Tom Brady squares off against Phil Esposito in the third round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Tom Brady There may never be a greater Cinderella story in sports than that of Tom Brady. A relative unknown in the 2000 NFL draft, Brady was famously drafted at No. 199 before becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football. After stepping into a starting job midway through the 2001 season, Brady became the pivotal point of the franchise’s turnaround. His game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXXVI cemented his legend at just 23 years old. Two years later, Brady was leading the Patriots to back-to-back Super Bowl victories before setting an NFL record for most touchdowns in a single season (50), as the Patriots became the first team to finish a regular season 16-0. Already with two Super Bowl MVPs and an NFL MVP, Brady is far from finished. Though it seems unthinkable that Brady can add to his legacy, he’ll try to do just that for the better part of the next decade.
5. Phil Esposito A few NHL superstars flirted with the century mark in points, but it wasn’t until Bruins sniper Phil Esposito racked up 126 points during the 1968-69 season that a player reached triple digits. The B’s lethal center was the goal scorer of his era, owning the scoring title in six of his eight seasons as a member of the Black and Gold. Espo played in 10 career All-Star games and retired as the second-leading goal and point scorer in NHL history. The proud owner of the No. 7 uniform in the Garden rafters captured five Ross Trophies and two Hart Memorial Trophies, and still holds the NHL record for career game-winning goals with 118, including 16 winners in the 1972 Stanley Cup-winning season for the Black and Gold. Esposito was instrumental in the B’s last two titles, notching 27 points in the 1970 playoff run and 24 in the 1972 title stretch.