Tom Brady, the QB. Wow. Dude is 43 and now has seven rings. Seven. And a résumé highlight of beating the half-a-billion-dollar gunslinger in the gunslinger's prime. Apparently Brady hates the sound of the 'GOAT' tag for some reason, but simply put, is there any other way to describe him at this point.
Tom Brady, the GM. Yeah, Brady was the MVP — and while we we're talking props, not pulling out a Peter Gabriel-sized Sledgehammer on Brady MVP was a mistake — look at the boxscore and see if you can see a common theme. Yes, while Brady was the notable offseason addition to the Tampa Bay roster, everyone who found the end zone last night came to the Bucs because Brady was there. It's truly one of the most underrated parts of the Pats' dynasty, the knowledge that playing with Brady gives you a Super Bowl shot, and veterans were willing to take less — and put up with Belichick and the Foxboro weather — for that shot. That's truly invaluable, even for the most valuable player ever.
Todd Bowles. While everyone was falling all over themselves to make a deal about how racist the hiring process is in the NFL because Eric Bieniemy still doesn't have an HC job, they may want to look around. Bieniemy was no better than the third-best Black coordinator on the field Sunday night — Byron Leftwich was smoking as the Bucs OC too — and Bowles' effort before and during the game was nothing short of a virtuoso. After the Chiefs wrecked the Bucs in the regular season, Bowles took a Belichick page and was going to have someone other than Tyreek Hill be the difference. Now consider this: While Brady's going to get and deserve all the accolades he gets today and in the days, weeks, and years to come, Bowles' D just bounced a QB trio of Brees, Rodgers and Mahomes in successive weeks to lift the Lombardi. (Side note: Awkward alert, but here is a video of the postgame Zoom in which a reporter thinks Leftwich is Bowles. Ouch-standing.)
Eric Fisher. Yeah, this is certainly not the way the former No. 1 overall pick wanted to make the list, but without Fisher — who tore his Achilles in the playoffs and missed the Super Bowl — that Chiefs' offensive line was ransacked.
Tony Romo. Simply put, you want to listen to Romo talk about football, and if we are speaking of value, well, that's worth a whole lot of coins.
Vegas. Just about everyone everywhere screamed about the Chiefs -3 and over the 56. Which of course led us to the Bucs rolling and the game being 16 points under. Monday's numbers showed 80 percent of the money on the Chiefs and the over. CHA-ching.
Super Bowl losers
Andy Reid. Hard to imagine dealing with all of what's in his world right now. That said, many prayers to the families of those kids involved the nightmare car wreck caused by Reid's son and Chiefs assistant coach Brett Reid.
Patrick Mahomes. Hey, QBs get too much credit when they win and somehow not enough blame when they lose. And if you want to throw Bieniemy in this conversation, fine, because when it becomes clear to everyone from Romo to Rona Barrett ('Dro, ask your parents) could see pass protection was an issue, why didn't the short-passing game become more of a priority? And, understandably or not, Mahomes let the rush affect him to the point that he was not reading the secondary, he was reacting to the rush first.
TV commercials. Lots to unload here. There were some good ones. Loved the Indeed jobs commercial and the Toyota commercial; with the paralympic swimmer — I'm not crying, you're crying — and liked the Will Ferrell GM commercial that turned Norway into a nemesis. (Side question: Is that how far we have fallen as a superpower? We're picking on Norway now?) I also liked the themed run of Paramount — should have used a 5-iron was especially nice — and a few others. That said, the vast majority were blah-tactic or worse. (Side question, part II: Asking for a few million friends, but how can you use Bruce Springsteen who is left of Chas in a call for unity commercial? The words in the Jeep ad were strong, but having the Boss was a mistake.) I thought the Jason Alexander hoodie was blah, the flat Matthew McConaughey was blah, and the trend of releasing the ads online has sucked the anticipation out of the commercial breaks. And the Stephen Colbert commercial where we heard him slurp wings was just gross. (Also, I wrote about the announcement that Budweiser and Coke and Pepsi among others decided not to advertise, but then there were a slew of commercials for Budweiser-owned products right there among them. Not one way or the other, just kind of surprised me.)
