People sick of the Patriots, whether because of the team's endless winning, or the controversies that linger on and on, or the air of justified smugness that surrounds the franchise, have always taken comfort in the fact that, at some point, this has to end. Right? At some point, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have to ride off into the sunset, don't they? Bullies graduate, Darth Vader and Voldemort get overthrown, the Godfather retires to an Italian villa.
But if 21st-century media like "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" have taught us anything, it's that sometimes, stories don't resolve themselves as neatly as that. Sometimes, your antagonist just keeps on winning, and winning, and winning. On a Wednesday media conference call, Brady was asked how much longer he wanted to keep playing quarterback, and his answer should send a chill down the spine of anyone whose team Brady regularly devours ... so, everyone but Eli:
“I’d like to play a long time, yeah, a long time,” Brady said. “There’s a lot that goes into playing well. I’ve played with a lot of great teammates. But I want to play for a long time, maybe 10 more years. I think that’s probably what my goal is.”
Ten years! Come on, that's borderline insane, for a few reasons. First, even Brady's skills are going to deteriorate over time. Brady doesn't have quite the mileage on him that, say, Peyton Manning does, but even so, the idea of a 48-year-old Brady trying to outrun behemoths that are currently dominating in middle school is ridiculous.
Second, Belichick. Do you really think Bill Belichick wants to coach another 10 years? He's going to decide one day that he's had enough of this garbage, drop his headphones, pull his hoodie strings close, and walk away ... quite possibly in the middle of a game. We're not saying that Brady is a product of Belichick's system, but Belichick could put you in at running back and win. It's going to be a lot harder for Brady if he's playing for a coach who can't psychically break the opposition before kickoff.
Third, what would be the point? Brady has achieved all he can professionally and personally. He's already the greatest quarterback in history. Sure, there's the competitive jones, but is that worth 10 more years of hits, injuries, training camp, inane media asking questions, et cetera, et cetera?
Brady conceded that this is not entirely in his control. "Obviously a team has to want you," he said. "I love making a commitment to my teammates and my coaches, and hopefully I can do it for a long time."
In the NFL, there's a world of difference between "a long time" and "10 years." Brady is goofing us all. Don't fall for it. The only way this guy wants to play for 10 more years is to continue sticking it to the league that bedeviled him for the entire 2015 offseason.
But Patriots fans, take heart: that's enough to keep him around for awhile.
And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.