Los Angeles (AFP)
In the Hall of Fame of the greatest American athletes in history, Tom Brady, winner of his 7th Super Bowl, holds a title better than Michael Jordan in the NBA, a special place due to his lifetime in a physically demanding discipline.
A professional career in American football lasts an average of 3 years and 4 months. For Brady, 21 years ago, almost half of his life – he has 43 feathers – he continues to write his legend in gold letters, despite the around 150 injured, some serious, especially in the knee, not to mention concussion, this ailment which sometimes destroys more than careers.
His work ethic, his healthy lifestyle, his talent, the science of the game, his thirst for victory, explain many things, but not all. It is this incredible mystery that makes “Terrific Tom” rejuvenate and improve as he plays. With him, which lasts rhyme with winning, that is what makes him unique.
His last four titles were 37, 39, 41 and 43 years old, of all ages, rarely those who stay active, and even less often those who continue to shine.
– James still going –
Michael Jordan, considered by many in the United States to be “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time, the great of all time), because he won the six finals played with Chicago by squirting them with all his talent – all by allow himself a hook in baseball between his two triplets (1991/1992/1993 and then 1996/1997/1998) – was 35 years old during his last coronation. When he retired in 2001, he played the last two seasons in Washington without regaining his fantastic past.
“So Jordan has 6 rings and Brady 7. Now it’s safe to say Brady’s the GOAT to the GOATS,” said former player Donte Stallworth, who has become a TV consultant.
Another basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, has better married success and longevity, winning at 41, his sixth title in the NBA, the fifth with the Lakers, 17 years after his first with Milwaukee. Two decades of knowledge of the summits.
The other player to enter the discussion in the NBA is obviously LeBron James, who, like Brady, played ten finals, with a 4th ring threaded at the end of the year at the age of 35 last year. However, he also shows an impressive physical shape, a game that still sparkles and an unchanging desire to play.
In the mythology of American sports, two other great figures stand out. In baseball, Babe Ruth is regarded as the best of all time, as much for his seven World Series titles (between 1915 and 1932), as for his records and his genius at bat and pitch.
– Serena Williams, Queen of the Courts –
In ice hockey, Canadian Wayne Gretzky has the same status, with unbeatable records and four Stanley Cups raised with Edmonton in his twenty-year career, again in a sport considered violent.
In individual sports, it is obviously “the greatest”, “the greatest”, as he described himself, Mohamed Ali, Olympic boxing champion and then world champion on several occasions after legendary fights.
Carl Lewis (nine titles in athletics) and Michael Phelps (23 gold medals in swimming) made their mark at the Olympics, and Serena Williams is applying for the title of the greatest tennis player in history, with her 23 major titles, a unit outside Australian Margaret Court’s record.
In golf, it’s hard not to think of Tiger Woods, a genius so premature that he got lost along the way between setbacks and injuries, but who made a comeback in 2019, after ten years of crossing the desert, by winning his 15 major at Masters at 43.
The American is chasing the record of Jack Nicklaus, who won his 18th and final Grand Slam at 46.
An age that will not necessarily be the retirement life for Brady.
“Of course I’ll be back,” promised the quarterback on Sunday night, who repeatedly said he wanted to play at least until he was 45 years old.
© 2021 AFP