A run for the aged

Football's new magic number is now 40. Anyone around an age as ripe as a prune is practically begging for, and succeeding at, stealing this season's spotlight.

As Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy screamed: "Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40! I'm not a kid!"

The NFL in 1987, Vinny Testaverde's first season:

Leading passer:Neil Lomax, Cardinals (3,387)

Leading rusher:Charles White, Rams (1,374)

Leading receiver:J.T. Smith, Cardinals (1,117)

Sacks:Reggie White, Eagles (21)

Now a rant for the ages has been followed up with a run by the aged.

Just last week, Carolina's 43-year-young Vinny Testaverde -- a man two years older than the Super Bowl itself -- signed with the Panthers on Wednesday and led them to victory on Sunday, becoming the oldest quarterback ever to start and win a game in the NFL.

The next night, the Falcons sent out their 47-year-young kicker, Morten Andersen, to do battle with the Giants' 40-year-young punter Jeff Feagles.

Holy George Blanda!

Only it's not just the 40 somethings lighting it up. It's the near 40-somethings.

Patriots linebacker Junior Seau turns 39 in January, and he has intercepted three passes the past two weeks, more than he has had in any single season.

Packers quarterback Brett Favre turned 38 earlier this month, and all he did was become the NFL's all-time touchdown passing king.

At 37, Jeff Garcia still hasn't thrown an interception for the first-place Buccaneers.

Same old, same old.

"Are you kidding me?" Gundy shouted in his same tirade, now a legend on Youtube. "Where are we at in society today?"

Here's where we're at: A young's man game now is for the forever young. Old is new. And the truth must be acknowledged.

Forty is the new 20.

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