To The Forty-Five-Year-Old Man Wearing A Tom Brady Jersey At My Local Supermarket

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Hello, sir.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time but I noticed you at the supermarket yesterday, wearing that Tom Brady jersey. You intrigued and confused me. To be frank, I can’t get your image out of my head. I wonder if I might be able to ask you a few questions, you know, to clear things up, so I can start to think about something else. I’ll be brief. I promise.

What were you thinking about when you put it on? The jersey, I mean. Do you believe you’re Tom Brady when you wear it? Were you hoping you’d slide the silky mesh over your head and find that you’re suddenly rich, handsome, and married to a supermodel, instead of a single, pot-bellied, pharmaceutical sales rep who has lost quite a bit of hair?

Or was it a showing of support for the team, and for Tom specifically? Did a part of you think that the Patriots would be watching you from their off-season Fan Monitoring Facility in Palm Beach and that, when they saw how striking you looked in the blue and red, they’d send a representative to inform you that you’d won a lifetime supply of player-used plastic cutlery and would be inducted into the Tom Brady Look-Alike Hall of Fame on the Moon?

Maybe it wasn’t that at all, though. Maybe you were hoping that someone in the Towson, Maryland Costco would mistake your five-foot-eight, one-hundred-ninety-nine pound frame for an athlete’s and would give you a toss. “Heads up!” he’d yell as he hurled an official NFL football he’d found wedged in between a jumbo tub of nacho cheese and a plasma TV. And you’d be ready — weaving in between carts overflowing with Kirkland bluejeans and half-priced Wii Fits, making an awe-inspiring catch right before the T-Mobile kiosk representative politely asked that you “pick up the Blackberry Curve you just knocked over.” And then you’d run the ball back to its origin and realize that Tom Brady is the one who threw it! He’d thank you for making “a great play” and compliment you on how well your jersey fit. Then he’d tell you that he needed to talk to you about an opportunity…”with the team.” Three days later, you’d be the Patriot’s new third string quarterback. You wouldn’t get much playing time but, hey, “that’s how Brady started,” you’d tell yourself, in between dead-lifts at the Patriot’s Workout Facility made of million dollar bills. Is that it?

The only other thing I can think of is: The year is 2024 and you actually are Tom Brady. You left the NFL years ago, after a scandal involving your refusal to abuse dogs or carry an unregistered, concealed weapon landed you hard-up and alone. While living in your parents’ basement and trolling Monster.com, you stumbled upon a job in Pfizer’s Baltimore office, moved south, and packed on the pounds after discovering the Sunday-night-magic of Comedy Central and ring-dings. The only thing you kept from the old days is that jersey, the one I saw you wearing yesterday. It helps you remember the good times.

But, if all that’s true, and the year actually is 2024, then where does that leave me? Where have the last 13 years of my life gone? Why aren’t there more movies available for Instant Play on NetFlix? Why does Ashton Kutcher still look so damn good?

Nope, just checked my phone. It’s still 2011.

So, what were you thinking when you put that jersey on, sir? I just really need to know.

Oh, and when you respond, can you let me know how you deal with stains? I just spilled strawberry smoothie all over my favorite limited edition “Katy Perry for President” tee-shirt.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Perplexed

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