Is It Crazy To Think Tom Brady’s Name Now Belongs In The Same Sentence As Michael Jordan’s?
As of about 9 o’clock Eastern time on Sunday night, Tom Brady looked like he was going to lose the third Super Bowl of his career. And while it wouldn’t have done much damage to his overall legacy—he had, after all, won four Super Bowls heading into Sunday’s game—he probably would have faced some criticism for failing to get the job done against the Atlanta Falcons. The Skip Baylesses and Colin Cowherds of the sports talk world would have killed Brady for dropping the ball and failing to come up big in the biggest game of the year. He may have even faced some retirement rumors due to his poor play through the first three quarters of the game.
But we all know what happened next. Brady and the New England Patriots, who trailed 28-3 at one point in the game, rallied to come all the way back to tie the game 28-28 and send it to overtime. And then, they completed their improbable comeback by winning the game in OT with a James White two-yard touchdown. It solidified Brady’s place in NFL history—as if it wasn’t already solidified enough—by giving him his fifth Super Bowl ring. And it also may have solidified him as one of the greatest athletes, if not the greatest athlete, of all time.
It’s pretty much impossible to nail down just one “G.O.A.T.” athlete. Over the years, names like Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, and Wayne Gretzky have been thrown out there as G.O.A.T. candidates. And if you ask the average sports fan who he or she thinks is the G.O.A.T., there are more than a few people who will respond by saying Michael Jordan. He is not just one of the best NBA players of all time, but he’s also one of the most transcendent personalities in the sports history and a guy who represents what it means to be a superstar athlete. So he’s considered to be the greatest of the great.
But could Brady be coming for his spot? It’s too early to crown him just yet, but one of the things Brady did when he won his fifth championship was launch himself into another stratosphere and put himself into the G.O.A.T. conversation. He’s no longer just one of the best NFL players of right now or one of the best NFL players of all time. He’s also one of the best athletes in sports history period, due to both his accomplishments both on and off the field and what he’s been able to build in New England. He’ll go down as a legend.
There will still be plenty of people who argue against Brady’s inclusion in the G.O.A.T. conversation, and that’s okay. That’s part of what makes the conversation fun. But after what he did on Sunday, it’s going to be difficult to keep Brady out of the G.O.A.T. debates altogether. He’s officially part of an exclusive club, and no matter what he does between now and the end of his career, he’s going to remain a part of it.