Mike Francesca on 'First Take': Tom Brady's Not the Greatest Regular Season or Super Bowl Quarterback
First Take hosted a Mike & the Mad Dog reunion today as Mike Francesca joined his former radio partner Chris Russo on ESPN's premier debate show (Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim were also there). The reunion had the air taken out of it a bit as Tom Brady announced his retirement hours before the show on Wednesday morning, meaning the first person to speak at length during the show was actually Adam Schefter which no one had tuned in to see.
The people wanted New York Strong takes and Mike and Dog were forced to celebrate Tom Brady's resume for the millionth time and have the same conversation that was happening everywhere else this morning. It was a real shame, but Francesca gave it his best shot by saying that Brady was neither the best regular season or Super Bowl quarterback ever. He started by saying that Brady wasn't the greatest, but did work the hardest and made sure to mention that the dreamboat quarterback had a "terrible body" when he was drafted.
"Tom Brady made himself great. He wasn't great. He wasn't great in college. He lost his job which was what fueled him his whole life. He was the most competitive person anybody's ever met. And he worked harder than anybody ever to be this good."
He continued, admitting he was going to "throw a little oil on the ceremony."
"He's not the best regular season quarterback I've ever seen. Peyton Manning was. He's not the best Super Bowl quarterback to ever live. Joe Montana is. What is though is the guy who played the longest and he won the most games. He won the most Super Bowls. So he will be remember because nobody is going to play 23 years and nobody's probably ever going to have a chance to win that many Super Bowls. It's almost impossible to do. He was in the right place with the right coach."
Manning? Better. Montana? Better. If Brady sees this he will unretire immediately, because this really was a beauty of a take. He admits Brady was great, but notes that his absurd longevity and not his ability is what puts him on top, which is a perfect backhanded compliment. And throwing in some credit for Belichick giving him the perfect situation at the end is perfect.
Now, if only ESPN could convince Francesca to come back so we can get some good old fashion sports shouting without Tom Brady ruining everyone's good time.