field until he’s at least 45 years old. 

Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, probably holds a lot of sway over the the GOAT. But she can’t talk him into retirement. Too much is at stake. 

In the latest Brady feature story, Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop includes an anecdote from longtime Brady buddy Jay Feely, who says Bundchen asked him last year to convince her husband to hang up his cleats. 

“Last spring Brady and his family vacationed with retired kicker Jay Feely, a close friend from their college days at Michigan,” Bishop writes. “This being Brady, Feely prefers not to disclose the locale, but he does share that Brady’s wife, the supermodel Gisele Bündchen, spent time on that trip “trying to get me to convince (Tom) to stop playing.” And, Feely adds, “‘she was dead serious.’”

Though Bundchen appeared earnest in her efforts, the ex-kicker says he never broached the topic with Brady.

“Feely says he looked at his friend and told him, 'Play as long as you can.' Brady smiled back and winked,” Bishop writes.

It’s apparent Bundchen may want Brady to give up football. The supermodel and environmental activist caused a stir last spring when she said in an interview Brady suffered a concussion in 2017, which was not previously disclosed. When asked about his wife’s claims, Brady did not deny them.

Bundchen’s revelation, and Brady’s seeming confirmation, indicates she’s abreast of his career and ambitions. Bundchen is also an apparent adherent to the preachings of TB12. A Men’s Journal feature story about Brady guru Alex Guerrero references Bundchen doing “rapid-fire sit-ups” at the company’s Patriot Place facility. 

At this point, Brady’s astonishing success is the most persuasive testimonial about the TB12 Method’s effectiveness. Brady’s best-selling book, the aptly titled “TB12 Method,” does not cite any scientific studies and few verifiable statistics. Instead, it largely features Brady’s first-person narrative, with anonymous odes to Guerrero from other alleged TB12 customers sprinkled in. 

Brady will likely enter next season with another MVP trophy on his mantle, and perhaps, his record-setting sixth Super Bowl championship. He could be the best quarterback in the world at 41 years old. While a couple of quarterbacks remained effective at 40, most notably Brett Favre and Warren Moon, they –– to quote our good friend Max Kellerman –– fell off the cliff at 41. Even if the Eagles stomp Brady in the Super Bowl, there’s little chance his performance will dramatically decline next season, barring significant injury. 

There’s no incentive for Brady to quit. Gashed hand aside, he says he feels healthier than ever and is still playing at an unfathomable level. 

The quarterback who diced up the best defense in the NFL without Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski in the AFC championship to secure his eighth Super Bowl appearance is not walking away anytime soon. Bundchen’s pleas won’t derail history. 

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