Dearest brother, and venerated golden boy,
As I write this correspondence to you, I can hear the dogs howling in the distance, my time of unchecked power nearing it’s end. While the leaves have not yet begun to blush with their autumnal splendor, I truly have entered the winter of my discontent. My time draws near to a close. If no one else can hear it, their bark echoes within the chilling tingle in my spine.
We go to Houston, an outfit barely as old as my time in the league, 0-2 on the season in it’s infancy. I am safe for now, but for how much longer, I can only speculate. I find myself, staring into the decanted Quinta do Vallado Adelaide Trubuta, pondering the men who for good or bad, needed to be offered as oblations toward my legacy, so that I might remain for another season, for another quarter, for one more snap.
I fear that I might have let the vintage compromise me, and lead me toward sentimentality. Permit me to wax indulgently with dramatic license. Have I not been forced to carry the crown of rube for nearly a score, simply as a means of survival? Is it not burden enough that I must pretend to crave that damned ‘Hospitaliano’ that comes with the dreaded Olive Garden, and their peasant bread. That I be forced to choke down my rigatoni and tomato sauce, paired with cup after cup of Sprite, until told that I might have no more so close to bedtime? Oh, I have taken your advice, dearest brother. I have played the fool and done so happily. Long have I been the good ‘little brother,’ and long have I prospered. But to what end?
I’m afraid that I have lost the thread of this narrative. Out of my control. I just had to take a moment away from drafting this letter, as the insufferable Mike Shula just popped by to chat. I could barely swallow my port in time- a sin really, gulping so much beauty down as if I were an uncouth heathen trying to ride the richest of highs so cheaply- and retrieve my crayons. I just spent two and a half hours humoring that dullard. Please take this pictures, for I simply cannot stand to have any more of these garish representations adorned on my refrigerator.
They mock me, dearest brother. My success mocks me, Peyton. It does truly. But look who hath fallen. Coughlin. Reese. That lout McAdoo. The ludicrous Geno. For a moment there, I thought that last season would be my downfall. And yet my beloved idiot followers champion me now more than ever. They felt, dare I say, pity for me. Me, a man who has earned wealth they can barely comprehend, in a town where heroes are tossed to the snakes for the most minor of transgressions. They demoted me, and then suffered so profoundly for their move, that their successors wouldn’t even dream of selecting a worthwhile challenger toward my command. I have been clothed in more eminence than even I might have thought possible. And now, as the end draws nearer, I can think of those who might take the fall yet again. Gettleman, who might actually believe that a running back should go second in a QB rich draft. Shurmur who could not inspire water to quench a candle’s flame. Mike Shula is a professional imbecile who could be banished to the cold by the flick of my wrist. Any man on my woefully incompetent offensive line. Though I am now 37 and will never return to my prime, there are still those who say ‘Give him more.’ Yes, give me more weapons. Odell Beckham Jr is not enough. Saquon Barkley is not enough. Just another wide out. Just another left tackle. Just another scheme. But it won’t last, and when they come for me, Peyton, it will not be respectfully. I can hardly imagine the inglorious way I will be vanquished.
They laughed at me once, Peyton, but some of them must think I have become immortal. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about our little wager, brother. If I play next year, I pass your $248.7MM in lifetime earnings. And in one fewer year served. Do you think of that, Peyton? Is that why you hum in your Nationwide commercials, trying to supplement your income so that you can say I will never catch your brand? Does it haunt you that Papa John can’t bolster your riches anymore, because you know you will never pass my Super Bowls- and had to be dragged across the line to even match my pair over your greatest nemesis- and that mother will never call you the ‘cute one’? Are you still trying to catch me from the lead on a technicality? Well I can assure you that your angst is better spent elsewhere, for I would venture to argue that my time has been impossibly more trying.
The sun is setting, brother. It’s been up for so long that I don’t know how slow it will descend, but it will disappear over that horizon, and my reign will expire. Perhaps that is a blessing. They truly are all just ants from atop this perch, aren’t they? Do you remember what it was like to sit here and look down at them with dispassionate interest. I suppose soon enough it will be time to rejoin the colony. For now, I shall be content to retire to bed.