Tom Brady has done it again.
The future Hall of Famer won his seventh career Super Bowl on Sunday to officially etch his name in NFL history as the greatest quarterback to ever live. It doesn’t matter what jersey he’s wearing. It doesn’t matter what personnel he has around him. Hell, it doesn’t even matter how old the guy is (43 going on 23). Brady will continue to rack up Super Bowls until he decides he’s tired of winning them.
Following his NFL-record seventh championship, Brady has now vaulted himself into the debate about the greatest athlete of all time. Seven rings are unprecedented in the NFL, but there’s still plenty of athletes who have more bling in their jewelry boxes than Brady.
Tom Brady establishes himself as the GOAT
If there was ever a doubt before Sunday night, Tom Brady silenced his critics and established himself as the undisputed greatest quarterback of all time by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 201 yards and three touchdowns Sunday night. He didn’t commit a single turnover in the game, and the Buccaneers went on to route the Chiefs, 31-9.
The win brought Brady’s career Super Bowl count to seven, which is the most in the history of the NFL. No one else in league history has more than five. But Brady’s seven titles pale in comparison to the winningest championship athletes of all time.
Brady isn’t even close to the winningest athlete in team sports
After winning his seventh Super Bowl, Brady has now passed Michael Jordan in career championships, which has opened the door for conversations about the QB being named the greatest athlete to ever live. But Brady isn’t even close to the winningest athlete of all time. Let’s see who has him beat, shall we?
It’s hard to start a championship debate without first mentioning Bill Russell. The NBA Hall of Famer won 11 titles in 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, which is tied for the most in any professional team sport. Henri Richard, who played 20 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, won 11 Stanley Cups as well.
Sam Jones, who played alongside Russell in Boston, won 10 titles with the team, while Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Tom Sanders, and John Havlicek all won eight during the Celtics’ reign.
The leader in the clubhouse in the MLB is Yogi Berra, who won 10 World Series trophies in a career with the New York Yankees that covered three decades. Joe DiMaggio, Berra’s teammate on the Yankees for six seasons, won nine. Four other Yankees won eight World Series’ themselves.
The winningest athletes of all time
It’s almost impossible to compare individual success in team sports to the same success in one-on-one sports, but we’re going to do it anyway.
Enter Serena Williams and her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most in tennis history for both men and women. Or how about Michael Phelps and his record 28 Olympic medals, including 23 golds? Jack Nicklaus also won 18 major championships during his PGA Tour career.
Obviously, it’s not fair to compare Brady’s seven championships to these athletes. After all, they can win multiple titles in a single year, whereas Brady only had one chance per season. We might never be able to come up with a consensus pick for the greatest athlete to ever live, but Brady has surely put his hat in the ring after winning his seventh Super Bowl.