Tom Brady’s recent achievement has reinforced his claim to being the National Football League’s one and true Greatest of all time (GOAT). Seven Super Bowl championships over two decades have cemented his claim and nobody ever comes close.
And by the way, he’s already 43 years old.
GOAT. Predictably, this has once again reignited who is Brady’s equivalents in other sports.
In basketball, Michael Jordan is the undisputed GOAT. Six championships in six trips to the Finals made him sui generis.
Nothing against Lebron James, who is undoubtedly the greatest player of this era, but it’s not even close.
You see, it’s all about the success rate. Lebron has four championships in 10 tries—more losses than wins. His die-hard worshippers will counter that those trips alone to the Finals weigh more than Jordan’s six trips.
Sorry, I have to disagree. Nobody remembers second place. If his bootlickers want to die on that hill, then he will be remembered as the greatest second placer of all time.
BOXING. In boxing, the debate is arguably closer. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson easily come to mind.
Mayweather is the only undefeated fighter among the three. He has never lost in the biggest stage and he has anointed himself as “TBE”—The Best Ever.
Unfortunately, he’s also a polarizing figure and when you bring up his name in a discussion, you will get myriad adverse reactions. Most of the criticism comes from an alleged aversion to elite competition and his predilection for fighting exhibition bouts with non-boxers.
But in fairness to Mayweather while he was on the way up, he fought them all—Angel Manfredy, Diego Corralles, Jose Luis Castillo, Carlos Hernandez and many other champions.
Ali is the more revered fighter because of his stature while Robinson is more of a mythical figure. There is, of course, a recency bias— especially because the younger fan base does not even know the original Sugar man.
But I have to tip my hat off to the older fighters because of the circumstances prevailing during their time. Remember they had no videotapes of their opponents. They also fought often—sometimes every month and they also fought 15 hard rounds.
But when you were a champion back then, that meant you were really great, unlike now where you have many alphabet belts, and so the prestige of being a world champion has been watered down.
VERBATIM. “I also heard that 50 Cent would fight me but claims I’m too small. If he wants to lace up at the end of the year, we can do an exhibition then. I don’t care about weight class with any of these guys. The Paul brothers will make great money with the events, but with 50 Cent it has to be Winner Take All.”—Floyd Mayweather Jr. (www.xxl.mag.com)
LAST ROUND. It’s on Valerie Macapagal, who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!