Tom Brady Scores Biggest Scoop of His Career

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Tom Brady's chaotic first retirement didn't stick, leading to an entirely unsatisfying yet content-filled last dance in Tampa. At that time his camp threw buckets full of cold water on the breaking news report from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington. A meandering thank-you note was parsed by word and misinterpreted. In short, it was the first misstep in what proved to be a messy swan song.

His second farewell is a lot cleaner and, by all accounts, final. The seven-time Super Bowl winner pre-recorded a goodbye from the beach, informed the Buccaneers of his intentions before official business hours this morning, and posted it to Twitter at 8:12 a.m. ET.

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This is a man who learned his lesson. Or perhaps took note of the way J.J. Watt has been handling his personal news. Brady stripped away all the complicated layering of insiders and unnamed sources and let himself do the talking. It was short, it was sweet, and it was oddly emotional for certain bloggers who have grown quite comfortable rooting against him for more than half their lives.

It does not feel hyperbolic to say it feels like we're losing an institution. Brady was not universally loved but he could not be ignored. He became a de facto franchise unto himself. It feels in some ways like a polarizing team permanently written into the A-block is disbanding. Or more accurately, climbing into a Mayflower semi truck and heading for the sweet landing spot of Fox's $375 million.

A major scoop went unscooped as the main character just ... posted it. We'll never see another football career like Brady's and we'll probably never see another media career like his either. This video marks the official beginning of that second act.

Between the money, the expectations, and the unique place he holds not just in the sporting world but the world at large, it promises to be a fascinating ride. Watching football without him on the field will be a surreal experience for so many who have never experienced it. Yet he'll be there in a different capacity.

Who knows how this experiment will go or how long it will go on for. The not knowing is a bit exciting, if we're being honest.