There was a bit of a fuss on TV over Michael Irvin & Stephen A Smith over who is the overall Goat Jordan vs Brady.
In my opinion there is no debate at all. The nod is to Brady for these reasons
- Brady won championships and made finals all through his career Jordan did not
Michael Jordan career spans from 1984 at age 21 to 2003 at age 39 with one year off for baseball and three years off for retirement before returning with the wizards. Jordan won six championships during that period at ages 27-29 & 32-34.
Tom Brady’s career spans from 2001 at age 24 (in 2000 he appeared in one game and threw 3 passes completing one for six yards) and continues in 2021 at age 44. During this period he has won seven championships at ages 24,26,27, 37, 39, 41 and 43. He also made the finals three other times at ages 30, 33 and 40. Which is far superior to Jordan
- Brady won championships in a sport where it is harder to win a championship
In basketball playoffs it is very easy for the cream to rise to the top. Series are best of five or best of seven. So a single off game or hot game from your opponent or freak play might cost you a game but is unlikely to cost you a series.
In football it’s one and done. One bad throw, one off game, one supreme effort by an opponent or one freak catch off the top of Helmut can be the difference between a title and an also ran. Jordan had a margin of error, Brady does not.
Furthermore Football weighs a schedule based on your finish thus when he was regularly winning AFC East titles he was doing so when constantly playing a 1st place schedule. He succeeded against a system designed to make him fail.
- Brady has won championships with different lineups on different teams with different systems
Jordan won six titles in Chicago under Phil Jackson with a fairly consistent lineup around him. Tom Brady has not only won titles with two different teams with two different systems but even when he was with the Patriots over twenty years he managed to win titles and get to titles with a completely different cast of characters around him. None of the teammates from his first three titles played with him in his last two.
- Brady has taken a sub .500 team to a title not once but twice.
Michael Jordan’s did take a Chicago team with a losing record to the playoffs then later to the conference semis, then the conference finals and then at age 27 to the finals where he established the Bulls Dynasty. But while he was able to make a horrible Wizards team 20 games better then they were he was unable to get them even to the 1st round of the playoffs
When Tom Brady at age 25 started for the injured Drew Bledsoe in game 3 of the 2001-2002 season the Patriots’ were coming off a 5-11 last place season and were 0-2. He would lead them to their first superbowl victory. When he came in as the new QB for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at age 43, he took over a 3rd place team with a 7-9 record and took them to their first superbowl in almost twenty years.
- At age 44 Brady is favored to make it to the Superbowl AGAIN!
All of these previous points would, in my opinion be enough to close the case here, but if that wasn’t enough the icing on the cake is that at age 44 nobody is picking Brady and the Bucks to do any worse than the NFC title game and many are picking him to win yet another Superbowl. It’s true that both Aaron Rogers and Patrick Mahomes will likely be standing in his way with a big chips on their shoulders and nobody would be shocked if either Rogers kept Brady from another superbowl appearance or Mahomes kept him from his eighth ring.
But the fact that we are even having this conversation makes my point for me.
In conclusion with all due respect to Stephen A Smith there is no debate to have here. Brady is over Jordan. WAY over.
Full Disclosure: I don’t rate Michael Jordan as the GOAT of the NBA or LeBron, I give that to Bill Russell who in 13 years in the NBA made the finals every year but one and won the title every year but two and won two of those titles as a player coach.
He is the person Brady should be compared to and points 2-5 count in Brady’s favor, however Russell gets points for
- 2 titles as player coach (and as the 1st black coach in the NBA)
- Coming up in an era of segregation and STILL ruling the roost.
- playing in a smaller NBA where the talent was more concentrated
To me it’s a tough call, but if Brady goes to another Superbowl then I’d have to give it to Tom.