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Mike Greenberg Ignored The Great One By Proclaiming Tom Brady Best Athlete in the History of US Team Sports

Brian Giuffra
Feb 4, 2021, 1:26 PM EST
Mike Greenberg.
Mike Greenberg.
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The hot debate this week is whether or not Patrick Mahomes can one day surpass Tom Brady as the greatest NFL quarterback of all time and how this Super Bowl showdown will shape the narrative. The secondary debate is Brady's place in the pantheon of every athlete who ever laced 'em up. The only issue is the debate focuses mostly on Brady versus Michael Jordan, which is a tad disconcerting for those who know sports extend beyond the United States borders.

During the Key, Jay and Zubin Show on ESPN, Brady vs Jordan was broached by Mike Greenberg, who said the following about Brady's place in the history of team sports:

"What he has done here, at the age of 43...I think does put him at the top of the list of the greatest athletes in the history of American team sports. "

The caveat he used here is "American team sports," which apparently Greeny doesn't think hockey is because if we're talking greatest athlete in the history of team sports you have to put Wayne Gretzky on top of that list. And quite frankly, while hockey was invented in Canada, saying Gretzky didn't play an "American team sport" is inaccurate from my perspective. The NHL is headquartered in New York City and only 7 of the 31 (22.6 percent) NHL teams are located in Canada. So I guess this becomes a debate about whether hockey is an American team sport or not because the resumes between Brady and Gretzky are so far skewed towards Gretzky that the argument Brady is better than him holds no merit.

First, check out Greeny's point.

When it comes to comparing GOATs across different sports, it's usually hard to say whose better with any certainty. When it comes to Wayne Gretzky against anyone else, there's no question. The Great One is the only one.

Gretzky holds or shares 61 all-time NHL records, including career goals, goals in a season, career assists, assists in a season, career points, points in a season, playoff goals, playoff assists and career records on each one of those. More impressive than just holding those records, he's so far above second place in many categories (and is second place himself in many) that there's no argument about who the greatest player in any offensive hockey category is. It's just Gretzky and everyone else.

While Brady has won six Super Bowls to Gretzky's four Stanley Cup titles, he hasn't dominated the NFL at the same level Gretzky dominated the NHL. Gretzky was the MVP nine times. Brady has been MVP three times. Gretzky was an 18-time All-Star. Brady has made 14 Pro Bowls. Brady led the league in passing touchdowns four times and passing yards three times. Gretzky led the league in goals fives times, assists 16 times and points 11 times. I could go on, but there's no point.

Tom Brady is unquestionably the greatest quarterback in NFL history right now, but the fact that people are even discussing the idea of Mahomes ascending to that level shows you people think he could be passed by another young player in the game. There is no player in the NHL who could claim the same with Gretzky. That's because The Great One is incomparable and in the history of team sports, no one will ever take over his spot on the top.

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