OPINION: Tom Brady the GOAT? Think again

Despite the glory, Patriots QB isn’t the best athlete in sports history

Tom Brady is not the greatest athlete of all time, or GOAT as it is now commonly referred to.

Now re-read that sentence very, very carefully. I did not say that he was a bad football player. I did not say that he was a bad quarterback.

In fact, I think it is hard to dispute that he is the greatest football player of all time. But there is a very big difference between being the best at your sport and being the greatest athlete of all time.

In the leadup to the Super Bowl earlier this month, there was a lot of discussion surrounding this topic.

And I would say it was a fair argument. Had he won the Super Bowl, he would’ve been 6-2 all time.

He already has his name stamped on one of the greatest comebacks ever with his win over the Atlanta Falcons last year.

He’s also got the huge career numbers with 488 career touchdown passes and more than 66,000 passing yards. Add 68 more touchdown passes in the postseason and nearly 10,000 yards to go along with that. These are some unreal numbers, but can they qualify for true GOAT status?

I would say no. There’s a very simple reason for this. When I think of the greatest athletes of all time, I think of the people who truly changed the way we played and even perceived sports.

They rocked the sports world or even the political world. This is because sports can have more of an impact off the field than on it in some cases.

By the definition of greatest “athlete,” none could be better than Jim Thorpe. He was the first Native American to win gold medals in the Olympics, capturing the pentathlon and decathlon titles in 1912, which are considered some of the hardest tests of a human’s abilities.

He also played professional baseball and football, being a part of the 1920s all-decade team for the NFL. He’s in both the pro football and college football Hall of Fames. And if that wasn’t enough, he even has a town in Pennsylvania named after him.

Babe Ruth redefined the status of an athlete. He is one of the first to truly achieve legendary status, earning nicknames anyone would recognize such as “The Great Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat.”

He is one of the first, in my opinion, to set records so high that it would be impossible to break them.

He established the MLB records for career home runs (714), runs batted in (2,213), walks (2,062), slugging percentage (.690) and on-base plus slugging (1.164).

Even though some have been broken, he still holds the latter two to this day.

He is widely considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time and one of America’s greatest sports heroes.

“I am the greatest. I said that before I knew I was.” One of many quotes spoken by the greatest ever, Muhammad Ali. Originally named Cassius Clay, he converted to Islam and took the name Ali.

As important as his accomplishments inside the ring—an Olympic gold medal and a heavyweight title— were, his accomplishments outside the ring may be even more important.

His wins were vacated after he refused to join the draft, but they were later reinstated by the Supreme Court. For these actions, he has become an icon for those athletes who protest in peace, which we even still see today.

For the sake of length, I have to leave out many other deserving athletes, such as Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Michael Phelps, Wayne Gretzky, etc. But I chose these three for a reason.

They embody skill, legends and good morality. Thorpe had the skill, Ruth had the greatness and Ali had the strength to do what was right.

I believe that when you decide who you think the greatest athlete of all time is, you need to consider all of these facts.

In my opinion Tom Brady is probably the greatest football player of all time. But is he the greatest athlete?

No, I don’t think he is.

By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~