To no one’s surprise, I was inundated with sports over the last two weeks. There’s almost too much going on; it’s getting in the way of work! I will refrain from revisiting the Buckeyes loss to ‘Bama; there’s really no dissection necessary. The Browns were one length of the field drive away from making grown men cry their eyes out were they to knock off the defending Super Bowl champs without Superman himself. While futile, the Jackets appear to be playing well amidst the annual “I want out” distraction that seems to be legit this time around. And I’m suddenly interested in watching the Brooklyn Nets for no other reason than to watch it push Kyrie right out of town.
All that being said, late Sunday night, quite possibly the best sports moment of 2021 (too soon?) took place. I didn’t know it because Sunday was my birthday, and I was in bed by 9 pm, but it was all over the news and social media when I woke up Monday morning. At a time where good news of any sort is undoubtedly welcomed, two pillars in all of NFL history delivered in the waning hours of an exciting playoff weekend…well after the final whistle.
I’ve watched the clip at least a dozen times, borderline emotional in genuinely appreciating the depth of what took place, and thankful that someone was there to catch it on video. Tom Brady came out of the visitor’s locker room to find Drew Brees on his home turf for what may be the last time, with his family, and immediately joins in conversation. Maybe there’s an underlying understanding between the two regarding Drew’s inevitable upcoming retirement; we mortals will never know. For a few minutes, two of the best in NFL history, two enormous superstars for the last 20 years, two first-class husbands and dads, shared a couple of laughs that were worthy of front-page headlines across the country. Good news is not given the attention it deserves.
Every time I viewed the clip, I imagined myself in each person’s situation. I tried like hell to put myself in Brees’ shoes. I’ve just lost and want to be around my family. I don’t want to talk to anyone…except, okay, maybe Tom Brady. As classy as it gets, and even more genuine. I didn’t have a sports career that warranted much emotion when it ended, but I remember the feeling of knowing you’re walking off the field for the last time; it’s in your gut for a while. I’m guessing the last person I would have been interested in talking to at that moment was someone who just beat me (although, to this day, I recall who it was). But I’m not headed for enshrinement any time soon either.
I also can’t help but come back to the kids; all three wearing Saints jerseys with No. 9 on the back. Brady threw a perfect spiral to the corner of the end zone, an obvious TD at any level, as only Brady can do in his seemingly Joe Cool post-game casual dress. Brees’s daughter? Completely unfazed by Brady’s presence as the boys go crazy. Closing hugs and pleasantries were exchanged, and two immortals gave each other one last on-field nod. Brady walked away shouting, “Be nice to your sister,” to one of the boys.
Seriously, how cool is that?! First, you’re going for a touchdown pass from quite possibly the only QB better than your dad and then he shouts, “Be nice to your sister.” I don’t know what the boy said back, but Brady felt the need to repeat his warning. Ha! Maybe because I’m a dad, or maybe because I heard that line from everyone and their brother when I was a kid, but tell me, how does it get any better than that?!
Tell me that isn’t the sports moment of the year. Is there an ESPY category for “we all still have it inside of ourselves to be decent human beings”?
Please, give the good news more airtime!
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