FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Curious Case of Tom Brady entails putting up with him for exactly 16 more years. Yes, the best quarterback to walk the Earth will be inflicting pain on opponents for that long.
Brady is the NFL’s Benjamin Button, an age-reversing force that gets younger by the day. He’s defying science one scoop of avocado ice cream at a time. He’s an enigma with a square jaw. His has a proceeding hairline.
“It seems like he’s getting better with age,” Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said in the run-up to Saturday’s game in Foxborough. “It’s kind of interesting.”
That’s the understatement of the millennium.
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The 39-year-old Brady is playing at a higher level today than when he was in his 20s. He’s transformed his body into an unbreakable fortress.
“I’m a f-----ing machine!” Brady once told Comcast Sportsnet New England’s Tom Curran.
He is getting younger by the minute. As his opponents age like normal humans, he’s turning back the clock.
So, let’s do the math.
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Brady entered the NFL in 2000 at age 23. In the year 2021, he’ll be playing like a 34-year-old again even though he’ll chronologically be 44. (He threw for 5,235 yards when he was 34 in 2011).
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In the year 2025, he’ll be playing like a 30-year-old again even though he’ll chronologically be 50. (He threw for 50 touchdowns when he was 30 in 2007).
“You don’t marvel at it. You kind of get used to it,” Todd Bowles said of Brady’s ability to excel so deep into his career. “It’s a credit to him and his training and how he takes care of his body and his love for the game and how he always studies. There are few players that come by in a lifetime that do those types of things every decade. He’s one of them.”
It's inconceivable that Brady would be more dangerous now than during his Super Bowl runs. The silver lining for the rest of the league was supposed to be that his skills would soon diminish. Maybe his passion too. How many records and rings does one man need anyway?
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Instead, the fire still burns for Brady, whose FU Tour in the wake of the DeflateGate scandal has gone into overdrive. The 12-2 Patriots, positioned to secure the top playoff seed in the AFC, clinched their eighth consecutive division title last week. Brady, who has more wins than any quarterback in NFL history, has 22 touchdowns, only two interceptions and a 109.7 passer rating.
His past accomplishments have only fueled him. He’s as intense as ever.
“That’s why he is who is he is,” Matt Forte told the Daily News. “That’s why he probably has won so much ... because he has that drive and passion like he hasn’t won a Super Bowl yet. Some people win the Super Bowl and they’re like, ‘You know what? I had a pretty good career. I’ll call it a day.’ But he’s not satisfied with that. That’s what the great ones do. They’re never really satisfied. They don’t get complacent.”
Brady’s discipline is something to behold. Maybe he really is a f----ing machine.
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“He’s been so successful for so long, but he still has this amazing drive to be the best,” Ryan Fitzpatrick said.
Brady has altered everything from his diet to sleep regimen to remain at the mountaintop.
“I know that he has someone that’s full-time on his staff that helps him with his nutrition, his body mechanics, sleep and the mental part of the game,” Brandon Marshall told The News. “I respect any player who’s willing to make that sacrifice ... put their all into their body to give themselves and their team the best opportunity at winning.”
“Are you willing to make that sacrifice?” Marshall continued. “I find that most guys are not willing to make that sacrifice and that’s why you see the drop-off.”
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The numbers are beyond ridiculous. Brady averaged 25 touchdown passes per season in his 20s. He’s averaging 35 in his 30s.
Real talk: How is that possible?
If Brady truly is Benjamin Button – and there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that he’s not – then we should see a statistical decline in his 50s even if he keeps on winning.
Look for Brady to win Super Bowl LXVI in Feb. 2032. He’ll technically be 54 years old, but he’ll be playing like he’s 24. (He won his first of four Super Bowls when was 24 in Feb. 2002).
Brady will finally retire after the 2032 season as a 55-year-old playing in a 23-year-old’s body.
Or maybe he’ll just keep torching teams until he’s in diapers.Send a Letter to the Editor