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The Last Man Alive Who Doesn't Think Tom Brady is the GOAT Turns Out to Be ... Tom Brady

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ESPNIn an interview with ESPN.com, the 39-year-old Brady said he might play into his late 40s, never mind his mid-40s, and there really will be nobody left for him to topple the next six, seven, eight seasons but Michael Jeffrey Jordan — the presumed greatest American team-sport athlete ever.

“I was in awe of Michael Jordan,” Brady said, “and I still am in awe of what he was and what he meant.” …

Of course, Brady would never publicly declare himself a player in Jordan’s league. But he knew what he was doing when he agreed to play cover boy for the “Madden NFL 18″ game under the title “G.O.A.T. Edition.” Brady was notarizing the idea that he’s the greatest of all time at the most indispensable position in the most popular sport. …

He maintained in the 45-minute phone interview that time is on his side.

“I always said my mid-40s,” Brady said of the prospect of retirement, “and naturally that means around 45. If I get there and I still feel like I do today, I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to continue.”

Continue until 46, 47, 48, who knows? Brady brought up his wife, Gisele Bundchen. …

“She wants me to do that, too,” Brady confirmed. “She also wants me to take good care of myself and still have my energy. … I think 45 is a pretty good number for right now. I know the effort it takes to be 40. … My love for the sport will never go away. I don’t think at 45 it will go away.” …

Brady was asked if he’d at least concede what his Madden title stated — that he has replaced [Joe] Montana as the GOAT of quarterbacks.

“I don’t agree with that,” he said, “and I’ll tell you why. I know myself as a player. I’m really a product of what I’ve been around, who I was coached by, what I played against, in the era I played in. I really believe if a lot of people were in my shoes they could accomplish the same kinds of things.”

I read Brady give an interview like this and it makes me want to stop asking questions about how long he’ll play or whether he’s the GOAT. Instead it makes me start to ask whether he’s the same species as the rest of us. None of the Homo sapiens I know would never be seriously talking about quarterbacking past 45. Or, after setting every postseason passing record there is, declare himself a system quarterback and say anyone could’ve done what he’s done.

This just further proves my theory that Brady was either rocketed to Earth as a child or come down from some higher plane of existence in the multiverse to show us how to throw footballs, pull off impossible comebacks and mate with our most beautiful females to breed a race of super humans.

You know the list by now. Quarterbacks who lasted in the league past their 43rd birthday: Doug Flutie, Vinny Testaverde, Steve DeBerg, Warren Moon, George Blanda. All were backups. Blanda stuck around as a kicker. Those are the names that come up whenever some Max Kellerman or one of the orcs on sports radio in Boston bring up when they say Brady’s career is about to go on life support and wearing a Do Not Resuscitate bracelet. But what they fail to mention is that none of those guys were capable of putting together a season like Brady did last year at 39. A 112.2 passer rating. A 28/2 TD/INT ratio in the regular season. And a record of 14-1. 466 yards on 62 ATTs in the Super Bowl against a swarming, athletic and young defense filled with guys half his age. And facing a foreseeable future with the same offensive line, same coaching staff and same receiver corps only with Gronk coming back and the addition of Brandin Cooks, one of the best deep threats in the game.

Point to the other great quarterbacks who couldn’t play past 40 and show me one that had anywhere close to Brady’s inhuman obsession with working on himself, his fixation on mind/body/spirit or his humility.

Which brings me to the other point. I love that Brady doesn’t want to compare himself to Jordan and still believes Montana is the best quarterback ever. The Jordan comparison is tough. And I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole. But if you want to measure wangs using championships, and Brady ties Jordan playing a sport where titles are much harder to get (nine NBA players have more than Jordan’s six) and stands alone with the most rings in his sport ever, the check mark goes to him. Instead I’ll stick with the Montana comparison. Because Brady is not only wrong about him vs. Joe Cool, it’s no longer even close.

Not only did Brady set the all time record for career wins – which you might have missed because the NFL barely even acknowledged it when he passed Peyton Manning at the top of the list – he’s lapped the field. Consider that there are total of five NFL QBs with 137 or more career wins, regular season and playoffs combined: Brady, Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and John Elway. Brady is 208-61, meaning he has 147 more wins than losses. By comparison, Montana’s career total is 133 wins, 54 losses (+79). In other words, Brady has matched Montana’s numbers PLUS a record of 75-7 on top of it. Which is roughly the equivalent of going 15-1 for five consecutive years. And counting. Not to mention all the individual passing records he’s not that far from. He’s got 11,000 or so passing yards to take over the top spot. And you’d be out of your mind to think he can’t.

So while I don’t object to Brady being so preternaturally humble and deferring to his boyhood idols, nobody else will be able to say this stuf for much longer. And if you’re a Patriots hater, the last thing you should want to hear is him thinking he’s not the GOAT. Because he won’t stop until he’s convinced himself.