Tom Brady’s surefire Hall of Fame legacy was cemented after winning Super Bowl LV just a few weeks ago on Feb. 7th. Brady’s victory with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved that his success in New England was not solely a result of head coach Bill Belichick’s ingenious system. After signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 offseason, questions arose if Brady was a “system quarterback,” which was an attempt to downplay Brady’s success while attributing it to Belichick. After Super Bowl LV, that question can now be put to rest.
At age 43, he appears to play the game at nearly the same level as he did in his prime. Football is a sport where careers are often short and players are riddled by injuries. This is especially true for any aging quarterback, and Brady is no exception to this. Brady’s passing game was never predicated on his arm strength, but he still throws like he’s decades younger. How? Modern athletes have more knowledge and resources to keep their bodies in game-ready shape. Players like LeBron James invest millions of dollars a year into their bodies. Resources such as private chefs, personal trainers, and sports psychologists allow athletes to invest in the longevity of their career by focusing on their personal health. Brady branded the “TB12” diet, which consists of a food plan that eliminates all complex sugars and processed foods. Combining clean diets with the advancements in modern sports science will likely yield longer careers for athletes in all sports. Brady has taken this process to a whole new level.
When ranking football’s greatest players, there’s no question Tom Brady is in that discussion, likely at the forefront. His accolades, statistical records, and championship wins have already surpassed every other quarterback in NFL history. So, where does he stand in comparison to other G.O.A.Ts (greatest of all-time) in other sports? In the modern era of team sports, the names that come to mind are Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Babe Ruth. Brady ties for first among them in title wins, as Babe Ruth has won seven World Series titles. Yet, many will say that the competition Ruth faced was not as tough as Jordan’s was. Elite athletic ability and natural talent have grown exponentially over time due to a growth in technology and development of new approaches to one’s sport.
This leads us to view Ruth’s accolades with less significance than the other three. So that means Brady is the G.O.A.T. among G.O.A.Ts, right? Many will say that naming the G.O.A.T of team sports is much more complicated than it seems. Critics of the G.O.A.T. debate will point to Jordan’s impact outside of his playing days as to why he reigns superior. Jordan’s sneaker brand is amongst the top selling shoe brands in the world, eighteen years after his second retirement; the brand is worth around $10 billion. The phrase “be like Mike” coined by popular media inspired kids around the world to try and achieve athletic greatness. It’s fair to say Brady doesn’t have those factors. If you were to ask a stranger of the NFL who Tom Brady is, they may say he’s, “that quarterback who wins a lot.” Despite the lack of people wanting to “be like Brady,” there is definitely a pull that he has on players in the NFL. This pull gaves Brady free reign to recruit high-profile players like Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and Antonio Brown to join him wherever he goes. Brady’s influence and ability to play a general manager-esque role is a result of his historic career.
It’s apparent now that Brady is not done winning. The story of a sixth-round draft pick becoming the greatest quarterback of all-time is amazing in and of itself. His success can be attributed to his mental fortitude, his investment in his health, and his underdog mentality. Brady clearly has more to give to the game of football, and he even stated that he’s open to playing past 45. Although Tom Brady’s legacy is already cemented, his story is definitely not finished.