So, uh, how about them Bucs? One of the great discussions of sports fandom is: “When do you walk away from the game.” Eli Manning walked away in 2019 at the age of 38; his big brother Peyton left the NFL in 2015 at the age of 39. Big Ben? 39. Drew Brees? 41. You can see a trend here. At a certain point, there’s a point where “the magic” isn’t there anymore.
This week, we watched 45-year-old Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to the Carolina Panthers, a team that has fired its head coach and is in the process of trading away every player of any seeming value for draft picks. At the same time, we watched 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers let the Washington Commanders go on a 23-0 run and hold the lead. Taylor Heinicke beat Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady has been beaten by Mitch Trubisky and PJ Walker in consecutive weeks.
I’m not here to bury Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers — there are greater sportswriters who will write that eulogy. But part of the job for statistical crunchers is to, at the very least, to serve as a sort of analytical mortician. We tell you when a player is statistically “coming back to life” or “ready for the grave.” It’s never easy to say that the greats — and perhaps the greatest in Tom Brady — are done, especially for your fantasy team. But I’ve checked the stats, made a list, and contacted the ancestors via my ouija board. None of the news is good.
Here I am not to eulogize your childhood idols, but to write about D’Onta Foreman, Idolslayer.
Please, blog, may I have some more?