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Someday, Tom Brady will hang up the cleats and be remembered for being one of the greatest quarterbacks we ever have and ever will see, despite being selected with the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
But when that day does come, the final score of Super Bowl XLVI may ultimately be the deciding factor in how he is remembered â win or lose.
Yes, the two time league and Super Bowl MVP has already been the man under center to lead New England to three world championships in his first four years as the starter. Thereâs no doubt that this is leaps and bounds above what the majority of quarterbacks in this league would ever dream of accomplishing.
However, after losing to them in Super Bowl XLII, another loss to Eli Manning and the New York Giants may eventually make a remembrance of Bradyâs days in the NFL look like a tale of two careers â only if he fails to win another ring over the final years of his career, of course. Fans and analysts of the game would certainly still agree that he had an outstanding career once itâs over, but would immediately question his inability to make it back to the top after such remarkable success from the get-go.
The notion of âWhat if?â is something to be considered with a loss in Indianapolis, as well. In the scenario that Brady once again falls short to Eli and never leads his team back to the top of the mountain, one of the first things that people will bring up during his induction into Canton is chatter about what he could have potentially accomplished. Theyâll bring up points like, âWhat if he had won those two Super Bowls against Eli and won five? Would he be undoubtedly be the greatest ever?â
On the other hand, a victory in this game would at least open the door that begins comparisons to former 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana no matter what happens during the rest of Bradyâs time in the league. Montana and former Steeler Terry Bradshaw are the only quarterbacks to have ever won four Super Bowls during their illustrious careers, but of the two, Montana has historically received more recognition for being a winner than Bradshaw. Brady wants nothing more than to join an exclusive class that includes the man he idolized growing up in California â Montana.
Brady is well aware of what this one game could potentially mean for him on an individual standpoint, and it will be very interesting to see how that affects his performance on Sunday.