Tom Brady: A Golden Example Of Being A Sports GOAT

Once upon a time, there was a great debate as to which NFL player deserves the greatest of all time (GOAT) title.

The consensus in basketball is Michael Jordan. In hockey, it’s Wayne Gretzky. In baseball, it’s Babe Ruth. In boxing, it’s Muhammad Ali. In golf, it’s Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods. In soccer, it’s Pele or Diego Maradona.

But before Tom Brady racked up his fourth and fifth Super Bowl titles? Many considered Joe Montana the NFL GOAT. Others would argue for wide receiver Jerry Rice, linebacker Lawrence Taylor, running back Jim Brown or even Peyton Manning. It was a wide open discussion.

When Brady led the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl XLIX title — their fourth in franchise history — it greatly enhanced his status as being the NFL GOAT. When he and the Pats claimed a fifth championship two years later, it essentially made him the consensus GOAT.

All he’s done ever since was add two more Super Bowl rings (one more with the Patriots, another with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and an MVP award on top of countless records.

Brady is still going strong at the age of 44, slinging it as if he were 20 years younger.  

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, the Buccaneers have remained a top favorite to win t e Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl betting sites. Brady’s longevity and consistency have the Bucs in contention yet again.

Those are just two of the many qualities that Brady — and any sports GOAT —  must possess.

Always Coming Through In Crunch Time

Fair or not, any sports GOAT is going to be judged by playoff success and championships.

Michael Jordan, the consensus basketball GOAT, had so many signature moments that defined his clutch gene: “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1989, the Game 1 buzzer beater against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals and the series-clincher against Utah again in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals.

Like MJ, Brady doesn’t have the signature clutch moments. Five of his seven Super Bowl championships came via game-winning drives with the Patriots either trailing and/or tied.

There was the epic comeback against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 Divisional Round, when Brady helped the Pats erase a pair of 14-point deficits.

There was the comeback against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2017 AFC Championship Game with a bad hand. And of course, the thrilling overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game one year later.

Gretzky always rose to the occasion for the Edmonton Oilers, leading them to four Stanley Cup championships in the ‘80s. Ali, Pelé, Maradona, Ruth, Nicklaus and Woods? They simply all flourished on the grandest of stages.

When an athlete in any sport comes through when the pressure is at an all-time high time and time again, it goes a long way in cementing their GOAT status. And Brady has always been clutch throughout a historic career.

Leadership & The Drive To Win

The GOAT of any sport also has to set the standard for leadership and the passion to win. Those don’t always come naturally.

There are plenty of all-time great athletes who carried the “me-first” attitudes and thus bounced around from team to team. 

But whenever you’ve seen Brady after a loss, he’s never pointing the finger at any of his teammates. He’s accepting responsibility and stressing the need for the offense to play better.

Other legends like Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, MJ and LeBron James? It’s about leading by example. It’s about motivating your teammates on how to play together, and not selfishly.

GOATs like Brady also display the urge to always win. He could have easily retired after a fifth, sixth or seventh Super Bowl championship. But he has the fiery nature to keep going while he’s in his prime. He’s in his mid-40s but is having as much fun as ever playing the game.

Brady, James and Crosby are renowned for following intense diets and workout programs that maximize longevity and elite production even as they get older. Longevity is a major factor in being a GOAT. And it’s the drive, intensity and determination that helps an athlete achieve that.

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