Father time. Brady continues to win rounds and land body shots against the undefeated champion of champions. Yes, Father Time will win in the end, but right now Brady is churning up points.
Bill Belichick. Simply put, his legacy took the biggest dent its ever seen Sunday night. More than cheating, more than spying, more than not making the playoffs that year when Brady hurt his knee in the opener back in the day.
Elsewhere in sports
> Let's celebrate the Braves. Whether they were pushed to sign Marcel Ozuna because the Dodgers just dropped stacks of cash in Trevor Bauer's hands or not, Atlanta inking Ozuna to hit behind Freeman and bring joy to the clubhouse is a win for all of us who need the Braves to be relevant as a summer backdrop. War Braves' front office. (And yes, Alex Anthopolous is a dude.)
> Let's celebrate parity and new faces across college basketball. Because, gang, we are staring at a very real possibility that when the AP poll is released today, UNC, Kansas, Duke and UK will be unranked. And in truth, they shouldn't be ranked either.
> Let's celebrate and tip the visor to the recent Hall of Fame class in the NFL, which included first-ballot guys Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson and Charles Woodson. Not sure which is more ironic, that Manning and Woodson were in the same class and again linked or that Brady again stole the show from Manning all things considered. And yes, that Brady-Manning is one of the greatest rivalries ever and then Manning goes into the Hall while Brady wins another Super Bowl MVP is an unbelievable statement among a river of unbelievable statements about TB12.
> Let's celebrate the greatness that Luka Doni is. Know this. There are just a few true alpha dogs who can win you a title, and Doni is on that list. (The 1980s movie Lucas, friend or foe.)
> Let's celebrate the NFL. Seriously. Through the craziest 11 months of all of our lives, there was nothing more reliable and relatable than NFL Sundays.
This and that
— No one calls a streaker like radio play-by-play guy Kevin Harlan, who noted "Pull up your pants, take off your bra and act like a man" during last night's Super Bowl streaking incident. Couple of things: On the business end, the streaker allowed CBS to get an extra commercial in, which = $5 million; As Jim Nantz said, it was arguably the best run of the night; Hope Harden doesn't become the focus of the They/Their folks for his diction.
— One more Super Bowl tidbit: The pregame show on CBS that featured the emotional side stories about players and parents and all the front-line workers were very well done. More times than not, those sappy stories run thin in my view, but this year in this event — and I'm ready to elect Amanda Gorman to just about any office she wishes to run for — this was the way to do it. And they did it exceedingly well.
— One more crazy Brady stat: In its history from 1976 to 2019 before Brady, the Bucs had one title, one playoff road win and 10 total passing TDs. In Brady's one season with the Bucs, he produced one title, three playoff road wins and 10 passing TDs. Soak that one in.
— One final Super Bowl tidbit: Our props contest is under review right now because I thought Nantz' tie was pink, but I am looking for an official Vegas ruling to be certain. Will update the results later today. Deal? Deal.
— Nice win for the UT Vols in Rupp on Saturday night. Two things that popped out to me: One, UT-UK got the prime time slot over UNC-Duke, which was truly interesting. Second, the gap between UT and UK in terms of talent was pretty staggering. Here's more from TFP all-around SEC savant David Paschall.
— Sad news that ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez died over the weekend. He was 58.
— Not sure if you saw this, but according to this story Morgan Wallen's sales skyrocketed after the video of his profane and racist outburst was released.
Super Bowl thoughts? Go.
Super Bowl commercials? Go.
As for Multiple Choice Monday, we covered the Brady as the GOAT across all sports last week, but it's crossing all the national headlines after Sunday's Super showing.
So, who is the best (all of it, skill set, résumé, rings, all of it)?
> Tom Brady;
> Michael Jordan;
> Wayne Gretzky
> Babe Ruth.
As for today, Feb. 8, let's review. Not much to tell you the truth.
Rushmore of best accomplishments for a pro athlete in his 40s. Go, and two of them are no-brainers.