NFL / quarterback
Coming To Terms With The Truth - My Guy Is Not The G.O.A.T!
Sports have long been a topic for water cooler banter. Fans gather daily to discuss and argue the latest. From the action of the previous night to upcoming games and the endless debates on the best teams and players, there is always something to keep sports fans engaged. These conversations can and are often full of passion and fire. A sports fans loyalty can run deep and their desire to both support and defend the honour of a team can be intense. Some fans speak from the heart and with pure emotional attachment while other fans are very cerebral and have a deep-rooted knowledge about their teams and players that fuels their passion. Either way, these water cooler faceoffs can become heated when you have opposing beliefs and rivalries become a factor. How many times have you seen a casual conversation about a sport or sporting event turn into an argument as fans challenge each other's loyalties of knowledge? Everyone feels like they are their teams #1 fan and are willing to do almost anything to prove it. Pixabay I am sure if you think hard enough you will remember a time when a sports discussion got a little more heated than it should and tempers even flared. The reason for this is that everyone has their own opinions when it comes to the various sports debates and those opinions can be very hard to change. A big reason for this is that many of these opinions are driven by emotion and can be subjective. There are of course statistics that can be used to support opinions but at the same time, those statistics can be interpreted differently and there could be several other factors to consider when analyzing statistics. I have personally witnessed two grown men get into such a spirited argument about a hockey team that it felt as though a full-on fistfight was about to break out. Source The NFL has been a source of lots of water cooler chatter this season. There has been the whole issue around the new rules that have been a big discussion point and one that I have talked about here on Scorum several times. There has also been quite a bit of chatter about who the greatest player of all time is. This is a topic that comes up all the time and has been argued for as long as sports have existed. The all-important question that every fan thinks they have the answer to. Who is the G.O.A.T? Source The Greatest Player of All Time has long been argued by fans from all sports. It is an interesting debate for so many reasons. How does one determine who is the best player that ever played a sport? Is it their statistics? How many points or touchdowns or home runs can be used as a way to argue your opinion for sure. Is it the number of championships they have won? The way a player is appreciated could depend on the era in which they played. In lots of sports, the game has seen changes over time that could have an impact on players statistics. This leads to further discussion and comparison of the players and arguments over the interpretation of these differences. I have been involved in and listened to hundreds of these conversations and the only thing I can say with any certainty is that there will always be differences of opinion when it comes to the topic of the G.O.A.T in sports. Source The discussion of the G.O.A.T in the NFL has always been fun banter and lots of names have been thrown into the ring. This year the debate has taken on a new twist as more and more people are insisting that Drew Brees deserves strong consideration. In NFL Football, quarterbacks are often talked about as the greatest. It is the most recognized position and in the eyes of many, the most important. Then there are separate discussions about the greatest players at other positions like running back or wide receiver. I will try to keep this discussion as impartial as possible and keep my personal opinion to myself. John Elway will always be the greatest in my eyes but might not be in the conversation when it comes to the G.O.A.T. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the NFL G.O.A.T question not from just an overall perspective but rather look at it by position. This first post will focus on Quarterbacks. Source This is a debate that I have personally spent many an hour discussing with friends and enemies alike. There are several players that always get brought up during these arguments. Names like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are regularly tossed into the ring when discussing the greatest of all time. Then you get the generational gap coming into play as people suggest Dan Marino or even Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw. Each of these players has an impressive resume and an argument for their spot atop the rest of can be made but how do you decide exactly who is the best ever? Marino for the longest time was the greatest statistical quarterback of all time but people would argue that he wasn’t the best because he failed to win a championship. Does this mean that having great numbers, even the greatest numbers, is not enough to get you recognized as the greatest ever? Source Drew Brees has now become the best statistical QB ever. HE has surpassed Manning with the most yards passing, most completions and currently holds the top spot for the best completion percentage ever. Next year, Brees will take over the lead for most career touchdowns barring some sort of injury. This has thrust Brees into the conversation for the G.O.A.T but at this point of his career, he only has one Super Bowl title. This is the one lacking area that opponents to his claim of the throne grab onto. He is not a winner so, therefore, he can't be the goat. If Brees plays another couple years, he will set statistical standards that are far ahead of anyone else. Then there is Brady who has been to a record 8 Super Bowls and won 5 of them. This year he will be competing in his 9th Super Bowl as the Patriots legend grows. When it comes to winning, Tom Brady is head and tail above anyone else. There is no other quarterback that has come close to the putting up the numbers that Brady has put up in the winning department. Brady is the career leader in every major statistical category when it comes to playoffs. This combined with the numerous championships he has won have made him the goat in the eyes of most pundits. Brady is no slouch when it comes to career statistics either. He is currently ranked 4th in career passing yards and if he plays next year he will pass both Favre and Manning to sit 2nd only behind Brees. He will also pass Manning for career touchdowns next season as well to sit behind only Brees again. *This assumes both play a full season and both pass Manning* Brady is actually only 3 touchdowns behind Brees at this point so he could possibly end up being first depending on how long they continue to play. Source There are those that feel that winning championships is the number one indicator of this recognition. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana are regularly nominated in these discussions because of the 4 Super Bowl rings that they each have. Elway was able to make it to 5 Super Bowls and won 2 of them. If this is the primary stat that people look at then, of course, Tom Brady sits atop the mountain and the other climbers are not even close. If pure statistics during your career matter then Brees can absolutely not be left out of the conversation. Brees has only the one Super Bowl title in his only appearance. Source In my personal opinion there is no way that I can call anyone the G.O.A.T that is not named Tom Brady. He has simply accomplished so much and is setting playoff records that no other quarterback might ever come close to. I know that there are people who say that he is a winner because of Bill Belichick and the system. I get that argument but at the end of the day, Brady still has to go out there and get the job done and he has certainly done that. Even if Brees was to get another Super Bowl before the end of his career it wouldn't be enough to dethrone Brady. The gap in career stats is not that wide in favour of Brees but the gap in playoff stats and championships is like the Grand Canyon. It was not easy to come to terms with putting Brady up on that pedestal. I have long argued the reasons that Elway is the greatest and in my heart, he always will be but the NFL's QB G.O.A.T and best player ever can be none other than Tom Brady. What are your thoughts on who the G.O.A.T is? I would love to hear your reasoning for your selections. Step up to the water cooler and have your opinion heard. Stay tuned for the next installment of the NFL goat: Runningbacks.