Thursday Thoughts: Brady’s seven Super Bowls doesn’t make him the GOAT

It’s another Thursday Thoughts, and talking to New England Patriots fans you’d think most of them had been Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans their whole lives, with many I’ve heard from saying it was the first Super Bowl that the Patriots weren’t in that they watched every minute of. Not me, though. I barely watched ten minutes of the game. I spent most of Sunday night watching Perry Mason on HBO Max. I couldn’t have cared less who won or lost the game, and I knew anything worth seeing would be shown over and over again. What I did care about didn’t need me watching.

The score.

I was in a few squares pools for the game, mostly for short dollars. I was in one big one that I really care about, for an amount I won’t put into writing in case prying eyes read this blog. With no Patriots in the game that was the only thing I cared about, but wasn’t thrilled about my prospects with Bucs 1/Chiefs 6. Even with getting money for score changes and neighboring squares, I needed something unexpected to happen because Tampa Bay running out to a 21-0 lead before allowing a Kansas City touchdown seemed a bit far fetched. So did the Chiefs only getting two field goals against three Bucs’ touchdowns, but there it was. And then to have the half end 21-6 was something I didn’t expect.

And my experience isn’t unique. The NFL has always embraced gambling, which is the entire reason their injury report exists. Sure they used to pretend they didn’t like the gamblers, but the people running the show at the NFL know how many eyes are watching their games just because of people wagering on the contests. And the more eyes watching means more money to each team in television revenue. This is why the NBA jumped at the chance to be a part of online wagering on their games. They understand the simple formula of eyes watching equalling money, and
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was at the forefront of the issue, even penning an op-ed in The New York Times late in 2014.

Fantasy sports have also been huge in driving fans to watch the games, and with fantasy players usually having multiple teams it means they’re watching every single game they can see to help track their players. Once again the NFL was at the forefront of the issue, knowing that anything that raises ratings also raises revenue. Of course, it didn’t take long for people to monetize fantasy football, turning it into another way fans can gamble on football. Sports are all about money, and lucky for me I’ve got some coming to me all because of the numbers one and six.

And by the way, if you get a chance, watch Perry Mason.

Local Collegiate Results
In Women’s hockey on Friday night, the Holy Cross Crusaders hosted #3 Northeastern at the Hart Center and it was all Huskies in the 8-0 contest. Worcester Academy alumna Miceala Sindoris had an assist for Northeastern. In Men’s hockey, Becker returned to the ice but showed lots of rust in a 4-1 loss to Franklin Pierce at the Worcester Ice Center.

Saturday night saw the same score between the Becker and Franklin Pierce Men’s hockey teams, but this time it was the Hawks coming out on top 4-1 at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena in Winchendon, Massachusetts. Becker junior Jason Diamond scored a pair of goals and freshman Andrew LoRusso picked up the win in his first career start. The schools’ Women’s hockey teams did battle at the Worcester Ice Center, where the Hawks ended up on the wrong end of a 6-1 final. In her first career collegiate game, Ravens freshman Jenna Ruiz had a hat trick. The Holy Cross women headed to Matthews Arena to complete their home and home against #3 Northeastern and got walloped 12-0. The Huskies are undefeated in their last 13 games and have not allowed a goal in six straight contests. Worcester Academy alumna Miceala Sindoris had two helpers for Northeastern.

In basketball on Saturday, the Holy Cross women posted a 61-49 victory over Army West Point at the Hart Center. Freshman guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy led all scorers with 15 points, and junior forward Oluchi Ezemma had a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds). Junior guard Avery LaBarbera also finished in double figures with 10 points while chipping in six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. The Crusaders held Army to just 1-of-17 shooting from 3-point range.

