NFL Network analyst compares Brady retirement to 9/11, JFK assassination


Tom Brady's retirement on Wednesday was met with a deluge of effusive tributes, but one analyst took things a little too far.

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NFL Network's Shaun O'Hara took the dubious prize for perhaps the most over-the-top response to the news, when he likened Brady's farewell to a pair of infamous moments in US history.

"This is a huge moment, not just for Tom Brady, not just for the NFL, but for all of us," O'Hara said. "Look, people remember where they were when JFK was assassinated. You remember where you were when 9/11 happened."

Co-host Pete Schrager then interrupted, seemingly to agree.

"Can I say say something?" Schrager said. "Can I interrupt you real quick? His first start was a week after 9/11. That's how long he's been playing."

"I came out the same year as him," said the 45-year-old O'Hara, who joined the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2000, the same year Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round. "And he's still playing. Twenty-three years is a long time. But, I'm going to remember who I was with ... you're going to remember where you were when Tom Brady announced his official retirement. And it sounds like this one is for real."

While O'Hara's apparent enthusiasm might be commendable, it's hard to imagine his argument holds much water.

Obviously, 9/11 and the JFK assassination were unexpected tragedies that shocked the nation. The fact that they stand as "where were you moments" speaks to something much bigger than football.

Meanwhile, for all of Brady's greatness, his retirement on Wednesday marked the second consecutive year he's done so. So, to suggest that the retirement of 45-year-old quarterback who has long been playing on borrowed time came out of left field is patently fatuous.

That Brady lasted a dozen seasons longer in the NFL than O'Hara, one of his contemporaries, more than drives home the point about his incredible longevity and productivity.

As a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner with the Giants, you'd think O'Hara might be given to more measured takes. But it seems he too has fallen prey to hyperbolic rhetoric over the seven-time Super Bowl winner.

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