Mean Girls has had a stranglehold on October 3rd references since 2004, but thanks to the 2021 NFL schedule, that's about to change. Similar to Tom Brady highjacking St. Patrick's Day to break the hearts of five and a half states to announce he was leaving the Patriots, now when someone says, "It's October 3rd," the date will forever be synonymous with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski returning to Gillette Stadium. Sorry, Aaron Samuels.
Not only will the greatest QB-TE combo of all time come back to Gillette Stadium for Week 4's Sunday Night Football game, but there's a solid chance Brady surpasses Drew Brees for the all-time passing yardage record that night.
It's already being hyped as the game of the year. Brady and Gronk vs. Belichick.
*Belichick to Brady during the postgame meet and greet*
Credit to the NFL for factoring in Brady's potential record-setting night and getting this game played early in the year in case either team is already out of contention by November. Don't forget that all 22 starters are returning in Tampa. You gotta wonder if they'll get complacent, having just won the Super Bowl.
With the Buccaneers likely not returning to Gillette until 2029 (unless they somehow match up with the Pats under the new 17th game formula), it's safe to assume this is the last time Brady and Gronk will ever play in Foxboro. Because of this and the obvious historical ramifications, 300 level ticket prices already have a comma. 100 level tickets are rivaling Super Bowl prices.
While I profited off of their success in the Super Bowl, ending an 0-26 cold streak in the process, I was certainly not rooting for them last season. That doesn't mean I don't still have a ton of love for Brady and Gronk. They'll always be my guys. It just kills me to see them playing in Tampa, but I've talked about going to this game since people realized the Bucs were coming to Foxboro last year. I want to pay my respect to two of my favorite athletes of all time.
Not to brag during trying times, but between ub**, my "real" job, the success of #TML, and a couple stimmies, I've been able to save up more money than I've ever had in my life. Nothing crazy, I couldn't buy a car or afford to live without roommates, but I can buy a 30 rack without stressing about it being $3 less at the liquor store that's four minutes further away than the one up the street. I could easily pull the trigger and buy tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime type of game, but I can't help but think of the risk in buying tickets to this game so far in advance.
The only reason these tickets are so expensive is because of the return of Brady and Gronk, so what happens if they go down? It's not like SeatGeek or Stubhub is going to give you a refund. You're stuck spending a mortgage payment watching Blaine Gabbert throw to Cam Brate. No, thank you! But if you wait even longer, the prices are only gonna go up.
Look, I'm not trying to bring bad vibes into the mix, but let's not act like there isn't a 20ish % chance that either misses this game. I'm not rooting for them to go down and don't anticipate it happening, but Rob Gronkowski isn't Cal Ripken. Last year was just the second time in his career he started every game. Tom Brady is going to be 44 years old this season. People used to die of old age at 44, like 130 years ago. While Tom's clearly proven Max Kellerman wrong, in a way, the cliff is always there. If it does ever happen that doesn't make him right, it's like predicting that someone will die someday. Kellerman gave the cliff speech in 2016! Brady's won three more Super Bowls since then, but the possibility is always there.
All I'm saying is it would be a shame if something happened that ruined this matchup. Of course, I don't want it to happen, especially when I'm leaning towards going full send and buying tickets, but I can't help but laugh at the idea of this monumental game that the NFL is banking on having Super Bowl like viewership getting ruined by a sprained ankle or spoiled avocado.