Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

We originally published a version of this story exactly one year ago, when Tom Brady retired for the first time, after 22 years in the NFL. Ha! Psyche! Brady unretired a month later.

Now, however, Brady, 45, claims he’s gone for good, after 23 seasons, nine Super Bowls (six victories) and numerous NFL records.

“I’ll get to the point right away,” Brady said on Twitter. “I’m retiring for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning, I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first.”

In addition to all of Brady’s football records, he’s some kind of meme champ. When he did anything odd (that happened a lot), creative followers would turn him into a meme on social media. You can debate whether or not he’s football’s greatest quarterback of all time, but he was definitely the most meme-able.

Naturally, it happened again with his second retirement.

“I don’t believe you,” one Twitter user declared.

Some mocked the very Florida location of his retirement video. “Imagine randomly walking your dog on the beach and Tom Brady is retiring over by the dunes,” one person wrote.

The New England Patriots, the team Brady played with for most of his career, recycled their farewell from when he first retired.

And not everyone is convinced Brady won’t be back. After all, he fooled us all once.

“So far, Tom Brady’s retirements have lasted as long as George Santos’ committee assignments,” cracked one Twitter user.

Of course, some people commented on how Brady’s marriage to model Gisele Bundchen ended after he returned to the league.

But let’s look back — not on Brady’s NFL career, but on his meme stardom. My absolute favorite Tom Brady meme was the giant puffy coat he wore to the 2017 AFC Championship game. Meme-makers grabbed the photos and ran them into the end zone, using editing software to inflate the already huge coat even more.

Brady’s wobbly walk at the 2021 Super Bowl also earned him a place in the meme world.

His smashing of a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sidelines in December, and the fake viral video showing Brady making a ton of perfect passes, also gained meme status.

Brady’s first retirement created plenty of memes back in 2022, as with this tweet declaring, “Tom Brady has won 12.7 percent of all Super Bowls in history.”

Others imagined what the rest of the NFL was thinking when Brady hung up his cleats (spoiler: relief). One featured a very insincere Squidward telling SpongeBob SquarePants he’d miss him, and “good luck somewhere else!”

Many jokes centered on the sheer length of Brady’s career. Wrote one person, “If only Brady had better longevity… We’ll always wonder how great he could have been.”

There was a bit of a different reaction in places that don’t play American football. 

Wrote one person, “You won’t find a single arena that plays his game in the whole World! .. nothing!”

Brady beat my teams more times than I’d like to think about, but one thing is for sure: I’ll still kind of miss laughing at that puffy coat.

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

Indiana JonesIndiana Jones

A creepy robot doll reads a little girl a story in horror movie Megan.A creepy robot doll reads a little girl a story in horror movie Megan.

STRANGER THINGS. Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix. © 2022STRANGER THINGS. Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix. © 2022
+44 more

See all photos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *