‘Best player of all time’ debate ends with Tom Brady

By Adam Gibson | Copy Editor

We often debate who the greatest players of each sport are. Some may argue that it’s Michael Jordan for basketball or Babe Ruth for baseball. However, there is less of a debate when it comes to the greatest football player of all time — Tom Brady.

As the 6th round, 199th pick from the University of Michigan, Brady came in as a 4th string quarterback for the New England Patriots. He was slow — really slow. He holds the record among quarterbacks for the slowest 40-yard dash in combined history with a time of 5.28 seconds. It seemed as though he may never touch the field outside of practice and preseason. Slowly, he gained attention and moved his way up to become the backup quarterback for the Patriots. After the Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured in 2001, Brady became the starting quarterback, and the rest is history.

Brady has continued to improve and dominate just about every opponent he is up against and shows no signs of slowing down. This past year at 39 years old, Brady had a passer rating of 112.2, had a 67.4 percent completion rate and only threw two interceptions, according to ESPN. Although he missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension, those are some of the best stats in his career. His passer rating was the second best of his career, and the two interceptions are his best for playing more than one game in a season.

In the postseason, Brady’s resume really shines. Brady went to the playoffs every year out of his 17 total seasons aside from two, with a postseason record of 25 wins. He experienced his first Super Bowl victory during his second year with the league in 2002. He even led his team to an unimaginable comeback over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LII. Fast forward to 2017, Brady has gone to seven super bowls and won five of them, the most wins for any quarterback.

The most recent Super Bowl was one for the history books. The Patriots were down 28 to 3 in the second half, and no teams had ever come back from that large of a deficit. However, Brady was not discouraged and refused to give up. According to Bleacher Report, Tom Brady threw 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, most of which came in the second half. The opposing quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan, only threw for 284 yards with two touchdowns — still a great outing, but not good enough to top Brady.

Granted, Brady has had some trouble with cheating in the past, the most recent being the “Deflategate” scandal, where he was suspended four games for using deflated footballs, compromising his reputation. As a Denver Broncos fan, it is hard not to respect him as a player considering how dominant he has been on the field. When it comes to cheating, there is little leeway, causing many to struggle with respecting him as a person. There is no excuse for cheating, but he did pay the penalty for it, which proves that not even a suspension will hold him back.

Brady will be going into his 18th season in the National Football League (NFL) this year as a 40-year-old starting quarterback and has recently signed a contract taking him through the 2019 season. By that time he will have played for almost 17 years over the average NFL career, which is 3.3 years according to ESPN staff writer John Keim. Rarely do we see a quarterback make it this far and see them still rallying their team to win Super Bowls, justifying that Tom Brady really is the greatest of all time.

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