Feb 5, 2021 4 min read

The case for Tom Brady over Michael Jordan as GOAT

The case for Tom Brady over Michael Jordan as GOAT

Good morning, frents!

Here's to a nice and warm Super Bowl weekend ahead of us.

Now, you might decide it's a good time to open up a new sportsbook account and fire on a few big game props using some bonus cash.

If you do, new users at PointsBet can get four risk-free bets up to $1,000 total by clicking this link and using the signup code "MIDWAY"

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Win and you send me a 15 percent cut. ... Sorry, those are the rules.

Thursday's result
Hawks 6, Hurricanes 4

Friday
Bulls at Magic (6, NBCSCH)

Saturday
DePaul at Butler (11, FS1)
Wisconsin at Illinois (1:30, FOX)
N’Western at Purdue (3:30, BTN)
Bulls at Magic (6, NBCSCH)

Sunday
Hawks at Stars (2, NBCSCH)

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The case for Tom Brady

The Super Bowl is on Sunday night and, as usual, there isn't a wealth of Chicago-related storylines.

But here's one: If the Buccaneers win, they'll have more Super Bowl victories than the Bears.

How does that even happen? Thanks a million, McCaskey family.

Here's another: If Tom Brady nabs his seventh ring, he'll move past Michael Jordan for total number of professional titles won.

That possibility has regenerated plenty of MJ vs. Tom for team athlete GOAT talk this week and The Athletic's Dan Pompei did a wonderful deep dive into the competition that I recommend reading.

Like the LeBron vs. MJ debate, I'm not sure if it's possible for anyone to make a completely objective argument here.

If you're stanning MJ, you're probably old (raises hand) and unable to admit that anything that's happened in the past few decades is capable of approaching our nostalgia-fueled memories. Jordan came along between the era that treated stars like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle with kid gloves and the 24/7 Skip Bayless say and spray culture unwilling to give LeBron a quarter of what he deserves. He definitely benefits more from the former, though, particularly in the wake of The Last Dance.

Meanwhile, if you back LeBron or Brady, there's a good chance you have a better working knowledge of Michael Jordan GIFs and memes than his playoff game history.

I certainly can't issue an unbiased opinion as someone who watched Jordan collect six titles for my team before I even completed my freshman year of college.

But if I was making a case for Brady, it'd be built with three tentpoles:

  • Longevity: Brady is 43 years old and starting a Super Bowl for a team he just joined in the middle of a pandemic that started before his 21st season. At 43, Jordan was already a three-time retiree, his last title was eight years behind him and he'd spent his final few years in the league messing with Kwame Brown instead of making the playoffs.
  • Football: The NFL is more physically punishing than the NBA and requires a lot more study from game to game and evolution from year to year to stay on top. A lot was made about MJ's late-career adjustments, but Brady's been consistently making those changes every week for two decades now.
  • Teammates: Jordan won his six titles in a concentrated eight-year period that featured Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, Ron Harper and others. Brady won his with Rob Gronkowski, a set of slot receivers he made rich and famous and a group of running backs who will all need to buy tickets if they ever visit Canton. (I am willing to accept the argument of Bill Belichick or the Patriots OL as Brady's Pippen, however.)

There are many arguments for Jordan over Brady, of course. But I'd be comfortable with solely presenting the mic-drop evidence that Jordan never would have lost one title to Eli Manning, let alone two.

So does Brady move past Jordan with a win over the Chiefs?

Has he already?

It's a fun debate to have while we're waiting for the big game.

It's also a lot less painful for us than the ones we might be holding between these two and Patrick Mahomes in another 20 years.

Who do you think is the GOAT? Email me and let me know.

Trivia

Name the two common cities that Brady and Jordan both beat for a title.

Break up the Hawks power play!

The Hawks power play scored three goals in the first period during last night's 6-4 win and if you're having trouble getting used to a dominant Hawks power play, well, join the club. The unit now ranks fourth in the NHL and has kept them just a point off the lead in the Central standings, though they've played several more games than a few teams affected by COVID. Next up is a two-game series in Dallas against the Stanley Cup runnerup Stars, which should provide a good indicator on just how real the past few weeks have been.

1. Jarrett Payton goes 1-on-1 with Jim McMahon. (WGN-TV)
2. Kevin Fishbain on how the Bears end up with Nick Foles as the Week 1 starter next season. (The Athletic)
3. The Sox are signing Jonathan Lucroy to a minor-league deal. (ESPN)
4. The Cubs roster projection 1.0 (The Athletic)
5. The story of how a guy lost a flute worth $22k at the Logan Square Blue Line station — and how he got it back. (Tribune)

Trivia answer: Seattle and Los Angeles

One Tweet

Zach LaVine as a Simpsons character was something I didn't know I needed. (Though still not sure I do, tbh).

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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