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dan shaughnessy

A plea for Tom Brady to retire for good this time, and other thoughts

It was a long night for Tom Brady when the Buccaneers bowed out against the Cowboys last Monday.Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Picked-up pieces while waiting for Brett Maher’s first extra-point attempt against the 49ers Sunday …

▪ Please, Tom Brady.

Just stop.

Enough already.

You’ve proven your point.

You played at the top level till you were 45, just as you pledged all those years ago. You hold all the records and you’ve won everything there is to win. You’re Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, and Benjamin Button. You gave us so much joy here in New England for all those years and we can never thank you enough.

But here’s hoping you don’t succumb to the hubris and neediness of getting back out there with yet another team next year. There’s no need to try to do this again with Josh and the Raiders. The 49ers and Dolphins are pretty much set, thank you, and we all know you can’t come home again.

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A half-century in this biz has taught me that it’s not up to media, or fans, to dictate when a player should retire, and I’m pretty sure you are determined to keep playing, but anyone who truly cares about you would tell you that it’s probably time to stop.

You love playing football and no doubt you could put up some numbers again next season.

But why?

Count me as one Brady watcher who has had more than enough. I don’t want to see any more of what I saw last Monday night against the Cowboys. You weren’t Willie Mays in the 1973 World Series, but it was no fun watching you chucking it up there 66 times for your 8-10 team, getting rid of the ball too soon to avoid getting hit, throwing for a pitiful 5.3 yards per attempt, making faces at the officials and your teammates, and trying to trip an opponent after he scooped up a fumble by one of your wideouts (that was a dirty play, Tom, and you know it).

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You could get hurt, Tom. Why take a chance? You have your records, fame, fortune, and good looks. You have your health, three great kids, two adoring parents, TB12, Alex Guerrero, and at least another half-century of the good life.

“Leaving the stage at the right time demands self-awareness,” former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent recently wrote (all you wise guys preparing to send me this same message can save it, thanks. We’re talking Brady today).

Go for it, Tom. Take the cushy TV job. Promote TB12 around the world. Enjoy your kids in their formative years. You don’t need this anymore. Don’t come back to let us see you get pummeled like an aging Muhammad Ali against Larry Holmes. Monday night was bad enough. No mas.

There’s only one exception, Tom. If you somehow wind up as quarterback of the Jets, I take everything back. I think I speak for all of New England when I say that watching you play against the Patriots for the Jets would be a circus we’d love to see.

That’s it, Tom. Go Jets or go home.

▪ Quiz: Name the seven Catholic colleges that have won the Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball championship (answer below).

▪ Anyone who was around the Celtics between 1978-95 woke up Thursday with a heavy heart after learning that former player and coach Chris Ford died at the age of 74.

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Known as “Doc” to everyone in the Celtics family, Ford was one of the finest men to grace the New England sports landscape. He was a starter in the backcourt with Tiny Archibald when Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale won their first championship in 1981, and an assistant to head coach K.C. Jones when the Celtics won banners in 1984 and ‘86.

Ford was head coach of the Celtics from 1990-95 and wound up coaching Brandeis for a couple of seasons after stints with the Bucks, Clippers, and 76ers. He was Celtics head coach when Reggie Lewis collapsed in a playoff game against Charlotte in 1993.

The Celtics paid tribute to the late Chris Ford before Thursday's game against the Warriors.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Chris and Kathy Ford and their four children lived in Lynnfield during their time here, and we were all better for having them in our lives. He’s also perhaps the greatest athlete ever produced by Atlantic City.

I hunted down Cedric Maxwell at the Garden Thursday to verify the origin of Ford as “Doc.” I’d read somewhere that Ford got the nickname because he once dunked on Julius Erving.

(The New York Times repeated this story in a Saturday obituary, attributing the item to CBS Boston.)

“I can tell you that is a figment of somebody’s imagination,” Max said. “No way, no how. Never. I gave him the name in practice one day when he was cradling the ball, making some fancy move to the basket, and I said, ‘Whoa there, Doc, who do you think you are?’ After that, he was Doc.”

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RIP, Doc.

▪ Can we please start the Stanley Cup playoffs this weekend?

