Brady closes all arguments; he’s the best ever

by Gary Shelton on February 6, 2017 · 5 comments

in general, NFL

Monday, 4 a.m.

How many times can you paint Mount Everest?

How many ways can you describe a sunset over the ocean?

How many poems can you write about the majesty of a clear sky?

And how many times can you look at Tom Brady, the confetti flying around his head, and suggest that “hey, that guy's pretty good.”

Brady was more than that Sunday night. He was immortal. He was brilliant. He was genius. All Brady did was lead his team to its fifth Super Bowl win, and win his fourth MVP award. He became the first quarterback to ever survive Sudden Death. He led the largest comeback ever.

Just that.

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No one else wins this game. Not even the great Joe Montana. I'll admit it. I was slow coming around to Brady over Montana, who had a certain magic himself. But as great as Montana was, I can't see him pulling this off. Not down 25 with 17 minutes to play.

Johnny Unitas was my boyhood hero, but I can't see him pulling it off either. I can't see Terry Bradshaw or John Elway or Roger Staubach. Not Manning's little brother, Eli, or Joe Namath or Ben Roesthlisberger. Not Kurt Warner and not Brett Favre and not Troy Aikman. None of them.

No one else pulls this one out of the fire. Not even fictional quarterbacks.

Then again, no one else is the charmed, talented Brady.

You know who Brady beat? He beat destiny. For a long time, the Falcons seemed determined to erase all of their bad old memories, Cannonball Butler and Pat Sullivan and Pat Peppler and Jerry Glanville. Aundray Bruce and Norm Van Brocklin and Michael Vick and General Bob Lee. Instead, it was as if they were playing defense in the fourth quarter.

Brady was Robin Hood and Zorro and Achilles and every other marksman you've ever heard of. He was throwing darts into hummingbird's eyes. He threw it 62 times, and he threw for 466 yards. And hit put the second “y” back into the New England Dynasty.

It had started to fade, you know. No one wants to talk about it, because making seven Super Bowls is impressive. But the Pats were facing leaving with a 4-3 record, which isn't anything special. When you consider that the last Super Bowl New England won was because Seattle's Pete Carroll had a brain cramp and called a pass (which was intercepted) on the last play of the game. Except for that, the Patriots hadn't won a Super Bowl since February of 2005.

Instead, Brady led the Patriots to a 5-2 Super Bowl record, and we can spend the next few months throwing around superlatives. Brady probably passes Joe Montana with this performance. Bill Belichick passes Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh (and Don Shula, who went to six of these, but won only twice).

Consider this: For all of the blowouts in Super Bowl games, Brady hasn't been involved in any of them. He beat the Rams by three. He beat the Patriots by three. He beat the Eagles by three. He beat the Seahawks by four. He beat the Falcons by six in overtime. He lost with a historical catch by David Tyree (off his own helmet) and a last-minute run by Ahmad Bradshaw.

In other words, it's always a scrap with Brady, and he usually ends up winning.

Look around. How many Hall of Famers do you see in the Patriot huddles? Yes, Ron Gronkowski could get in if he could stay healthy. Junior Seau spent his twilight years in New England. Randy Moss was pretty good. But who else? And who lately?

Throughout the career of Brady, there have been so many moments, so many games, that you can use to describe him. But how about his overtime drive? He hit five straight passes and drew a 13 yard penalty for 63 yards. He led the Patriots downfield as if they were fulfilling their birthright.

In a way, maybe they were. Or at least, they were sharing Brady's.

Look, Montana was a terrific quarterback, especially in the Super Bowl. Bradshaw was very good. Aikman was solid.

But none of them were Brady.

You know, the best ever.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller February 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm

I have watched Tom Brady since his college days at Michigan. Back then I never thought he would have a long NFL career much less ever be considered the greatest of all time but at this point who can argue that he is not. It’s just amazing what he has accomplished. His is a driven man. He never let success go to his head. He is always trying to get better and now last longer. He is humble and a team first guy. He has gotten the absolute most out of his ability. I don’t know if there will ever be another athlete like him. We who watch sports can sit back and be glad he played in our lifetime.

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Gary Shelton February 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Larry, we all admire Brady, even those of us who didn’t watch him as an unimpressive guy at Michigan. But I would have argued there would never be another Unitas, or another Montana. Someone else will come forward. But you’re right. We’ve seen Jordan, and we’ve seen Ali, and we’ve seen Phelps, and we’ve seen Chamberlain, and we’ve seen Serena, and we saw Sampras. Rice and Sanders and Butkus. It’s been a good time to be alive, right?

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Larry Beller February 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

I guess my point is I don’t believe there will ever be another athlete with the total package of Tom Brady. Sure someone may surpass his accomplishments on field because as we all know records are made to be broken. But will we ever see someone in this age of me first social media who has average to better than average ability make himself into a super star, accomplish what he has and at the same time remain as humble, team focused and driven as Brady is? Not in my lifetime.

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Gary Shelton February 7, 2017 at 6:38 pm

There have been only a few, right? Gretzky. Montana. Jeter, maybe. It is certainly rare. I’d put Nicklaus in that group. There haven’t been many who have won with such grace.

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Bill Myers February 6, 2017 at 10:23 am

Yep, Brady is a blessed guy! Super at his job, super model wife, and what looks like a super future ahead of him. So dose he really have to go to Disney World?

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