The Patriots won the Super Bowl. Again.
Tom Brady has now won six rings, the most by a single player in NFL history, and has cemented himself as the football's greatest of all time. Now, the question stands: Is he the greatest to ever play any team sport? Let’s see how he measures up to the GOATs of hockey, baseball, and basketball. Let’s take a look.
Baseball—GOAT: Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth was easily the greatest player of his era and left a lasting legacy. The Babe still has the record for all-time OPS, and is third all time in home runs and ninth in batting average. He also won four championships. In addition to his incredible batting statistics, he was also a tremendous pitcher, posting a career 2.28 ERA, including a season that he went 23–12 with a 1.75 ERA. While Ruth is a legend then and now, it's hard to compare him with a modern NFL QB. Brady has won six championships in comparison to Babe’s four, and Babe played in a league with 16 teams in comparison to Brady’s 32. Babe’s teams were also much more talented than Brady’s, as he played with the likes of all-time greats Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, and Earle Combes, all Hall of Famers. With the exceptions of Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski, a lot of less-than-legendary receivers have caught passes from Brady. Touchdown Tom has had considerably less help than Ruth, while still compiling 2 more rings than him and a 77.2 % winning percentage, best in NFL History. So Tom Brady is higher on the GOAT List than Babe Ruth.
Basketball—GOAT: Michael Jordan
Most people can agree that MJ is the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. Like Brady's, Jordan's legacy isn't so much about holding a bunch of records. Jordan finished his career with six rings, the highest career PPG (30.1), and five MVPS. Brady also has six rings, and has reached the Super Bowl nine times, while MJ only got to the NBA Finals six times. And while MJ is considered the most dominant scorer and one of the most dominant defenders of all time, Brady's longevity sets him apart. He has won 10 straight division titles (and 16 in total) and gone to eight straight AFC Championships (13 total). Both of these guys have quite impressive résumés, but Brady takes the cake because of his utter domination of the competition.
Hockey—GOAT: Wayne Gretzky
With the most ever goals, assists, and points, Gretzky has numerous NHL records to pair with his four championship rings and nine MVP awards. Gretzky set himself apart in hockey in a way that may be impossible in football. Tom Brady's 77.2% win rate is only 8.7% more than second place finisher Peyton Manning's. Gretzky has almost 1,000 more points than the next-best player, Jaromir Jagr. But will Brady leave a better legacy? Brady has six rings, compared to Gretzky’s four. And while he may have only won three MVPs, Gretzky played in an era with slightly inflated stats, as goalies tended to be a lot smaller and their equipment was less bulky. But at the end of the day, numbers don’t lie, and the fact that Gretzky’s numbers are Heads and Shoulders above all of his peers should show us that he is the true GOAT over Brady.
In conclusion, Tom Brady is the greatest football player ever, as well as the best athlete of his generation. But to call him the GOAT of all sports is a stretch at this point. However, Brady has shown no signs of decline at age 41—so don't count him out just yet!
(Photo credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)