February 08, 2021

Yesterday’s Super Bowl was touted as a battle between the young and the old.  The two weeks before the game was all about the quarterback duel between Tom Brady the GOAT (greatest of all time) and Patrick Mahomes the wannabe GOAT.   Brady was vying for his seventh Super Bowl ring in ten trips to the game during his 21-year career.  Mahomes is in his fourth season and was attempting to become the first back-to-back champion since Brady led the Patriots to victories in 2004 and 2005.  There is an 18-year age difference between the two quarterbacks.  Most predicted the kid would have a big edge.  Yesterday’s 31-9 Buccaneers victory showed being old was a good thing.

The 43-year-old Brady became a free agent last March after the Patriots refused to resign him for a multiyear contract, ending a 20 seasons stint with the Patriots.  A month later Rob Gronkowski ended his year-old retirement to join his friend.  Brady and the Gronk were joined by Leonard Fournette after he was waived by the Jaguars in September.  Receiver Antonio Brown who had been let go by the Raiders and Patriots last season for his outrageous behavior signed in late October.  All were believed to be past their prime.  These four accounted for all the Bucs’ touchdowns on Sunday.  Gronkowski’s two touchdown catches were the twelfth and 13th Brady-to-Gronkowski postseason touchdowns, an NFL record.  It seemed the experience of being old was an advantage.

The 25-year-old Mahomes ended up scrambling for his life behind a makeshift offensive line.  Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher tore his Achilles’ tendon in KC’s AFC championship win over Buffalo.  Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz was the team’s best offensive lineman last season but has been out with a back injury since Week 6.  That meant inserting new players int the lineup and shift others to new positions.  The turf toe Mohomes suffered in the Divisional round appeared to again flare up as KC’s line failed to keep the aggressive Buc defense from forcing Mahomes to scramble for his life.  Mahomes lost an NFL game by double digits for the first time in his career.

Thoughts:  Tom Brady was drafted 199th in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.  He led the team to its first Super Bowl victory in the following year and three in his first five years.  After a ten-year drought, he led The Patriots to three more titles over five years between 2014 and 2018.  After two years without a title, Brady was considered too old to play.  He signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers and brought them their second victory in franchise history.   While the average tenure for NFL quarterbacks is 4.5 years, this year quarterbacks of six of the 14 teams in the playoffs were at least 36 years old.  Perhaps being old and discrimination through ageism needs to be rethought.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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