Written by Jackson Saylor.
We live in a society that’s always looking for the newest version of a previous product. Tom Brady has suffered from that society, and it’s a shame.
Tom Brady’s dominance for more than two decades has football fans everywhere looking for the next “greatest of all time” or “GOAT.” The football world is already looking for a successor to the “GOAT” throne before Brady can even take a seat. If we’re not careful, we may not be able to appreciate what’s right in front of us because we’re so busy looking for the next big thing.
I do say “we” because I am one of the many around the world who fell victim to overlooking Brady. I sat back and realized for the first time what Brady had accomplished. I grew up on sports, but I was never a Brady fan or a Patriots fan or a Buccaneers fan, so I never paid attention to Brady and how he was playing. I just knew he was really good. As I got older, I started to realize how good he was, but like everyone else, there were other quarterbacks who caught my eye more than Brady. Be it Russell Wilson and his ability to both run and throw the football, Jared Goff and the Rams’ explosive offense, and even Mahomes, who may be the most electrifying and talented quarterback ever, I would watch all of their highlights before I even thought about watching Brady’s.
By now, almost everyone has seen the infamous draft picture of the seven-time-champion from back in 2000, and the only spectacular thing about the picture is how remarkably unspectacular it is. A guy with below average athleticism, at least by professional standards, managed to become the “GOAT” by continuously adding to perhaps the least flashy statistic in the game, and he wins. The man with more Super Bowl victories than any NFL franchise managed to accomplish that by also having possibly the least glamorous gift that all of the greatest competitors have. Brady doesn’t have the arm strength of Josh Allen, the physical strength of Cam Newton and does not have as fleet of a foot as Kyler Murray, but instead, something that doesn’t even directly connect with football: He has drive.
Brady’s will to win is in a class with only Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant, and it might even be greater. It was easier to appreciate Jordan and Kobe’s greatness since their athletic abilities far exceeded that of Brady and made for great highlights every night on “Sportscenter.” While Brady’s greatness may not be as flashy, his fingers certainly are because he has more championship rings than either of those guys.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to appreciate what is right in front of us because it may be gone tomorrow. If we don’t do that with Brady, we may fall victim to not appreciating the unspectacular greatness until it’s gone.