It was Jan. 4, 2020, a Saturday night, 11:15 p.m. or so in the Eastern time zone when it all ended.
“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.” T.S. Eliot
It was Jan. 4, 2020, a Saturday night, 11:15 p.m. or so in the Eastern time zone when it all ended. When a part of what it means to be a New England sports fan, what it means to mark the passage of time and the seasons and the decades through one player: this expired. No time left on the clock.
Game over. Maybe one amazing career over, too. An era perhaps concluded in our lives as citizens of this rocky and Yankee and sometimes a bit cranky part of God’s Creation.
The end of this game was not marked by triumph as we hoped for, nor in victory as we cheered for, nor even in last-minute drama as we had come to expect from our local gridiron hero and his team. Nope. It ended with an errantly thrown pass, a tip and then a touchdown for the other team.
Thrown by one Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback for the past 6,678 days — if you’re counting. Eighteen years, three months and 13 days to be exact, since Brady stepped onto the playing field as a starter, on Sept. 23, 2001.