Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Tom Brady has been recognized for his success on a football field. This time as being the #1 player on the NFL’s Top 100 list, which is voted on by players. Now, the fact that Tom Brady was voted as the best player in the NFL by his peers today has so much “I don’t want to deal with this ranking, I’m just going to throw a name down” energy. Honestly, I kinda respect it by the players. It’s like when college coaches just pass off filling out their USA Today Coaches Poll to the school’s S.I.D. I get it too. These players are paid to play football, not make tier lists of their peers. If work made me rank my coworkers, I’d put the bosses and longest tenured employees at the top and blindly fill out the rest. Why not, ya know? I’m not getting paid extra to be the BCS computer for coworkers.
Now look is Tom Brady the greatest ever? Yeah, sure. But just because he’s the most decorated quarterback of all time doesn’t mean he’s the best quarterback in the sport today. Because he’s not. In fact, there are at least 3 better than him right now. You could even argue a fourth (You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts! How about Matt Stafford? Sound off in my mentions!!!). But neither Aaron Donald, Aaron Rodgers, nor anyone else named Aaron was viewed as better than the geriatric under center in Tampa. And we should all batten down the hatches and prepare for the wrath of Britney because Patrick Mahomes was all the way down at 8th, somehow SEVEN spots lower than The Masked Singer himself.
If you’ve followed Korked Bats for a while, you know my thoughts on Brady. He’s the greatest of all time, blah blah blah. But in each of his seven Super Bowl winning seasons, he’s been the beneficiary of NEVER having to win WITHOUT a top ten defense. Weird how people never really bring that up when referencing his greatness. But what’s really weird is when they talk about how he “turned around” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise. Oh did he?
Before Brady, the Bucs were a win away from the playoffs under *checks notes* JAMEIS WINSTON! Oh, and they had the THIRD best offense in the sport with THE BEST passing offense in the sport. Again, under JAMEIS WINSTON! And that’s with Jameis throwing 30 footballs to the OTHER team, eight of which going for touchdowns, which was a neat NFL record! Let me repeat: Jameis Winston was able to put together the best passing offense in the entire NFL (better than the Chiefs, better than Packers) a year before Brady took over. While Brady was chowing down avocado ice cream, Jameis was eating W’s. So naturally, if you add any quarterback who doesn’t have to squint to that offense, the team is going to improve. Especially if it’s a quarterback like Brady who adds his friends Rob Gronkowski (future Hall of Famer), Antonio Brown (future Hall of Famer in his own mind), and Leonard Fournette (a guy who likes to eat up a ton of yards on the ground and also food). Not to mention their defense remained stacked after they re-signed Ndamukong Suh, Kevin Minter, Andrew Adams, Shaq Barrett (tagged), Jason Pierre-Paul, and all eight of JPP’s fingers. Oh, and you guessed it, they were the 8th ranked defense in the sport the year “Brady singlehandedly carried that hobbled shell of a franchise to the Super Bowl.”
So again, no one has had the success that Brady has had. But also, no one has benefitted more from narratives than Brady. Both can be true. Because both are true. His P.R. team is almost as good as his plastic surgeons.
But if you truly believe Tom Brady is not only the greatest quarterback, but the greatest player in the NFL, then you probably also believe the fact that he never runs out of toilet paper.