If Super Bowls are about legacies, Tom Brady cemented his in Super Bowl LI, leading the New England Patriots from a 28-3 embarrassment to a 34-28 stunner over the Atlanta Falcons. In one game, Brady became the greatest icon in Boston sports history (if he wasn’t already) and the greatest quarterback in NFL history (if he wasn’t already).
That’s right. Brady’s comeback win over the Falcons was more impressive – at least to some – than Boston’s comeback against New York in the 2004 ALCS.
“I think it has (passed that) because football has become so gigantic not only across the country but in New England,” Boston Globe Patriots writer Jim McBride said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The success of the Patriots over the last 15 years has been amazing. In 2004, beating the Yankees in the ALCS – beating the Cardinals in the World Series was anti-climactic after that. But after that win, you put the win over Seattle (in Super Bowl XLIX) and (the win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI). Those three events might be the top three events in sports history, certainly since I’ve been alive, which is 50 years now. You can make a case for a lot of other things, but I think right now, here and now, we’re talking Tom Brady, we’re talking Hall of Fame quarterback, five Lombardi Trophies – I think he takes the head seat at the table of Boston sports icons right now.”
For McBride, Scott Ferrall and others, the greatest-quarterback-of-all-time discussion has been reduced to rubble. Is it even worth talking about going forward? Is it even a debate?
“It really isn’t,” McBride said. “I could understand people making the case (for Joe Montana), especially if you’re a diehard San Francisco fan and you want to make that comparison. But really, what Brady has done has just been incredible, and he’s done it in the salary-cap era, he’s done it with different teams, he’s had different receivers almost every year. He has had that one constant of Bill Belichick, which is a huge advantage he’s had. But how you can not say that Tom Brady is not only the greatest quarterback of all time, but the greatest football player of all time, (I don’t know). I had this argument with a friend of mine earlier today. He was making the case for Lawrence Taylor. You’ll never hear me badmouth Lawrence Taylor, but Tom Brady, he beats everyone in that category.”