By Cole Parkinson
I’m far from a die-hard football fan but it’s hard to not appreciate the GOAT Tom Brady.
Now this past weekend’s Super Bowl 53 was far from a great game, in fact, I would argue it was one of the worst games I’ve seen, but by the time it showed zero on the time clock, Tom Brady had won another Lombardi trophy.
And by no means am I saying they won because of Brady because he wasn’t very good in the game but a win is a win, especially when it is the final game of the year.
Being 23 years-old, Tom Brady has been in the NFL playing for the New England Patriots for basically my entire life.
Looking back, there always seems to be generational players in all leagues and sometimes you get to be a witness to the best players in each individual sport.
I missed the majority of Michael Jordan’s NBA dominance and Wayne Gretzky’s reign over the NHL but I’ve been able to watch Brady continue to prove why he is the best quarterback of all time, year in and year out.
Since I don’t cheer for any team in the NFL, I really only sit down and watch games starting in the playoffs.
Sure, I’ll turn on the games on Sunday afternoons but it is very rare I watch a game start to finish.
One of the only times I can recall getting to the TV to watch football during the regular season was during the 2007 season where the Pats went 16-0 in the regular season.
Normally, I would care less who wins or loses but during that year I wanted to see the Pats go undefeated for the entire 2007 campaign.
Of course that didn’t happen but I still remember several of those games in the final few weeks and that is really where my appreciation for Brady began.
Since his 2000 draft where he went in the sixth round, it is hard to argue where Brady sits in the all-time lists.
Sure, there are obviously people who will point to Brett Favre, John Elway or Peyton Manning as the best, and they were all great players but with six rings in tow, the answer is obvious.
Brady not only has the most Super Bowl rings as a player but with this win, he and the Patriots have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl victories.
On top of the six rings now in Brady’s possession, he also has four Super Bowl MVP’s three NFL MVPs and 14 Pro Bowl appearances.
That’s not to say he hasn’t had mediocre seasons, and I’m sure with the way the Pats win, many fans would consider seasons where they didn’t make it to the Super Bowl as failed seasons.
But at 41, Brady is once again at the top of the heap despite many analysts ranking him near the bottom of their playoff quarterback rankings.
Now, Brady was far from perfect this season and playoffs but again, the man was 41.
A big reason for his post season rankings was due to the emergence of Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff and even Mitch Trubisky as full-time NFL QBs.
I don’t think it was all that far off that people thought the Pats dominance was coming to an end.
While youth may be favoured in sports today, I think people overlooked just how clutch Tom Brady is in the playoffs.
The win against the Chiefs to get the Patriots back to the Super Bowl was a great game and it gave Brady another chance to show why he wins so many championships.
The drive to take the lead and then to win the game in overtime was textbook Brady.
Heading into the Super Bowl, the focus was all on the Pats and whether or not they would be able to keep the dynasty rolling.
Against the L.A. Rams, it was expected to be an offensive battle but alas it was more of a defensive battle, though they were helped by the poor play by both offences.
But when push came to shove, Tom Brady marched the Pats down the field and scored the only touchdown of the game. A large reason for any offence in the game came from Super Bowl 53 MVP Julian Edelman who seemed to be wide open on the majority of passes in the game.
While Brady’s play is obviously in decline, he maintains he wants to play until he gets to age 45.
While he may very well do that, what can Pats fans truly expect out of those three years?
By the start of the next NFL season, he will be 42 and multiple Super Bowls seems like it may be out of reach.
But how can you truly count out Bill Belichick and Tom Brady?
Another big Pats piece of the puzzle, Rob Gronkowski, may be calling it quits any day now so to think this same Patriots team stays together for the rest of Brady’s career is a pipe dream.
The dynasty is obviously winding down but how could any Patriots fan be anything but ecstatic with what they’ve seen since 2000. It took the Chicago Cubs over 100 years to win a championship while the Cleveland Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948 and of course, the Maple Leafs aren’t far behind as their last Stanley Cup came in 1967.
It is very unlikely any other team in any of the big four leagues will be able to accomplish what the Pats have been able to do especially with how long they held on to being the cream of the crop in the NFL.
The tandem of Belichick and Brady will go down as the best coach and quarterback duo of all time and will be hard to beat.
While the NFL fans outside of Patriot Nation are no doubt craving a Pats-less Super Bowl, I’m curious to see if Brady can get back to the big game over his final years.
If not, six Super Bowls over a 20 plus year career is a hell of a way to leave your mark on the NFL.