Tom Brady and Cristiano Ronaldo: Sports kindred spirits

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By Martin Rogers
FOX Sports activities Columnist

Tom Brady is coming again to the NFL and on this ultra-competitive trendy media area, it’s only proper to salute the information breaker who had the data first.

Take a bow … Cristiano Ronaldo?

Ronaldo — the Manchester United soccer famous person — wasn’t fervently texting sources and buying and selling information on Brady’s standing, however when the pair met at United’s Outdated Trafford stadium on Saturday, he did what each good journalist ought to and requested the apparent query.

“So, you’re completed proper?”

Brady’s response was priceless. His coy response was the face that launched a thousand memes, with an ungainly smile and what social media sleuths and lip readers imagine was a drawn-out and non-committal “prooooobably.”

A day later the announcement was in: Brady was again with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a twenty third season in a transfer that threw all the things for a loop and had the NFL world speaking of nothing else.

All of a sudden, the NFC South is now not vast open. All of a sudden, the Deshaun Watson commerce market appears very completely different. All of a sudden, the reply to the hypothetical query of “Who will win eight Tremendous Bowl rings?” isn’t essentially “Nobody.” All of a sudden, the NFL has its greatest identify and alpha male proper within the thick of issues as soon as once more.

One factor the interplay between two legends of sports activities does is spark the scrumptious chance that their assembly and Brady’s return weren’t totally mutually unique. A day like Saturday, the place he and his sons visited an elite sports activities occasion, sat within the nicest seats, acquired handled very well and shook fingers with the star of the present afterward, is strictly the sort of factor you would possibly anticipate Brady to do in retirement.

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Did watching Ronaldo nonetheless doing his factor at age 37 — tearing aside Tottenham with a spectacular hat-trick capped off with the 81st-minute game-winner — make Brady suppose that being the man making magic occur is extra enjoyable than being one of many plenty applauding him?

“These previous two months I’ve realized my place remains to be on the sphere and never within the stands,” Brady wrote in his un-retirement message. “That point will come. However it’s not now.”

Whether or not there was something greater than coincidental timing concerned or not, it’s value contemplating this: There are only a few individuals Brady might discuss to, particularly these someplace close to his personal age, who would have any concept what it’s prefer to function at this sort of elite degree for thus lengthy. Michael Jordan is 59. In professional soccer, solely three different quarterbacks have gained greater than two rings, and none of them are beneath the age of 55.

“All the time a pleasure to share some ideas and concepts with one other GOAT,” Ronaldo shared on Instagram, earlier than Brady thanked him with a smattering of Portuguese to indicate he’s picked up some stable Lusophone grammar from Gisele Bündchen after 13 years of marriage.

Brady is aware of Derek Jeter and spent most of his time since leaving the New England Patriots renting a waterfront mansion from him in Tampa, however the ex-Yankees star is now eight years retired and hasn’t gained a World Sequence since 2009.

In Ronaldo, nonetheless able to acting at his prime and equally dedicated to defying the getting older course of, maybe Brady has discovered the closest factor to a sporting kindred spirit.

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Or perhaps he simply needed to have a enjoyable journey along with his children earlier than the large reveal that will put him entrance and heart of the information cycle once more, with exercises and conferences and all that pre-season stuff to comply with quickly sufficient.

Possibly the journey to England was part-business, part-pleasure. In spite of everything, United is owned by the Glazer household, who additionally personal the Bucs. Possibly a return deal was finalized there. Possibly we are going to discover out the small print of the way it all went down and what was happening in Brady’s head sooner or later. Possibly we gained’t.

Both manner, Brady’s transient retirement, which was totally convincing, is over. No extra limitless scrutinizing of his each remark. No extra hyperlinks to the San Francisco 49ers. No extra questioning if he would possibly take a yr out after which return. No extra guesswork.

Worst retirements in sports activities historical past

Worst retirements in sports history

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“This man has completed nothing the final six weeks and has made himself the largest story in sports activities thrice,” mentioned FS1’s Nick Wright on “First Issues First.” “Tom Brady, worst retirer ever. GOAT soccer participant, worst retirer I’ve ever seen.”

That’s a descriptor Brady will most likely put on fortunately. In spite of everything, he needed to be dangerous at one thing, proper? Now he will get to play on the age of 45, a long-stated aim, and, with a little bit of wage cap finagling, do it with a bunch able to making one other title run.

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Maybe essentially the most outstanding factor is that, after 22 years within the NFL and nearer in age to John Elway than to Patrick Mahomes, Brady does not have anybody questioning whether or not he can nonetheless carry out on the high degree. He’s proved that. The doubters have given up as a result of everybody will get sick of being improper in the end.

Bear in mind all that speak about Tom vs. Time. As everyone knows, Tom gained. Now he’s again for the rematch.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the creator of the FOX Sports activities Insider Publication. You’ll be able to subscribe to the publication right here.

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