BOSTON -- Tom Brady has been playing professional football for a very long time. By necessity, that makes him old.
Everybody understands this, yet there are still moments where the insanity of Brady's longevity in the NFL hits you like a ton of bricks. And the Week 14 schedule will be the latest such case.
Next Sunday, Brady and the Buccaneers are scheduled to play in San Francisco. In an odd twist of scheduling and circumstance, it will be just the second time Brady has ever played in his hometown San Francisco as an NFL player.
Brady was supposed to be opposed by Jimmy Garoppolo, but the quarterback suffered a broken foot on Sunday. Garoppolo was also supposed to be Brady's replacement in New England ... when he was drafted eight years ago. But that never came to fruition, mostly because Brady refused to age in his late 30s. Brady actually got better at that point in his career, and he's made 120 straight starts since 2016. By the end of this year, Garoppolo will have missed 30 games due to injury in that same timespan.
But Brady outlasting Garoppolo is not new news. What is new news is the fact that Garoppolo's replacement, Brock Purdy, made a whole lot of people feel very old when he spoke Sunday about the prospect of going up against Tom Brady next weekend.
"Yeah, I think it's cool. I think it's really cool. Dude's been playing football longer than I've been alive," Purdy said. "So, yeah, to have a first start against the GOAT, it's gonna be pretty cool."
Indeed, Purdy was born on Dec. 27, 1999. Five days later, Brady led the Michigan Wolverines to a victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl.
Brady was drafted by the Patriots four months later, at a time when Purdy might have been graduating from size 1 to size 2 diapers. Less than two years later, Brady won his first Super Bowl.
Now just a few years later, the 45-year-old Brady will be under center for the Bucs, and 22-year-old Brock Purdy will be taking snaps and slinging passes for the 49ers. The longer Brady plays, the more often such moments will occur. Eventually, the shock value will disappear ... but that hasn't happened just yet.
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