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dan shaughnessy

We just said goodbye to Tom Brady, and he’s already talking about a comeback?

Tom Brady (left) with Jim Gray in 2015.Charles Krupa

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water …

Tom Brady is already talking about a comeback.

Sheesh. Does it ever stop with this guy? Is there no end to his hunger for attention? His need to be loved and admired?

C’mon, Tom. We just said goodbye and already you want to have us at hello. Couldn’t this have waited a few more weeks or months? Maybe until after the Super Bowl and the draft? Maybe after the 2022 schedule comes out? Maybe after Jimmy G leaves the Niners?

Tom lit his comeback fuse Monday on the public platform where he delivers many of his other important messages — the “Let’s Go” podcast, Brady’s annoying weekly SiriusXM show with Jim Gray.

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Ah, Jim Gray … the sultan of suckups, the baron of bootlickers, the doyen of dunces.

Gray is a nice fellow, and there was a time when he was a serious journalist. That was before he sold his reporter card for the lucrative chance to do a weekly Q&A with Brady. It’s truly comical, a staged “interview” of Brady propaganda masquerading as news. It is where we get the gospel of Tom, according to Tom, with no hard questions and no sincere answers.

Listening to Jim go back and forth with Tom dulls the senses and insults one’s intelligence. It’s like being repeatedly conked over the head with a stupid stick.

The only thing we know for sure is there is nothing accidental about any of the “news” that comes out of these softball sessions. Clearly, Tom controls the message and sets the agenda. This is where we discover what Tom wants us to know about him.

And less than a week after stating, “I am not going to make that commitment anymore” (Brady carefully did not use the word “retire”), Tom wants us to know that he hasn’t ruled out playing in the NFL again.

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Here’s some of the exchange from the latest Gray-Brady powder-puff grilling, a segment brought to us by GoldenNuggetCasino.com (perfect!).

Jim Gray has become awfully chummy with Tom Brady over the years.Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Gray: “Jordan came back. Muhammad Ali came back. Mike Tyson came back. So inevitably some quarterback’s going to get hurt or not perform at the level and it’s gonna start in July in training camp, it’s gonna go again in September and probably again in October and November. How are you gonna entertain those thoughts? And would you ever consider that?”

Brady: “You know, I’m just gonna take things as they come. I think that’s the best way to put it and I don’t think anything, you know, you never say never. At the same time, I know that I’m very, I feel very good about my decision. I don’t know how I’ll feel six months from now [if it will] change, it most likely won’t. I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment, which I did this last week.

“And, again, I think it’s not looking to reverse course, I’m definitely not looking to do that. But in the same time I think you have to be realistic that you never know what challenges there are gonna be in life.

“Again, I loved playing. I’m looking forward to doing things other than playing. That’s as honest as I can be with you there, Jim.”

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So there. Let the controversy begin. Will Tom replace Jimmy G in his San Francisco hometown? Will Tom take over for some other franchise — a team better positioned to win than the Buccaneers in 2022? (Brady would have to force the Bucs to trade him if he wants to come back with any other team.)

What about Tom returning to the Patriots? What about getting the old band back together? Tom. Bob. Bill. Angry Jonathan. The Musket Men. Channel 4′s “All Access.” Nefarious Alex. Zo. The Pats Media Cartel.

We could have Tom vs. Time and Time again. The Man in the Arena Who Won’t Go Away. The Brady Retirement in Context.

Certainly Brady has triggered the fantasy of the fanboys (it was noticeable that Gray pointedly refrained from asking Tom about his diss of the Patriots, another sure tell that Brady intentionally snubbed his longtime fans).

It’s all on the table now.

Could Tom Brady return?Matt Patterson/Associated Press

Tony C came back. Michael Jordan came back and won three more championships. Every boxer who ever lived came back at least once. Elvis came back with his 1968 television special. Richard Nixon came back and twice won the presidency. Le Grand Orange looks primed for a comeback.

Why not Tom Brady?


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.