He was retired, goddammit. At long last! The sport of football would be cleansed of this weird creep, once and for all. That was six weeks ago; it only feels like five years. “Not Even Tom Brady Could Play Forever” was the headline, which is either hilarious or I’m screaming and thumbing my eyeballs out right now. Then he spent a measly month and a half with his family, and now he’s back. Nobody even got to have so much as a friggin’ practice in the new, hopeful, post-Tom Brady NFL. Will they ever?
What happened? Everybody’s got a theory. Brady went and watched his pal, similarly deathless leather cyborg Cristiano Ronaldo, score a hat-trick for Manchester United and break the Premier League’s record for most career goals over the weekend; a little while later, he announced his un-retirement. Maybe he’d been inspired: If Ronaldo can squat joylessly over a sports franchise and drain its vitality away while servicing his career benchmarks, why can’t I? Alternatively, maybe Brady spent a few weeks impersonating a normal human husband and father and discovered that he could not slake his Thirst For Excellence via mundane human relationships. Maybe he spent a few weeks looming uncannily around the house, throwing away everybody’s berries, demanding that his children kiss him intensely in strange moments, staring weirdly at mattresses, power-sleeping for 20 minutes every 16 hours—and Gisele chased him back to football with a crucifix and an ampule of holy water.
Football already wasn’t ever going to be truly free of this damn Tom Brady: No one will ever be able to call a quarterback “great” without him appearing behind them in a mirror, leering bizarrely and looking ever more distressingly like his own video-game avatar. That nightmare can’t even begin until this one ends, and this one can’t end until he finally fucks off. For six weeks the world lived the dream, but now that dream has died.