Tom Brady didn’t just cement himself as the greatest quarterback of all time in February when he guided the New England Patriots to an amazing comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. He also generated some discussion as to whether he’s the best football player ever.
But what if we took things another step further?
For years, Michael Jordan has been considered by many to be the best athlete ever in American team sports, with his six championship rings and six NBA Finals MVP awards serving as evidence of his greatness. But Brady owns five Super Bowl rings and still is at the top of his game despite turning 40 years old before the upcoming NFL season. As Skip Bayless argued Tuesday on FS1’s “Undisputed,” there’s a chance Brady might someday supplant Jordan as the GOAT.
“Let’s just do the hypothetical,” Bayless said, per FOXSports.com. “There are prohibitive favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl. That doesn’t guarantee a thing, but let’s just say, being conservative, that he wins two more Super Bowls before he’s finished. That would get him to seven, and let’s just say he’d be the MVP of those two Super Bowls. He should have been the MVP of all the five he won. There’s a chance that he could have been MVP every time.
“Let’s say that he gets to seven, and that would make him 7-2 (in Super Bowls) — and we know what happened in the first Eli Super Bowl. Again, Brady was magnificent late in that game.
” … My point is, let’s say he gets to seven. Do you realize how clutch Tom Brady has been on the biggest stage of all of sports again and again and again? In a game of pro football, which is much harder to dominate than the game of pro basketball is — because if you’re one man, you can dominate if you’re that good. You can just overwhelm your sport, but you can’t do it in pro football unless you’re Tom Brady.”
Brady expressed admiration for Jordan, but the debate as to whether No. 12 someday could supplant MJ as the greatest athlete in the history of team sports came about this week mostly because the Patriots quarterback opened up in an interview with ESPN about his desire to play into his mid 40s. If he does, and the Patriots continue to rack up championships with Brady at the helm, the debate regarding him and Jordan only will intensify.
“He’s been clutch more often than Michael Jordan even had a chance to be clutch, because Brady has played so long. He’s now 39 going on 40,” Bayless said, per FOXSports.com. “Again, the case could be made — he needs a couple more, and a couple more MVPs — where you’d have to sit back and give it up to Tom Brady.
“You might be jealous of him, you might resent him, you might say, ‘How can unathletic Tom Brady even be in the same sentence with Michael Jordan?’ I hear all that, I get it. But if you’re being objective, you’d have to at least give him a chance to eclipse the greatest player I’ve ever seen in any sport.”
Of course, this is assuming you think Jordan currently is the GOAT, which is a huge assumption, especially with LeBron James eyeing another NBA championship ring and building his own impressive résumé.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Powers/USA TODAY Sports Images