Raise your hand if you tried not to vomit as you watched Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy for the seventh time on Sunday.
I can’t, not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, as a lifelong Steeler fan that man has broken my heart too many times to count. And each time I cursed him.
Brady left Bill Belichick and New England for Tampa Bay last offseason, and the great debate that followed is who was going to win the divorce.
Was it Brady or Belichick? We were going to find out one way or the other in 2020.
Flash forward to today and that debate is now over.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think Belichick is a terrific coach, but Tom Brady was and still is the system.
He took a team with ‘talent,’ one that went 7-9 a season ago, and elevated them to Super Bowl champions without an offseason.
The only question left now is if he is the greatest team sport athlete of all-time. Again, I think that debate is now over. Sorry Michael, LeBron, Wayne and anyone else you might want to throw into the discussion.
The man is 43 years old, went to a new organization, one that has a history of losing, and figured it out, again without a real offseason because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Imagine what they’ll be like if we get back to some semblance of normal in the coming months.
Now, you can open up that debate to include athletes like Serena, Tiger, and others, and I would welcome that, but I think it’s somewhat of an apples and oranges comparison.
Team sports and individual sports are just so different. That doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the level of dominance, and that debate can certainly be had, but what Brady is doing at 43, as a quarterback, is unprecedented.
We’ve seen the other great quarterbacks in this era fade away before that age. Peyton Manning did and Ben Roethlisberger has shown signs of it. You know, the other quarterbacks, along with Eli Manning, that somehow managed to win multiple Super Bowls in the age of Brady.
We’ve seen it from Super Bowl champion Drew Brees as well, with the Saint great likely to retire this offseason.
Not from Brady though. He has, against all odds, managed to age in reverse. You could argue he’s better today than he was six years ago. It’s remarkable.
The greatest teams and athletes are usually the most disliked because both other athletes and fans alike want what they have.
You can hate him all you want if you choose to, just remember to appreciate the greatness as well, because there’s a good chance we may never see it again.