We were fools to think the ancient evil might have been sealed. We celebrated, like the hapless protagonists only 52 minutes into a horror movie, at the doom we’d avoided. We should have known better. The corpse of Tom Brady would stay at the bottom of Crystal Lake forever, we told each other. Our football fields and our TV coverage was safe once again.

Who did we think we were?

To be fair, I think there was probably a full 30-45 minutes where Tom Brady, too, thought he was actually retired. He fired off the social media posts, a blanket thanks to teammates new and old. A man named Shawn in the greater Boston area discovered a new blend of feelings he’d have to push down deep inside just like his Catholic upbringing taught him to. TB12 kissed his supermodel wife, and children, all on the lips.

But as he settled into his armchair, he felt it. The gradual leak of that most tormenting, unbearable feeling of being Just A Guy. Being a normal (very rich and famous) person. Though, and he knew this, slightly less famous than he was an hour ago. This is what he wanted? To scream at the television on Sundays from the couch like he was fucking ELI MANNING? What, to be hired to do color commentary next to a visibly hungover Troy Aikman? No chance. He was the promised son of football and he would never stop. At his funeral, his corpse would tremble back to life, his arm leaking embalming fluid as its muscles tried to throw one last short crosser.

 

Tom Brady as Pennywise when he turns into the spider thing
It's back.

 

His fingertips dug into the armrest of his leather recliner, and even the sensation of animal skin on his fingertips released small amounts of dopamine into his brain. The brain that processed NFL defenses in milliseconds put that same power to work on the decision he’d just made and realized it was a horrible, detestable mistake. His mind had been clouded by his wife and children, who he loved very much, but were also very much not footballs.

He’d just retired, though. Surely he couldn’t walk it back that quickly? How would it be received? He realized he didn’t care. He was 44 years old and could probably still play a high school quarterback in Euphoria. The laws of nature and time were shackles meant to be broken.

As the horror movie teens representing Colts and Jets fans had wild, free, celebratory log cabin sex, we realized we’d seen this movie too many times before. The last thing they’d remember was the gentle scent of almonds and alkaline water. They never had a chance.

Top Image: Twitter/Pixabay

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