Normally, when someone tells you Tom Brady did some time at the lectern, your knees get all jiggly and your eyes glaze over and you float over to the nearest screen, as if pushed by a warm breeze, to gaze longingly upon the clean and symmetrical contours of that ageless, gloriously handsome face. Not today!
Today Brady looks like a reusable paper shopping bag you once thoughtfully stored under your sink, and then the P-trap sprang a barely perceptible leak that over the years soaked every square inch of the cabinet to the point of swelling, but not so slowly that you weren’t grimly aware of the escalating disaster, and today you finally worked up the nerve to face your shame, and instead of a sturdy old paper bag in there among the cleaning supplies you hauled out a clammy handful of disgusting moldy paper pulp. Brady’s voice—normally comfortingly folksy and disarmingly mechanical, like the recorded safety spiel on the monorail at Disney World—today sounds like four rusty wood screws banging around inside an ancient tomato can. Shout it from the mountaintops: Tom Brady looks and sounds like shit! Finally!
Is it the plague? The flu? A simple case of kennel cough? Several internet users, searching around for harmless explanations for why their football hero suddenly looks and sounds like something that would drag you out of a window and chow down on your flesh in a George Romero flick, theorized that Brady wore himself out yelling over crowd noise at Buccaneers practice, ahead of Sunday night’s big game against the New England Patriots. Seems like this is something that would’ve happened before, considering Brady is now in his 22nd NFL season, but perhaps Old Man Time has finally caught up to Old Man Brady, and this is the consequence: a day of shouting over crowd noise reduces the once-handsome fellow to a brittle husk.
Unfortunately the Defector medical team was unavailable to evaluate Brady’s condition due to the evolving demands of the Urban Meyer beat. However, Nate Crudster, developer and mastermind of Defector’s proprietary crud-sensing technology, was able to take an accurate scientific reading with the Crud Meter, which showed the following:
Tom Brady was a rattling, rasping, cobwebby drift of dusty grey crud today. The Crud Meter reflects this.