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This Brady-Belichick Segment of NFL Top 100 is Quite Simply the Best Thing Ever Done About Them

When NFL Network announced they'd be putting Bill Belichick at the desk to count down the NFL Top 100 along with Rich Eisen and Cris Collinsworth, the moment I and everyone I care about in this world was most looking forward to was the moment he and Tom Brady would be sitting together, swapping epic tales of the GOAT's unparalleled career. 

And now that the segment has aired, the only disappointing thing about it is that NFLN threw it up on the Friday night of a holiday week. Basically the notorious TV graveyard when no one it watching TV. That Death Valley of ratings that has been the end of otherwise deserving shows from "Freaks & Geeks" to "Firefly." Because a show of this magnitude deserved better. As much as I've been looking forward to this, the time slot was the only disappointing part of it. The segment itself was TV history in the making.

There's so much to unpack here. And you can obviously watch all 22:40 of the Brady portion of the show yourself. But just to cue you up to some of the highlights:

--3:00 mark: Belichick talking about Brady as a rookie, the leadership he showed toward the other rookies. And then "the crossroads" for him, in the 2001 season, the way he responded to that loss to the Rams. This one is especially gratifying for me because that following game against the Saints was my personal Come-to-Brady moment. I have a brother who was the first person I know to be all in on Brady, and another who was such a Drew Bledsoe loyalist he resented the fact they won the Super Bowl with him on the bench. I was in the middle. I needed convincing. And the first game with a healthy, activated but benched Bledsoe looking over Brady's shoulder was my litmus test. And when he delivered, I never, ever looked back. It means the world that Belichick felt the same way:

--4:55 mark: Brady talks about how he came to understand Belichick believed in him and how he didn't care where you came from, just how you did when it mattered the most. And both break down how well Brady rewarded that faith with the final drive of Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams:

--8:37 mark: Brady talks about getting into the limo the morning after the game and coach told him "Tom, you had a pretty good year."

--10:45 mark: The two discuss their weekly Tuesday meetings and the follow up, last minute Saturday meetings to go over anything they might have missed. And express their mutual admiration for how much each loves to soak up information from the other. If I had a wizard godfather mysteriously send me an Invisibility Cloak, more than another other place in the world - secret stockholder meetings, bank presidents revealing the combinations to their safes or Gal Gadot's dressing room - Belichick's office during these conversations would be the one place I'd choose to sneak into. "It's just great relationship." "He'll tell me five different things that happened … and when you look at the film, all five happened just the way he said them."

--13:15 mark: Brady explains Belichick's ability to simplify his coaching points, from the sidelines of Super Bowl LIII going all the way back to his Giants days. So that everyone understands what's being asked of them and they're put in the right place to succeed. But more importantly, how Brady takes the verbal abuse because both men only care about winning. And that's what brings them together. And kept them together over a long period of time. And Belichick responds with "He's at the top of all the players I've coached, intellectually."

--17:00 mark: Belichick, pressed to come up with a "signature" play Brady has executed over the decades, describes a specific post route he completed to Deion Branch in the 2004 AFC championship game in Pittsburgh after looking Troy Polamalu and the game winner to Gronk in last year's Super Bowl. Then Brady reciprocates with his "incredible" defensive game plan in that same game.

--18:22 mark: Brady explains the key to Belichick's approach. How if you hear how great you are all the time, eventually you'll believe it and stop working. So he says "I'm not going to congratulate you for doing your job."

There's more. But that to me is the Rosetta Stone. The ancient code that explains all that has come since. A hyper-driven coach pushing an infinitely competitive athlete. Neither of them satisfied with their accomplishments. Both obsessed with perfection. Each responding to the other's insatiable drive to do better than the best they've already achieved. 

That is why this segment was quite possibly the best we've ever seen on this ceaselessly fascinating topic. Every time you think you've got a handle on the interpersonal dynamic between these two very public figures, the more you realize how little you know. 

Better yet, this demonstrates just how the people who've been saying there's "friction" and a "rift" between these men really don't understand a goddamned thing about them. We should all hope to have one person in our lives who respects, admires, drives, completes and loves us the way Bill Belichick and Tom Brady do. These two are going to be at this for at least five more years, I promise you.