Tom Brady is putting sentiment aside when he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the road to play the New England Patriots on Sunday.
"I'm not going to necessarily reminisce," he said on his Let's Go! podcast with Jim Gray (via ESPN's Jenna Laine). "I don't think this is the moment for that. I'll have plenty opportunities to reminisce about my football career -- none of it, none of which I really care to do right now because I'm so much in the moment."
This will be the first time the 44-year-old plays at Gillette Stadium since signing with the Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season.
Brady won six Super Bowls, three MVPs and cemented himself as arguably the greatest quarterback ever in his 20 seasons with the Patriots. As he said, though, there won't be much time to think about the memories he made in New England.
The legendary signal-caller also isn't anticipating a hero's welcome in New England, and according to ESPN's Jenna Laine, Brady suggested he is OK with that:
"I wouldn't expect that--a homecoming. I mean, I think they're there to root for their team, and their team is the Patriots. I think they're gonna cheer for their team as I would expect them to, and I think if they know anything about me, they're gonna know that I'm going out there to try to win the football game, so I think they'll respect that about me."
Tampa Bay is looking to atone for a 34-24 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. A second successive loss might see the defending Super Bowl champion cede more ground to the 3-0 Carolina Panthers or slip behind the New Orleans Saints (2-1) in the NFC South.
Likewise, the outpouring of goodwill toward Brady from Patriots fans will probably fade shortly after the kickoff. Seeing the legendary quarterback again will be nice, but watching New England improve to 2-2 will probably be a more pleasing sight.
While things appeared to sour at the end, Brady and the Patriots didn't engage in a messy, public divorce. The two parties presumably remain cordial enough.
Once Brady walks away from his playing career, there will be plenty of time to reflect on what he and former head coach Bill Belichick achieved together.