In case you're wondering that stands for Greatest Tool Of All Time. Yes, it does refer to Tom Brady, and kindly allow me to explain.
If one follows the football sports news, Tom Brady is now, "undeniably", the greatest quarterback of all time. I deny it, but I'll get to that. With the Hatriots win in SB 51, Tom Brady is even being heralded as the greatest football player of all time. As to the latter, that would be a serious "No", or at least so arguable as to render the claim meaningless. Positional players all have claim to the title. Before this weekend, Jerry Rice was the G.F.P.O.A.T. and he likely remains so. Emmett Smith? Barry Sanders? Walter Payton? Megatron? Anthony Munoz? Gary Zimmerman? Reggie White? Bruce Smith? Lawrence Taylor? Shannon Sharpe or Anthony Gonzolas? Rod Woodson? Peyton Manning? Brett Favre? The highest scoring player in NFL history, Morton Anderson? All at the peak of their positions, and all team players who understand the game as it can be played. Brady does his job very well, and is worthy in the discourse of the Greatest QBs, but there is no way he is the best at the game. For the record, my opinion remains that the GFPOAT is Jerry Rice.
As to the former, it's a matter of picking your argument. Longevity? Brett Favre. Best athlete? Pick your poison. Brett Favre, Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair, Cam Newton, Steve Young, Fran Tarkington, John Elway, Ben Roeslithsberger. Best clutch playmaker? Joe Montana, John Elway. Best passer? Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Joe Montana. Football smarts? Warren Moon, Jim Kelly, Peyton Manning. QB records? Peyton Manning. Beats Brady's ass when it counts? Eli Manning. Then we get to the weak arguments, the arguments which have much more to do with the team than the player. Wins? Tom Brady. Playoff wins? Tom Brady. SB wins? Tom Brady and Charles Haley. Championships? Bart Starr, Tom Brady. Wait what? What is that? You read that correctly. Bart Starr, under coach Vince Lombardi, has as many title wins as Tom Brady and Charles Haley sports as many rings. And that's the point.
Brady is the product of superior coaching. I'm not saying that Belichick "created" Tom Brady. TB is a great quarterback, deserving of his accolades, at least most of them. I am saying that the best arguments for him as the GOAT are actually arguments for Bill Belichick being the GOAT. I do contend that Tom Brady doesn't deserve his 4 SB MVPs. The MVP of SB 49 was an unheralded rookie who read Wilson and intercepted a certain TD pass. Brady had nothing to do with that win, save do his job when called on. In SB 51, Brady again did his job when called on. I agree with Brady that James White was the MVP. But yet Brady got the award because of historic accolade and foolishness. I don't hate Tom Brady. I hate the lies that others embrace about him. He is a great Quarterback, but he is not the best of the best. He just has more rings than any other, and that's because of Darth Belichick. Which brings me to Super Bowl 51 in earnest.
I can't be the only one who noticed Belichick's first half game plan. No, it was not in his plan to fall behind by 25 points. Nope, nothing in the plan about Brady throwing a pick six. But what WAS in the plan was this. There are several different ways to beat a high octane offense. You can match them blow for blow and outscore them, like Green Bay did to Dallas in the Divisional playoff, or the Hatriots did in SB 36 where Adam Vinatieri scored the winning field goal (and Brady took the MVP, why?). You can destroy them with superior defense like the SB 37 Buccaneers, SB 48 Seahawks and the SB 50 Broncos did. Or ... you can dominate time of possession and keep that offense pacing the sidelines. That's what Darth Belichick did. Some notable folk left the game at half time declaring Atlanta the winner. I was uncomfortable even then. Brady threw his first long pass downfield late in the third quarter. The run game wasn't working for the Hatriots but that has never mattered to them unless Von Miller is consistently planting Brady like a potato. They dinked and dunked and kept Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Devin Coleman off the field. That was the Belichick game plan, and it worked. All week long, we listened to pundits telling us that Belichick is the best at taking away the opponent's greatest strength. There was only one way to do that with the Falcons, and that was to keep them all on the bench. In the second half, Kyle Shanahan was all about 'keeping the pedal to the metal'. Only one problem. If the opposing coach knows that you are going to pass your way to victory, he will take that away and force you into interminable three and outs. The Falcons ran the ball 6 times in the second half, giving the Hatriots all the time they needed for a 'miracle' come back. To those who think the Falcons choked, I have no argument. They did. They acted, from coaches to ball-boy, as if they had never been in such a game before. New England exploited that; they had been here before and they did their jobs. As soon as the game went to overtime (you called it, Mark) it was over.
Side note: my favorite moments from SB 51 were these. Gostkowski doinking the EP in the third quarter. Edelman's catch, which still was not as impressive as Tyree's helmet catch in SB 46. Any time Brady got hit. Gaga. Malcolm Butler getting juked right out of his jock-strap.
So, Brady wins a fifth ring and fourth SB MVP, of which he actually deserves only 2 of them. So many people are telling me that he is now undeniably the GOAT. Yes, he sure is deniable. What won that game was coaching, game plan, opposition mistake. That was all Darth Belichick, the greatest coach in NFL history. Lombardi, Stram, Hallas, Walsh, Brown, Shula? Amateurs compared to Belichick. He is the GOAT, and Brady is just along for the ride. He's a tool. SB 51 was a great game, but I 'm not buying what the pundits are selling. Let Brady win a game for another coach. Let Brady win a game for an owner who doesn't stink of NFL fan hatred. Then we have a conversation.