The year is 2020. You know how we have Before Christ and After Death (actually Anno Domini, the year of our lord, but that’s stupid)? Well my life has officially split. I have my dormant years of 1994-2000. Not a whole bunch happened in those years, from what I can remember. Lotta crying, lotta poop, a diabetes diagnosis. Then something beautiful happened, Mo Lewis hit Drew Bledsoe into another dimension and my world was forever changed.
Thus we begin the BTB12 (Before Tom Brady) era, from 2000-2020. The BTB12 era was filled with mountaintop victories and death valley losses. A run of 3 championships in 4 years and undefeated regular seasons turned sour. A team Bill Belichick told TB he can’t get to win, and an MVP season upset by Rex Ryan in the Divisional Round. A HOF diva wide receiver comes in and turns model citizen, then turns back to diva and is sent back home. 2 TE’s were drafted, changing the way offense is played in the NFL. One became the best at his position in his short 9 year career, taking 3 rings with him into his early retirement. One chose a different path.
Two cheating scandals. One that triggered an undefeated season with record smashing numbers and a heart breaking defeat. One that triggered two separate Super Bowl runs ending in Duck Boat rides.
An interception at the goal line. An improbable comeback the sports world had never seen before. An offense that evolved and did exactly what it had to do to win, supported by a stifling defense. The second act of Tom Brady’s career was just as exhilerating as his first. Today doesn’t change that.
Today started a new era of my life, TB12AD (after departure, no Latin bullshit). It’s a scary time. I woke up this morning, saw the news, and it still hasn’t set in. I still don’t feel anything. Tom Brady will no longer be a New England Patriot. He’s going to wear powder blue or Raider black or God forbid those awful Bucs reds. I likely won’t feel the crushing disappointment until he’s at the podium holding a new team’s jersey with a 3 year $100 dollar smile.
It was an amazing run. A run that will never be matched. I’m glad to have been lucky enough to have been here for it. To go from a child in grade school getting a new hat, DVD, and t-shirt every February for my birthday, to drowning in disappointment at family parties as the Giants side of the family rightfully gloated in our faces, to riding the commuter rail from Bridgewater State to South Station for 3 parades in 5 years.
Thanks for the memories, Tom.
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