Patriots fans aside, it’s pretty easy to see why Tom Brady is one of those guys you just love to hate. The dude’s life has pretty much taken the path of any American teenage boy’s dream. He’s dated gorgeous women since college, he eventually married a supermodel, his bank account is absolutely loaded, and he’s now got enough bling to occupy each digit on his clutch right hand.
It’s easy to hate on Brady, especially as a Ravens fan who’s still bitter about 2011 and 2014, however watching him lead the Patriots to an incredible come-from-behind win over the Falcons today confirmed in my mind that he is the greatest quarterback of all-time – yes, I said it. I’m sure many reading this just cringed and will soon put forward other names for debate, including Peyton Manning, Brett Farve, Joe Montanta, etc. However none of these superstars achieved what Brady has across all key indicators and as such, Brady gets my vote.
While the numbers certainly tell part of the story – five time Super Bowl champion, four time Super Bowl MVP, 12 time Pro Bowl, over 60,000 passing yards, nearing 500 career touchdowns, etc – the resilience of the man and his ability to lead by example tell much of the rest.
Today’s win was so incredible mere words will never truly do it justice. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons went on a tear in the second, opening up a 21-3 lead by the half. When Matt Ryan connected with Tevin Coleman midway through the third, the Falcons looked headed for their first Super Bowl victory with a seemingly unassailable 28-3 lead. They were dominant and even more so than the scoreboard, the difference between the two teams in their body language was extreme. The Patriots were flat, while the Falcons had never been more pumped up. The 25 point lead held until just two minutes remained in the quarter when Brady’s short pass found James White who raced into the end zone, yet even then, Stephen Gostkowski’s missed extra point attempt seemed to confirm it just wasn’t meant to be the Patriots night. Brady, though, had other ideas.
His fourth quarter was one for the ages as he shifted into top gear, rallied his troops, and progressed down the field drive, after drive, after drive. Gostkowski’s 33-yard field goal with just under 10 minutes remaining brought the Patriots to within two plays and it was then when fans first sensed the game was far from over. While plenty still needed to go the Patriots way, including a little luck, Brady finally saw a door ajar and the rest, as they say, is history.
Some of his record-breaking stats were so impressive they may never be broken – in particular his 43 completions and 466 passing yards. The win, his fifth, ties Charles Haley’s NFL record for the most Super Bowl wins by one player, and he became the first player in history to be named Super Bowl MVP on four occasions.
Today’s win was all the more special for Brady in light of the highly publicized Deflategate scandal, which saw him miss the first four games of the 2016 season following a suspension for his alleged involvement. While never popular among rival fanbases, due to his success more than anything else, the scandal severely tarnished his reputation and still to this day, jokes about flat footballs often circulate through social media platforms during Patriots games. His relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strained throughout the scandal, investigation, and subsequent legal battle, however Brady seemingly had the last laugh, as demonstrated by the final two words – “Roger that!” – spoken in this Shields Health Care commercial released shortly after today’s game…
The short clip, obviously filmed prior to his fifth win today, highlights the cockiness Brady seemingly possesses, however even his biggest critic will enjoy the commercial’s comedic nature. Love him or hate him, Brady is a champion and his swagger suggests he damn well knows it. With a handful of rings and the utmost respect among his peers, who are we to suggest otherwise?
Update: The commercial was pulled offline shortly after being released, however various recorded versions are still available (as seen above).