The day is finally here! With the NFL season finally coming to a close, there’s only one question left on everybody’s mind: who’s to win it all??
On one side we have the GOAT, an eternal force of nature, heralded as perhaps the greatest quarterback to ever live. A man so relentless in his pursuit of massive rings, that even Liberace would blush… The stuff of legend, as proficient at tossing touchdowns as he is at kissing his son on the lips. Of course we mean Tom Brady.
On the other side stands the KID, as in the baby GOAT. And yes, I know the title of “soon ti be greatest” gets thrown around carelessly these days… in fact, I can still remember when it belonged to a fresh faced Aaron Rodgers, and even (dare O say it?) Big Ben, after his early run of success. But things are different now. Under the tutelage of andy Reid, the master walruss himself, the sky seems to be the limit as to what this Mahomes wunderkind can achieve.
So let’s ask again: Who’s to win it all?
1) It Starts With the Brand:
Mahomes is constantly trying to sell me insurance, Brady is constantly selling me the NFL. His quintessential “plucky goof who battled against all the odds, even though nobody believed in him, and grinded his way to the top through pure, competitive spirit” is the entire reason people identify with the sport. The NFL knows he’s locked in as a bonafide star with millions of loyal lackeys… they need a successor, cuz he’s reaching middle age. This entire event is a giant “passing the torch ceremony” to ensure future ratings.
2) Home Field Advantage:
Remember when Tommy boy was busted for yet another scandal (deflategate) and missed 4 games, a few seasons ago? Yeah, he still filled his contract of 16 matches by making the playoffs and going on a superbowl run. Is it really such a coincidence that Gronk pops out of retirement to join him on yet another “improbable” run this year? Players know where they will have a shot at a championship, because the NFL narratives are created during the offseason. That’s why LA made a superbowl after relocating, and Atlanta did too after getting a new (read “taxpayer-funded”) stadium: fanbase creation/appeasement. So what’s the best way to get asses in seats during a global pandemic? Reduce the need for travel. Now, only KC fans need to move around.
3) The GOAT Debate:
The only way to have any semblance of a debate is if Brady gets lauded as the fallen hero, having dragged his team to the Superbowl, only to fall to other worldly-talent. That polishes both their credentials while giving all the talking heads enough fodder to weather the off-season
4) The Chase:
Chances are, Mahomes and Brady won’t meet again in the Superbowl, and that will mean if KC loses, it will be hard to ever “get even”. As for the rings, Brady will have 7, Mahomes 1… Kinda kills the “any given Sunday” competition that the NFL clearly wants (why else expand the playoffs?).
At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is you, the prospective viewer. Do you care? Or more precisely, do you want to care? Because the NFL wants ratings and will always give the fans what they want. Do you really want Brady to be crowned King? If the only people tuning in are watching cuz they love TB12 and the Bucs, then I’m wrong and so be it. But we have the feeling The NFL wants to juice as much attention as it can. Next season will be all about Brady’s revenge. P.S. Never forget that the NFL is legally considered “entertainment”. That’s why they say “Thank you for watching this presentation…” You can always research the jets fan who tried to sue the league after spygate, to get his season tickets refunded. they told him his tickets were validated, cuz he in fact went and saw the show. The show happened. There’s no legal or financial incentive to not script games to make them more entertaining.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived – UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil – and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey – a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.