Tom Brady squares off against Nomar Garciaparra in the second round of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Tom BradyThere 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.
9. Nomar GarciaparraIt’s not every day that a rookie comes up and quickly draws comparisons to Ted Williams. It’s even rarer when that player’s name appears to have been created solely for fans with a Boston accent. Nomah-mania took over Red Sox Nation before it had membership cards. A rookie in 1997, Garciaparra led the AL with 209 hits and 11 triples while hitting 30 home runs and batting .306. His average would rise incrementally over the next three seasons, topping out at .372 in 2000. After that season, injuries began to derail the shortstop, and a player whose career once seemed destined to end in Cooperstown was dealt to the Cubs. Fans still reserve a special place in their hearts for Nomar, seen by their standing ovation last July when he made his return to Fenway Park. Now that he’s retired as a Red Sox, the legend of Nomah will continue to grow.
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