Who is the greatest of all time?
This discussion and debate could last for eternity, but there are always the same names that are brought up. For football, the names of Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Peyton Manning come to mind. And of course, Joe Montana and Tom Brady.
When those last two are brought into these GOAT talks, who is truly the best between the two? Montana himself was asked the question in a recent interview with The Athletic.
"I don’t think you can answer that question. Because the game’s so different. You can talk about when I played, but even before I played. There are guys back there where you could basically almost tackle a guy off the line of scrimmage … I don’t know how you can compare guys of my era to that era, and how he would have played in this era. And how does a guy like Marino — holy crap — how does he play in this era?"
This makes sense in just about any sport. The game is ever-changing and not every athlete can say they've played through each era -- especially in a sport like football that has such a short shelf life.
For now, both of them are three-time All-Pros with a résumé filled to the brim with accomplishments including multiple Super Bowl wins, 22 Pro Bowl's between the two of them, and just about any other prestigious football award you can imagine.
And the stats -- whew boy!
Brady, so far in his career, posts 70,514 passing yards with 517 touchdowns across 18 seasons and he's led the league multiple times in passing yards, touchdowns, and low interception percentage -- just to name a few.
And Montana ...
In his 15-year career, he tallied 40,551 yards with 273 touchdowns and also led the league in major quarterback categories.
It's easy to see the numbers are more prominent with Brady, but the Patriots QB has more years to his career (I didn't have to tell you that, you know how to do the math) and like Montana said, it's a different game now. He even mentioned the monetary value these guys are worth makes him want to "play tomorrow."
Could Brady be able to post those numbers in the same era as Joe Cool? Unfortunately, we'll never know.
And since we will never know, we can still have fun wondering.