At 2:29 p.m. yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced Tom Brady’s retirement. “Tom Brady is retiring from football after 22 extraordinary seasons, multiple sources tell @JeffDarlington and me. More coming on ESPN.com.” 

I couldn’t believe it. After all, as a longtime Patriots fan — my father grew up right outside of Boston — Brady’s dominance over the NFL made up my entire childhood. Even with his recent signing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady would forever mean something to me and every other diehard backing the Pats. Losing him to another team could hurt, but at least we’d still get to watch him play. There was no way he was actually retiring.

Turns out, there was no way he was actually retiring. At least, not right this second. His father, not even two hours later, contradicted the news, and now everything is up in the air. There is talk of $16 million on the line if Brady retires immediately, but inevitably, the question that isn’t being asked is: Why do we need to know?

Rob Gronkowski, a fellow former Patriot who came out of retirement to join Brady and the Buccaneers noted this to USA Today: “You’ve gotta give it time, you’ve gotta rest to see how everything goes, to see how everything plays out, how I feel. I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there. With news moving at lightning speed, Tom Brady is never going to get the luxury to rest and heal. Inevitably, with the speed and accessibility of information today, we are starting to put pressure on the people making the calls to make them faster. How much is the news affecting the decisions in comparison to the decisions affecting the news?

As a journalist, my biggest concern with the news is breaking it fast and telling the story as correctly as possible. With all of the recent news on our campus, I’ve been quick to jump at the bit — wanting to give the people collated information, easily digestible, ripe for further conversation. However, with potential blunders like this looming overhead, I start to worry how many of the stories I want to tell are only going to be possible as a result of news being a threat. The next time administration makes a call concerning the student body, they know the Campus Times will be hot on their heels. While I can hope that will make them release more comprehensive information at once, I also hope that the pressure of mass media does not lead to hasty decisions as a soothing tactic. It has hurt us once before. 

If Tom Brady decides to retire from football this year, whatever you think about the guy, he’s played 22 seasons and broken countless records. While it’s inevitable that his decisions will be scrutinized by millions arguing about contracts and sellouts and deflated balls for years to come, he’s had a hell of a run. Whatever he decides to do should be his decision alone, at the time that he’s ready to make it. We all deserve that courtesy. The news can wait.

Tagged: Football news


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