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Somewhere, Gisele Bundchen is wondering, if only fleetingly, where this Tom Brady was a year ago. Now it may be that their story-and-bankbook marriage was doomed anyway (ignoring the fact that it probably isn't our business), and Brady did one more year in Tampa just to keep his mind off the end of the union, but we here at are putting two and two together to come up with the customary six because his need to throw 799 more passes for the only team he ever played on that lost 10 games seems to have trumped his family.

But let us think not of him and them, but of us, and how we lose one final fevered offseason of guessing what team he'd play for next. In San Francisco, for example, where quarterbacks are just meat for the chipper-shredder, there was already a feverishly built fan construct whereby he would "come home," or more specifically return to his parents' home and fulfill a childhood dream of playing for the 49ers. Of all the nonsense reasons to imagine something you want but don't really have the means to deliver, that one is most employed by supporters and least acted upon by the actors involved. Tom Brady could have had a summer home next door to his parents' if it mattered that much; his one adult fantasy about the 49ers was quashed two offseasons ago after a similarly un-Brady season, when Kyle Shanahan opted instead to forge ahead with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Now Brady the 49er is a pipe dream, just as Brady the Raider and Brady the Titan. He says he's done, and he damned well better mean it this time.

And while we're at it, Greg Olsen is wondering, with a but more fervor we imagine, why this Tom Brady couldn't have put off his retirement at least one more year. Olsen has been the breakout star of the postseason with his work as Fox's lead analyst, cleanly explaining the seemingly unexplainable while Tony Romo is doing high-volume Scattergories after plays with intermittent stops while his brain scrambles to rein in his rampant tongue. Olsen, though, is also a placeholder for Brady because while you might want Olsen's insights, Fox executives needed to rub the noses of NBC, Disney, and Amazon executives by spending 67 percent more money for Brady than the Cleveland Browns will pay Deshaun Watson. Olsen's reward for his excellence is a diet of Commanders-Cardinals and Falcons-Bears; one would hope that Fox would at least bump up his salary for services rendered, but these are the days when every company in America lays off seven percent of its workforce whether it needs it or not, so Fox's counteroffer might well be to remove his left foot.

And while we're still at it, we as a nation of football junkies will get substandard Super Bowl coverage because Aaron Rodgers speculation isn't nearly as edifying or enjoyable as Brady speculation. Not because Brady is fun to speculate about; quite the contrary. His legacy was made five years ago, and he seems all mirthless smiles and spackled teeth. Rodgers on the other hand is joyless smirks and Gandalf's beard, and when he speaks about trade rumors that include him but don't involve him, you come away wishing the Packers would be working on a deal for a first- and second-round trade with the sun.

So it's just going to be the usual fortnight of vacancy that is Eagles v. Chiefs, Mahomes v. Hurts, Reid v. Reid's protege, loud but polite fans v. loud but profane fans, cheesesteaks v. barbecue, and desperately beating us over the head with Rihanna's entire Spotify playlist just because she is going to play eight minutes in a lousy roofless room at the Super Bowl halftime show. Almost all the coaches have been hired (hey, who's up for Jeff Saturday to the Cardinals?), and Roger Goodell's annual Voldemort turn known as the State Of Our Money address will have effusive yet deeply insincere Brady praise given their contentious histories, while Brady will spend the week working on a memory trick that will help prevent him from calling Goodell a cheap ginger-haired coat hangar at the Fox presser. They'll be best friends in that "I wish I could hate you more than I already do" way of theirs.

But for all the clips of Brady's work there will not be the invigorating debate about his legacy that normally accompanies a big-deal retirement because everyone agrees that Brady is the most accomplished quarterback ever, and that Patrick Mahomes is at least five rings and 10 years away from even inserting himself into a conversation. There will be an army of talking heads who run out of things to say about Brady after five seconds, and a nationwide audience responding, Jesus on roller skates, enough about Brady. There's nothing left to say about Brady because it's all been said too many times over too many years ... except maybe Greg Olsen calling him a job-stealing bastard, and even then I think we all have heard that one too.

Credit him with this, though. He took the first slow news day of Super Bowl Week, did his antiseptic song'n'dance thing and was done. He cut off speculations about his future before they could get a real run-up, and we can all get on with the pewter gray desolation of our lives. Even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can move on with their own Bradyless futures, which will be dominated by the conundrum of selling tickets to the Kyle Trask v. Blaine Gabbert quarterback controversy that cannot be sold. Not even Gisele and the kids have ever known that level of bleak.

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