There are those who dispute the opinion that Tom Brady may be the greatest quarterback of all-time. Until last year, there were those who would argue that Tom Brady may not even be the best quarterback of his generation.
You would think a fourth Super Bowl ring last year would silent any debates. But, no, it didn’t. The ‘deflategate’ controversy pretty much nullified that Super Bowl championship in Brady-haters’ eyes. In fact, if you ask Brady-haters (ergo, Patriots-haters), they’d say Brady and the Patriots haven’t legitimately won any Super Bowls.
Who cares that Brady is on the verge of going to his seventh Super Bowl in his fourteen full seasons as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots? Who cares that the Patriots have won their division every year but one under Brady’s reign? Who cares that this is Brady’s fifth consecutive trip to the AFC Championship Game since the ‘spygate’ controversy? Oh, did we mention the four Super Bowl rings and three Super Bowl MVPs?
So why is it that Tom Brady is underrated? That’s right, he is underrated. It sounds ridiculous to say he is underrated when he is in the discussion for greatest quarterback of all-time. But, he is underrated because there should be no discussion. Peyton Manning shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as Brady, but you know if somehow Manning, miraculously, pulls a Super Bowl championship out of his you-know-what this year, the discussion of “greatest quarterback of our generation” will resurface.
It’s mind-blowing. Tom Brady is not only the greatest quarterback ever, but he may be one of the greatest winners of all-time in any sport. No one will ever match Bill Russell’s mark of eleven championships in his thirteen-year career, but that was a different era with fewer teams and no salary caps. Brady is still winning Super Bowls at the age of 37 and in his fourteenth season. And he may win another one in his fifteenth season at the age of 38.
What Brady has done is on par with what Michael Jordan accomplished. Even Jordan didn’t win a championship until his seventh season. Brady won three Super Bowls in his first four seasons.
We are witnessing greatness here, folks, and people, even in New England, aren’t appreciating it. Some take it for granted. Ho-hum, another divisional title. Ho-hum, another AFC Championship Game. Ho-hum, another Super Bowl appearance.
It’s like the scene in Forrest Gump where Gump is sitting at the bus stop, telling a stranger about his ping-pong playing exploits. “So wouldn’t you know it, they asked me and the members of the ping-pong team to the White House. So I went… again. And I met the President of the United States… again,” Gump says while rolling his eyes.
New England sports may never see the likes of a Tom Brady again for a very long time. This is Larry Bird. This is Bobby Orr. This is Pedro Martinez. This is better than all three of them. Soak it in.