On Sunday the Becker Woman’s hockey team was pummeled by Franklin Pierce 8-1 at Jason Ritchie Ice Arena. Ravens sophomore Stefanie Caban, from Fitchburg, Massachusettes, capped off the scoring with a late third-period goal. The Holy Cross Women’s basketball team didn’t fare much better as dropped at 60-42 contest against Army at West Point. Army head coach Dave Magarity, the father of Holy Cross head coach Maureen Magarity, earned the win over his daughter in the final regular-season home game of his career, as he is set to retire following the 2020-21 season. The Crusaders finish the regular-season series against the Black Knights at 3-1.

Boston Teams This Week
Toronto @ Celtics 7:30
Bruins @ NY Rangers, 7pm
Detroit @ Celtics, 8pm
Bruins @ NY Islanders, 7pm
Celtics @ Washington, 1pm
Denver @ Celtics, 7pm
Atlanta @ Celtics, 7pm

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Friday Nick Saracino goal
(No video of his first goal)

Friday Spencer Asuchak goal

Friday Brodie Reid goal

Friday Barclay Goodrow two goals

Friday Matt Nieto goal

Friday Logan Couture goal

Friday Thomas Greiss save

Saturday Nic Pierog two goals

Saturday Brodie Reid goal

Saturday Logan Couture goal

Tuesday Yanni Gourde goal

Tuesday Logan Couture goal

Wednesday Willie Raskob goal

Wednesday Ben Thompson goal

Brady was already the greatest NFL quarterback
Odds are if you’re reading this post you already knew that Tom Brady was the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL long before Sunday’s Super Bowl win. His seventh NFL championship, which is the most ever and an incredibly impressive achievement, isn’t the thing that makes him the GOAT. People seem to equate championships with being the greatest at their sport, but as it turns out that’s not the thing that gets someone called the best at what they do.

Anyone think Bill Russell is the best basketball player ever? He’s got 11 NBA championships in just 13 seasons, so of course he was great, but you won’t see very many people seriously arguing he’s the greatest basketball player ever. Michael Jordan, who is considered the best ever, only has six NBA titles, and that’s ranked tenth all-time. Heck, Robert Horry and Jim Loscutoff each have seven NBA titles and I don’t see many saying either of them belongs in the Hall of Fame, never mind people saying they were great players.

How about hockey? Henri Richard won the Stanley Cup 11 times. Is he the greatest hockey player ever? Of course not. Wayne Gretzky, who most outside of New England considered to be the greatest player ever, only has four. That ranks him tied for 51st in NHL history. Even if you voted for Bobby Orr as the greatest ever, he only has two Stanley Cups. Montreal Canadiens winger Claude Provost has nine Cup wins but isn’t in the Hall of Fame. Anyone think he’s a great player?

Let’s look at baseball. Yogi Berra won the World Series ten times. He’s one of the game’s greats, but you won’t find anyone calling him the greatest ever. Twelve players have won seven or more World Series, and what’s probably not shocking about that is all of them played for the New York Yankees at some point in their careers. You know what might shock people? Four of them aren’t even in the Hall of Fame, and in fact, none of the four came remotely close to being on the ballot for the maximum number of years.

Sure, winning championships is part of what it takes to become the GOAT of your sport. I can’t think of any sport where the person called the greatest hasn’t won their championship at least occasionally. But as you can see it’s not the only thing. So what makes someone the greatest?

The answer is obvious — they’re just better at it than everyone else.

When you watch highlights of games that Gretzky played in, you don’t have to know much about the sport of hockey to see he’s better than everyone else around him. That’s the same with Jordan, with whomever you want to call baseball’s greatest player, and with Brady. Their abilities just stand out in comparison to others. Now baseball is a touch different because it’s generally an individual sport played as a team, but for football, basketball, and hockey the players considered the GOATS of their sports all have the same thing in common: they made the players surrounding them better.

Put Gretzky on the ice with average hockey players on his line and those guys are going to give the other team fits, and the same is true with Jordan and four average NBA players on the court with him. And while all of the GOATS had some great players on their teams we all know what happens when Brady has just average skill players on the field with him…

…he wins Super Bowls.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Super Bowl LV prop bets

Not so big finish
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