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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Brady heads into retirement on his terms

by Wally Hall | February 2, 2022 at 3:08 a.m.

It is hard to fault ESPN for jumping the gun and announcing Tom Brady's retirement.

On the other hand, it should have been up to the G.O.A.T. to decide when and where he would tell the world he was hanging up his cleats, leaving behind his seven Super Bowl victories and taking his family on vacation.

The man played 22 years in the NFL and deserved that.

Brady was taken by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, the 199th player selected. The year before, his Michigan Wolverines played against the Arkansas Razorbacks in what was the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

In that game, he didn't look like a goat or the future G.O.A.T.

Brady completed 14 of 27 passes for 209 yards. He had one touchdown pass and two interceptions.

Michigan led 24-10 at the half, but two Chrys Chukwuma third-quarter touchdowns tied it at 24-24 going into the final quarter.

Arkansas took a 31-24 lead on a 9-yard pass from Clint Stoerner to Joe Dean Davenport. One of Chukwuma's touchdowns capped a 7-yard drive after Brady's first interception.

Michigan drove 80 yards to tie it, and then Brady hit a 21-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to DiAllo Johnson. The final score of 45-31 was set on a Wolverine pick-six with 1:42 to play.

Since his final college game, a victory over Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl, he has set NFL bests with 84,520 yards passing, completions with 7,263, touchdowns with 624 and wins with 243. Not bad for a guy who had more interceptions (2) against the Razorbacks than touchdown passes (0) in six games with the Wolverines in 1996 and 1997.

Certainly good enough to have been allowed to announce his retirement when and where he wanted.

. . .

It is officially February frenzy in college basketball, and from now until Selection Sunday, there will be much talk about who is in the NCAA Tournament and who is not.

Bubbles are where teams could be living if they make the tournament.

Of course, with talk about the NCAA Tournaments comes talks of rankings.

The Associated Press is still fun to keep up with, although, the latest seems a little flawed.

It is great, and deserving, that Auburn is No. 1 for the second consecutive week.

These are heady times down on The Plains, where usually the focus is football year round.

The AP poll is a little subjective, decided by 61 voters, many of whom are sportswriters.

The latest poll had LSU at No. 25.

This is the same LSU which lost at home to Arkansas 65-58.

The same LSU team which beat Kentucky but has lost four of its past five heading into Tuesday night.

Arkansas made the "others receiving votes," with seven points behind Alabama, Murray State, Boise State, St. Mary's, Miami, Indiana and Davidson. Yes, Davidson the soccer powerhouse.

The same Arkansas that has won six consecutive games, second in the SEC to only Auburn, which has won 20.

Meanwhile, the NCAA NET rankings aren't looking perfect either.

Auburn, which is 20-1, is No. 5 behind Gonzaga, Houston and Arizona -- which all have two losses -- and behind Villanova at 16-5.

The Razorbacks fell two spots in the latest NET without even playing.

A loss to Georgia, which has a NET ranking of 212, making them a Quad 4 program, would definitely hurt.

The Razorbacks have 10 regular-season games left and seven of those are against Quad 1 schools -- Auburn (5), at Alabama (22) Tennessee (13) twice, at Florida (42) Kentucky (7) and LSU (14). Also they have Georgia, Mississippi State (51) and Missouri (157), games the Hogs can't afford to lose.

Eric Musselman, though, is not worried about rankings. He's worried about wins, and those answer the questions about who is in the NCAA Tournament.

Print Headline: Brady heads into retirement on his terms


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