Tom Brady, perhaps the best Irish American football player of all time, announced his retirement from the NFL (again) today, February 1.
“I’m retiring, for good,” Brady said in an Instagram post on Wednesday morning, acknowledging that “the process was a pretty big deal last time” and he wouldn’t be as “long-winded” this time around.
“You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year,” Brady said.
He thanked his family, friends, teammates, and competitors for their support.
“Thank you guys for letting me live my absolute dream,” Brady said while appearing to grow tearful. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
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On his post, Brady received plenty of well wishes, including from Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, J.J. Watt, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Phelps, David Beckham, Derek Jeter, and Serena Williams.
Brady’s ex-wife Gisele Bündchen commented: “Wishing you only wonderful things in this new chapter of your life.”
Brady’s Instagram post on Wednesday announcing that he’s retiring “for good” comes exactly a year to the day since he first announced his retirement on February 1, 2022.
However, on March 14, 2022, Brady walked back the retirement announcement, saying that he would return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2022 season, citing "unfinished business."
These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG pic.twitter.com/U0yhRKVKVm— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 13, 2022
The Buccaneers, who went 8-9 for the 2022 season, concluded their Super Bowl LVII run after losing to the Dallas Cowboys in a wild-card game on January 16.
“Not the way we wanted to end it,” Brady said after the game. “Kind of typical of the way we played all season.”
Tom Brady's Irish roots
Brady, a native of California who was drafted to the New England Patriots in 2000, is a direct descendant of famine immigrants from Ireland who landed in Boston during the height of the Great Hunger and scraped out a new life for themselves in the Massachusetts capital.
The NFL legend’s great-great-grandfather John Brady left Ireland in the mid-19th century and found work as a laborer in Boston. He soon married Bridget Bailey, also a refugee of Ireland’s Great Famine, and the two set about creating a family.
According to census records, the couple had two children in Boston, including a son, Philip, who is Tom Brady’s great-grandfather. Although Philip’s birth certificate is not available, a registry in the Massachusetts archives shows that his younger brother, Henry, was born in 1857, in the family’s home on First Street in South Boston.
According to The Boston Globe, amateur genealogist Jim McNiff found that the young Bradys went west before the war after Lawrence Meegan, Bridget's sister Ann's husband, was offered a job in San Francisco.
According to the Boston Globe: “Census records show the Bradys and Meegans settled next door to each other in San Francisco’s Mission District, then lived together after Lawrence and Bridget died in the mid-1860s. Their children almost certainly played together, which means Tom Brady’s great-grandfather, Philip, likely tossed a baseball with his cousin, Pete Meegan, who would reach the sport’s major leagues as the Brady clan’s first professional athlete.”
Some of that athletic talent might have been inherited by Tom Brady, a gifted baseball player, who was taken by the Montreal Expos in the 1995 draft before he settled on football.
McNiff also discovered that Brady’s great-grandfather, Philip F Brady, was a San Francisco firefighter for 27 years and responded to the devastating 1906 earthquake. His son was a former police sergeant, who was working as a newspaper reporter when he was shot and killed in Oakland in 1922. Another relative, Brady’s great-uncle, Col. Michael Buckley Jr., was a West Point graduate who was reportedly the first American taken prisoner by the Nazis in World War II.
In 2009, Brady referred to his Irish heritage when the Patriots played in London that year.
“My father is 100 percent Irish. We took a trip over there together and visited some of the places where my family came from,” Brady told reporters.
“That was a great experience for me and obviously, I am very proud of my Irish roots.”