Sports

Brady: I just want the perfect ending

Opinions divided on whether Patriots quarterback is the G.O.A.T if he wins fifth Super Bowl

With four Super Bowl wins in a career which has spanned 16 seasons, Tom Brady has already earned the right to be regarded as one of the quarterback greats.

Will one more on Monday morning (Singapore time) make him the greatest? It's a subjective question, the answer depending on your definition.

But a growing band of former players and coaches believe Brady will stand alone if he manages to lead the New England Patriots to victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

One more win on Monday morning will take him clear of his boyhood idol Joe Montana and Pittsburgh Steelers great Terry Bradshaw, who also have four Super Bowl rings.

"If Tom wins this game and I never thought I'd say this, he surpasses Joe Montana as the greatest ever," said Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre.

"Right now, he and Joe Montana are a dead heat."

Others say Brady is already firmly into G.O.A.T territory, irrespective of the result.

"I see the greatest quarterback that's ever played the game of professional football," said former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.

"And I don't think he needs to win this Super Bowl to be considered that."

The Baltimore Ravens' two-time Super Bowl winner Ray Lewis agreed.

"People can hate on him, y'all can be mad at him, but he's the best quarterback we've ever seen," Lewis said.

Brady has declined to join the debate on his place in the quarterback pantheon.

"I don't think anything about 'personal legacy'," said Brady.

"Those words never even come out of my mouth unless I've repeated them.

"Those things have never been important to me."

Instead, Brady has maintained a singular focus on the job in hand as he aims to crown a season which began with a four-game suspension, following the Deflategate saga with the sweetest revenge of all.

Brady's simmering feud with National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell over the affair has provided the most alluring subplot of this year's Super Bowl.

Brady insists he has put Deflategate behind him, saying that loyalty to his teammates - rather than exacting revenge on Goodell - is his priority.

"This is my motivation - these fellows right in front of me," Brady said after the Patriots destroyed the Steelers to seal their place in the Super Bowl two weeks ago.

"We'll see if we can write the perfect ending."

Theismann believes Brady's ability to thrive at the hub of vastly different Patriots teams is what sets him apart as the greatest.

"If you look at everybody on the New England Patriots who has played with Tom Brady, it's almost like a turnstile," said Theismann.

"Guys come, guys go. Everything changes. Except one thing - Tom." - AFP

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