Watching Tom Brady rock left to right as he clutched at his knee today, it was easy to get the impression that he was thinking the same thing we were all thinking.

No. This isn’t happening.

As long as Brady moved back and forth like that, he didn’t have to get up. He didn’t have to realize that he was – at absolute best – out of the game with one hit in the first quarter. It wasn’t going to be as bad as it could be.

That wasn’t the typical grab-and-writhe job. He clutched the knee and moved slowly from side to side.

It was the closet thing I’ve seen in professional athletics to a little child trying to find the happy place where things hadn’t reached the point of worst case coming true.

The instant realization that pulsed out from Brady’s spot on the field to all of us watching the television screen was what made that moment all the more gut-wrenching. We were all just trying to stay in our happy places for as long as we possibly could.

On a related note: say what you will about the SI curse. I typically think it’s a stupid superstition. Brady’s been on the cover often over the course of his career and he’d never wound up seriously injured.

BUT…when I went to to investigate, I did notice that the 9/1 issue (“Bring It” – UGH) was Brady Cover 13. Do with it what you will. Someone was bound to point it out.