It’s official, Tom Brady is best NFL quarterback, ever.
He is the only quarterback in NFL history to win 5 Super Bowls. And yes, this is the icing on the cake when you consider the many accomplishments he has made throughout his storied career.
While it may sound strange, I’m less of a fan of Tom Brady than I am of the winning spirit. I am always fascinated by the complex persona that accompanies the title, best ever. Brady is a perfect example. All great leaders (including athletes) have their character flaws. Tom Brady is no exception, he isn’t perfect. Yet, why do people hate him? He seems to be a good husband, father, and teammate. He hasn’t been in trouble with the law. If its deflategate, give me a break, that is a convenient excuse.
I have my own theory... Haters hate because it’s easy. That’s right, it’s far easier to hate as an armchair quarterback than to put in the work that earns a person the title best ever. So, is it really hate? Not at all. Hate is simply the emotion that often masks jealously. Those haters don’t really hate Tom Brady, they only hate the idea that someone else has the fierce determination to be the best ever. Brady is in the business of winning football games, period. He doesn’t get caught up in the nonsense, he is just laser focused on his job.
So, what are those intangibles that set the haters and the best ever apart? Here are just a few that stand out:
It’s easier to hate… when the best ever is obsessed with the fundamentals. Tim Tebow once said of Brady, “He (Brady) never thinks of himself as a finished product. It’s never done, he’s always getting better, and that’s a special quality. That’s why he’s so great.” Tebow went on to say that Brady would become almost fanatical at practice about the most mundane aspects of his game. For example, he would constantly work on his three-step drop. How do you plant your back foot, the step, the stride, the follow through. Brady would repeat each step until it was absolutely perfect, over, and over, and over again.
It’s easier to hate… when the best ever has an unmatched competitive edge. Darrelle Revis, a former teammate from the New England Patriots, went as far as to describe Brady’s competitive drive as a “sickness”. Revis said, I think he (Brady) has a sickness of just being very competitive and wanting that edge all the time, and wanting to destroy his opponents. When you’re here every day with him and you see how he works, man, it’s like, wow, I see why he’s so successful because of how he approaches the game every day.” Brady’s relentless drive is the cornerstone to his greatness. It raises his performance and that of everyone around him - coaches, teammates, etc. That’s very powerful when you consider the exponential impact.
It’s easier to hate… when the best ever has to overcome incredible odds. At the start of 4th quarter in Super Bowl 51, the New England Patriots had a 2% chance of winning. Did that detour the best ever? Absolutely not. As a an observer, it was incredible to watch Brady’s discipline and composure. When most of us would have easily given up, Brady pressed ahead. He lead his team to victory with 31 unanswered points. That is remarkable. It was as if he was willing himself to victory. Never shaken or rattled. Always intently focused on the mission. One play at a time.
So, what do you think? I have no doubt that I will have my own critics with this theory. That is perfectly ok, I expect it. However, there is one thing you cannot deny, like him or not, Brady has the intangibles to be the best. That should be the general takeaway in life or in business. Set a goal. Accept your flaws. Ignore the critics. Go to work. You might not be the next Tom Brady, but you certainly won’t find yourself as a hater.