Beck Covered Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ for… the NFL? Sure.

Beck has turned in a cover of the Neil Young classic, “Old Man,” which it appears he was compelled to do for — of all things — an NFL commercial. 

Prior to the cover’s official release today, Sept. 26, it was featured in a promotional spot for next Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why “Old Man” for that particular game? Well, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is, certainly by pro sports standards (especially a pro sport that involves a brutal amount of physical violence), an old man — while Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, at just 27, is comparatively a young man. And “Old Man” is a song about young men and old men being a lot like each other. 

Also, there’s the lyric, “Old man, look at my life/24 and there’s so much more,” and both Brady and Mahomes were 24 when they won their first Super Bowls. So, sure, Beck covering “Old Man” for the NFL technically “makes sense.”

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Anyway, the cover itself is actually quite delightful. Beck goes the faithful-to-the-original route, using just his acoustic guitar and adding his own personal touch by layering his vocals into big, rich harmonies during the chorus. 

Beck previously covered Neil Young back in 2018, inviting Jenny Lewis on stage at Red Rocks for a rendition of “Harvest Moon.”