▪ Red Sox medical shoulder specialists worked overtime last week when five club executives tore rotator cuffs patting one another on the back after signing their own player to a long-term contract extension.

▪ Years from now, folks will ask themselves how the once-star-studded Red Sox maneuvered themselves into a position where .239 career hitter Kiké Hernández became the face of the franchise.

▪ Adam Duvall: 1. A guy who used to be good. 2. A guy coming off surgery. 3. A guy who’ll take a one-year contract. He is therefore a perfect fit for the Chaim Bloom Red Sox. Throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

▪ There’s lots of pressure on Triston Casas going into 2023. Stat nerds love him more than Mike Trout because he works the count, never swings the bat, gets a lot of walks, and hits homers when he connects.

Projected as a potential Red Sox cleanup hitter in 2023, he batted .197 last year and is officially untouchable on the trade market.

Please remember that Casas is not a Bloom find. Casas and Brayan Bello — the two top Sox prospects for 2023 — are products of the ever-maligned Dave Dombrowski regime. They are not fruits of Boston’s “new and improved” farm system.

Triston Casas is penciled in as the Red Sox first baseman for 2023.Nick Wass/Associated Press

▪ The deadline for Red Sox season ticket renewals was Wednesday. Wonder if the Sox analytics army can quantify the damage done by the club’s organizational chaos?

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▪ Fred McGriff will be enshrined in Cooperstown in July. He might be joined on stage by Scott Rolen, but we won’t know until Tuesday when the results of the BBWAA’s Hall of Fame vote are released. Rolen is going to be close to the 75 percent threshold.

▪ These next few years might be rough on the legion of irrational LeBron Haters. He already is the best 38-year-old player of all time, eventually will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, and should vault over Parish for most games played before his current contract expires in 2025.

▪ Kyle Van Noy was succinct when asked why his Chargers blew a 27-0 lead to the Jaguars on Wild Card Weekend. “We choked,” said the ex-Patriot. Chargers lineman Joey Bosa is going to have to live with the possibility that his helmet-throwing temper tantrum cost his team the game.

▪ Brian Daboll’s bold coaching and sideline comportment are a big part of the Giants’ success this season. It should alarm Patriots fans to note that Joe Judge had almost the exact same team and ran them into the ground (4-13) in 2021.

▪ The Giants’ win over the Vikings in Minneapolis last weekend was the franchise’s first playoff win since Eli Manning & Co. beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Feb. 5, 2012.

Poor Minnesota just can’t beat New York. The Yankees are 93-38 against the Twins since 2002, including 13 straight in the postseason. The Islanders beat the North Stars in the 1981 Stanley Cup Final.

Here in New England, we love Minnesota: They gave us David Ortiz, Kevin Garnett, and Randy Moss.

▪ With diplomas from Moeller High School and Ohio State, Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard has the perfect pedigree to be a local hero. Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble return that rescued the Bengals against the Ravens last weekend is Cincinnati’s version of the “Immaculate Reception.” They should make it a statue if the Bengals go on to win the Super Bowl.

Is there a statue here?Joshua A. Bickel/Associated Press

▪ A Globe reader e-mailed to point out that Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe both played big league baseball for Boston in the summer of 1919. The Babe was in his last year with the Red Sox, hitting 29 homers, while Thorpe played 60 games for the Boston Braves, just 1.3 miles from Fenway Park.

▪ It’s hard to imagine a better day of high school basketball (both boys and girls) than Saturday’s Andrew James Lawson Foundation Invitational, featuring 11 games, starting at 9 in the morning. The highly anticipated Worcester Academy (with Marquette commit Tre Norman and Duke-bound T.J. Power) vs. Brewster Academy duel is at 7:30 p.m., followed by St. Sebastian’s (featuring freshman sensation A.J. Dybansta) vs. Belmont Hill at 9. Reminds me of the old Shootout Days featuring the “Boston Six.”

▪ What do Henry Kissinger, Jacob Javits, Alan Greenspan, Harry Belafonte, Rod Carew, Ron Perlman, and Manny Ramirez have in common? All went to George Washington High School in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

▪ Quiz answer: Holy Cross, La Salle, San Francisco, Loyola (Illinois), Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova.


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