Tom Brady is in the Super Bowl at 43 years old, an incredible reality to consider, and it doesn't seem as if there's really any stopping him.
Father Time lurks in the shadows, constantly forced to find better nooks and crannies as Brady and his longtime trainer Alex Guerrero work to tilt the scales in the quarterback's favor. While his past contemporaries fade into retirement, Brady just keeps on going -- and he might go past his once-absurd target age of 45.
"Yeah, definitely. I would definitely consider that," Brady said Monday. "Again, it's a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is. Just because it's a contact sport and again it has to be 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it.
"I've been fortunate over the years. Alex (Guerrero) and I work really hard to make sure physically I can perform at my best because you take different hits, over the course of the year you deal with different bumps and bruises, different injuries and so forth. You know, it's just going to be me continuing to make that commitment to making it part of my year-round process to play football and continue my career."
Brady's career has realistically only ever met one significant interruption: 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury on opening weekend. The league adjusted its rules to outlaw the type of dive that resulted in Brady's knee injury, and the signal-caller has undoubtedly benefited from other changes to promote player safety and quarterback protection.
But he's also taken painstaking care of his body, and his style of play -- getting the ball out quickly and rarely extending the play unless absolutely necessary, especially later in his career -- has also limited opposing defenses' shots at him. As a result, when almost every other quarterback from Brady's younger years has hung up the cleats and pointed to an inability to get the job done physically, Brady has remained steady.
That is how Brady has recorded 230 career wins, 33 playoff triumphs and 581 passing touchdowns and is now playing in his 10th Super Bowl. It's also all been part of his plan to retire -- whenever that ends up being, perhaps by 2030 -- as the greatest to ever do it.
Former Patriots defensive end Jake Bequette summed it up best with a tweet:
Four Super Bowls later, Brady still appears to be far from finished.