By Steve Keating
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not thinking about retirement but for everyone else preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl it seems to be something they are pondering.
It is a subject debated ad nauseum by hundreds of pundits or discussed by fans as they stroll the Mall of America hoping to catch sight of the Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles, who are staying in hotels attached to the sprawling complex.
It was the first question put to the 40-year-old Brady at Wednesday's media session but certainly not the first time it had been asked this week.
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"Why does everyone want me to retire so bad," Brady replied. "I don't get it. I'm having fun, the team is doing good.
"I know I am little bit older than most of the other guys but I am really enjoying it.
"I'm not thinking about retirement I'm thinking about the Super Bowl I am trying to win."
Statistically there certainly would seem no good reason for Brady to quit.
He led the NFL in passing yards this season with 4,577 while his 32 touchdown passes ranked third behind the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson (34) and Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz (34).
For those looking for a sign of decline there has been none.
He has his team back in the Super Bowl for the third time in four years and has had the type of season that has again placed him in the most valuable player conversation.
Brady has made no secret of his hopes to play well into his 40s and has been developing a game plan to reach his goal, including becoming a disciple of healthy eating and living.
"I love to plan for those things," said Brady. "I work hard at the things I need to in order to allow my body to feel good week-after-week, year-after-year.
"I've got a good routine that has really worked for me especially over the last 10-12 years.
"As an athlete that's my asset, your asset is your body and how well your body can handle the rigors of training and playing.
"I learned I need to invest in my body, I need to invest in the things that are going to make me feel good or else I would have stopped playing 10 years ago."
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)