*UPDATE*

As of February 1st, Tom Brady has actually retired from the NFL.

He posted a long message on his social media feeds, thanking the Tampa Bay organization, his family, and all of the usual suspects. Though there was no mention of the New England Patriots, reports are saying he may sign a one-day contract with the Pats, retire a Patriot, and then pen his letter to them.

Here is the message:

You'll have to do a bit of scrolling, but it's worth the read.

Now, without further ado, here are my thoughts on Tom Brady, before he officially retired, from the perspective of a young New York Giants' fan growing up in New England, unsure where to place his allegiance for the long-term.

Enjoy.

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In case you missed it, it was a wild weekend surrounding the G.O.A.T. and his status for next season. Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington, of ESPN, reported on Saturday that Tom Brady would be retiring this offseason. After 22 seasons, seven Super Bowl titles and countless game-winning, soul-crushing drives, he would be hanging up the cleats.

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Then, as the football world mourned and celebrated simultaneously, the breaks were pumped on the story a bit. In other words, there were disputes to the report.

Tom Brady's dad even went public, saying that his son hadn't made a decision on his future yet, while others were saying that he was not close to informing the Buccaneers about his future, let alone the rest of the world.

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So, while we don't know yet, what we do know is, there's a chance Tom Brady may not be in the NFL when the 2022 season kicks off.

And, while most teams are grateful for this news, the New York Giants are probably less grateful than most. After all, Brady was the opposition in two of the greatest games in franchise history.

My New York Giants' fandom was solidified by Tom Brady.

Yes, there are a few degrees of separation here, but hear me out. I was a Giants fan, in a Patriots land. It's like being a Red Sox fan in....well, never mind. Either way, all of my friends were Patriots fans, and as a young, impressionable pre-teen, I struggled with whether or not to keep my allegiance in 2011.

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Then, the game happened. I, surrounded by Pats fans, watched the entire game, and grew more and more boisterous in my cheers for the Giants as the game went on. Tom Brady morphed into the enemy in my mind, and the Giants could officially do no wrong.

So, while that theory has been tested time and time again recently, I have remained loyal to the New York Giants, and I have Tom Brady to thank.

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I do not like Tom Brady, but I have the utmost respect for the success he's found in his career, and the legacy he has established for himself. It is no small feat to helm one of the most dominant dynasties in sports history, and if he was my quarterback for the past two decades, I'd probably have the No. 12 tattooed somewhere on me by now.

He wasn't my quarterback, however, so I did not root for him. I did respect him, no matter what.

I also thank him, because if it wasn't for him, Eli Manning wouldn't have a Super Bowl ring for both middle fingers.

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So thanks, Tom. If you're done, it's been fun. And if not, maybe Brian Daboll and his band of merry men can beat you one last time, for old time's sake.

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