Bucking Broncho: Brady, The Best of The Bunch

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2004, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl 38 in Houston. The Patriots are 5-2 in Super Bowls with Tom Brady. So when folks wonder why the spread against Philadelphia is between 5 and 6 points, they should consider that the total difference in scoring in those seven games is 12 points: Patriots 169, opponents 157. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
Tom Brady will compete in his eighth Super Bowl this Sunday, but no matter what happens in it, he will go down as the greatest football player of all time and the greatest athlete of his generation.

Brady has been the key to the Patriots dynasty for the past 17 years. He has thrown for over 66,159 passing yards and 488 passing touchdowns, ranking fourth and third, respectively, of all time.
The only quarterbacks that rank ahead of him are Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. Those quarterbacks may have better stats, though it might not be for long. Isn’t winning the most important stat though? When you combine all three of their Super Bowl appearances, Brady still has been to one more Super Bowl.
He has been able to sustain his success by being able to adapt his game. Brady has shown this by winning two NFL MVP’s and four Super Bowl MVP’s. When the NFL changes, it seems that Brady is the one setting the trend.

Brady, for most of his career, has made the best of what he has with having limited, true all-pro players around him like Randy Moss, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.
Before 2001, the New England Patriots had never won a Super Bowl and had only been there twice. Brady took a franchise that wasn’t known for anything and turned them into a premiere organization. The Patriots now have 10 Super Bowl appearances, which is the most of all time and Brady’s eight ties for the second most for an organization, let alone leading all players with the most appearances for a player.

Athletes from every other major sports league don’t compare to what Brady has accomplished in the 21st century. Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant both have as many titles as Brady, but were not at the top of their games as long as Brady has been.

Brady and LeBron James have both made it to eight championships, with the difference being Brady winning two more championships than James. What separates Brady’s eight appearances is that he didn’t need to be surrounded by all-stars like James to win championships.
The steroid era killed the legacy of most baseball players like Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds, so nobody in the MLB has come close to comparing to Brady’s career. Lance Armstrong has had the same problem as most MLB players with performance enhancing drugs destroying his chances at the title.
Tiger Woods’ cheating problems derailed his life and ruined his golf career with him not being able to recover and tarnished his legacy.
Floyd Mayweather never faced top competition in their prime, but that’s an argument for another day.
What really separates Brady from all other athletes of his era is his ability to be clutch. There’s a reason why he’s called “the comeback kid”. Brady has 42 career fourth quarter comebacks and 53-game winning drives – something no other great athlete can compare to in his generation.
He proved again why on his game winning drive against the Jaguars in the AFC Championship game.
Yes, Brady has faults of his own too (cough cough, deflategate), but that was one game and he paid the punishment for it. Unlike others, Brady has come back stronger from his downfall by going to two straight Super Bowls.
Whether you agree that Brady is the greatest athlete of the 21st century or not, we need to appreciate the greatness of this once in a generation athlete.

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