Is Tom Brady really the best?

Is Tom Brady really the best?

Gracie Thies, News Editor

      Name the best NFL quarterback. Odds are you named one of the following quarterbacks.

      Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Kurt Warner and Bart Starr are all among the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but the loaded question is, what about Tom Brady? Brady just won his fifth Super Bowl of his career and it’s only fair to see if he is eligible to join the quarterbacks above and be named the greatest quarterback to ever lace them up. Also take into consideration if his team, the New England Patriots, are the dynasty of the NFL.

     We already know that Brady has won more Super Bowls than any other quarterback. People say that it’s the Lombardi trophy that makes a quarterback great, but that’s not entirely true. It could be their gunslinger arm, improvisational play-making ability, or unbelievable accuracy.

     Brady was drafted in 2000, which means that he’s been in the NFL for 16 years, so it’s only fair to look at his stats. He ranks fourth in total yards(61,582) behind Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Favre (71,940), and Drew Brees (66,111). Brady holds the NFL record in post-season interceptions (30). He has the 13th best quarterback rating, 5th all time playoff winning percentage, 14th best completion percentage (63.8%), and only second in single-season passer rating (117.2%) behind Aaron Rodgers (122.5%).

     Something that can also affect if Brady is the greatest quarterback, is the New England Patriots. In this aspect, his team may be the one thing that takes the honor away from him. The Patriots have a known history of cheating in the National Football League and it has given them a bad rep for many years.

     In 2002, the Patriots were playing the Oakland Raiders in the divisional playoffs. New England was trailing 13-10, when Charles Woodson blitzed Brady and popped the ball right out of his hand. The Raiders recovered the ball. It looked like an obvious fumble recovery, but the officials ruled it an incomplete pass. Patriots kicker, Vinatieri went in to make a field goal, tie the game, and win it in overtime 16-13. The game later became known as the tuck rule game.

     One of the biggest scandals ever in the NFL was “Spygate”. The Patriots were caught videotaping play-calling signals in the 2007 New York Jets game. During pregame warm-ups, a low-leveled Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet. The employee was also given excuses to tell the NFL security guards if they were found suspicious. This went on for a few years in other games, then the league investigated the situation and the Patriots were guilty of the act. The New England Patriots and New York Giants would eventually meet in Super Bowl XLII, but the Giants would come out victorious. Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000 and their first round draft pick was taken away.

     The most recent scandal in football was “Deflategate”. In 2014, while paying the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game, the Patriots were found using slightly deflated balls in windy and rainy weather conditions. Slightly deflated footballs are much easier to catch in wet field conditions and gave the Patriots a better chance of winning the game. New England went on to win Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks. The team was later fined one million dollars, Brady was suspended four games, and was stripped of their first round draft pick.

     It’s evident that the Patriots have a history of scandals or shall we say, cheating. Brady was present in all of them and that affects his ranking in the best quarterbacks of all time. The quarterbacks before Brady didn’t have a team that was trying to ease their challenge of getting to the Super Bowl by putting their integrity into question.

     The greats get there on their own and do unachieveable things that no other athlete could do. That’s what makes them so great. Tom Brady cannot be listed among the greatest quarterbacks because of the choices Bill Belichick made, the rules the team broke, and the unethical history of the New England Patriots.

     Everyone says that the New England Patriots are the dynasty of the NFL because they have won five Lombardi trophies, but it’s hard not to question if they would’ve won those trophies if it weren’t for scandals like “Deflategate” or “Spygate”. How can they be classified as a dynasty if they abused the system and cheated their way to victory? That’s not a dynasty, that’s a dictatorship.