Super Bowl LV has come and gone with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers experiment paying off in year one.
Congratulations to sports’ GOAT, @TomBrady!
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 8, 2021
The win puts Brady in rarefied NFL air as the only player to have seven Super Bowl chips, a Super Bowl in every conference, and the first to lead a team to a Super Bowl win in the team’s hometown.
🏈 Tom Brady
⚽️ Lionel Messi
🎾 Roger Federer
🏀 Michael Jordan
🏌️♂️ Tiger Woods
🥊 Floyd Mayweather
Who do you think is the GOAT?
— 888sport (@888sport) February 8, 2021
Quickly the world shifted to confirmation of Brady’s GOAT status in the National Football League after pulling off what would have been impossible for another Quarterback in his position.
Not y’all tryna put Tom Brady in GOAT contention when Serena won one of her 23 singles Grand Slams *WHILE PREGNANT* lmaooooooo pic.twitter.com/oBjbULmfbi
— brittany packnett cunningham ain’t here for real. (@MsPackyetti) February 8, 2021
Plus, the devil was in the execution with two TD’s by way of his ever-teammate Rob Gronkowski and redeemed NFL wide receiver, Antonio Brown. Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense coordinator, Todd Bowles, unleashed a masterclass against Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Brady’s branded leadership is the dominant narrative.
Immediately, Twitter was aflutter with Brady as the greatest of all sportsman exclamations. Comparisons to athletes across all sporting genres were labeled mere mortals now that Brady brought the chip to Tampa Bay.
But what constitutes an athlete as the greatest?
True GOAT Status
When comparing apples to apples, Brady seems an obvious choice for football. But when comparing him to Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, and more, does he add up?
If you throw in the multi-time champion of MTV’s The Challenge, even Johnny Bananas has seven rings.
Although understated, Brady’s friendship with Donald Trump is still a sore spot for many football fans. Although Brady lowkey condemned Trump for disrespecting athletes like Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, and more for their early peaceful protest, he never condemned Trump for his continued inflammatory racial dog-whistle comments.
Muhammad Ali called himself “The Greatest” and proved it with his impressive wins over Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and more. However, his greatness shone when he took a stand for the people and opted out of the Vietnam War draft.
His conviction cost him three prime athletic earning years, from age 26 to almost 29. Any athlete knows how precious that time is, and in boxing, it is the golden years.
Floyd Mayweather calls himself “The Best Ever” but not The GOAT because even he recognizes that designation is larger than a box score.
Even undisputed women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields, the only American to win two Olympic gold medals back-to-back in any sport, calls herself The GWOAT (Greatest Woman Of All Time) in boxing but not the greatest in athletics.
Character is the main ingredient to be solidified as The Greatest. It is why most will never proclaim it aside from competitive hype.
To become The Greatest requires a selflessness that transcends sports and enters the consciousness of the public domain.
Advocating for the people at the zenith of your career, that’s the criteria. It is not winning Super Bowls at 40 years old after a team reset. That’s just a remarkable personal achievement.
When The GOAT conversation comes up if it isn’t Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, or anyone else that looked the world in the eye and challenged it at the top of their game, leave the conversation.