Brady Matches Celtics’ Russell As Boston’s All-Time Gold Standard Face Of A Champion

I am old enough to have seen the unparalleled excellence of Bill Russell on television and in the flesh in Boston Garden for much of his illustrious career while leading the Boston Celtics to eight NBA titles in a row and 11 in his 13-year career, ending with back-to-back NBA Finals wins over the favored Los Angeles Lakers, both series clinched in L.A.

I covered Larry Bird for The Salem Evening News for most of his amazing career with the Celtics and John Havlicek in his post-Russell years, which earned the Bouncing Buckeye from Ohio State two additional NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. I even covered the graceful Bobby Orr when he sparked the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup in three years in 1972.

Every other modern Boston sports legend I’ve watched from a distance, including Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Ray Bourque.

They all, except for Russell, must now take a backseat to one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, quarterback extraordinaire,  owner of four Super Bowl championships and three Super Bowl MVP awards.

You can find his astonishing records, regular season, post-season and Super Bowl, elsewhere. But I was compelled to make the declaration that Brady and Russell are without peer as Boston sporting heroes. They both have had wonderful supporting casts, but Brady’s accomplishments probably are superior to Russell’s because Big Bill had so many more all-star and Hall of Fame performers playing alongside him; far more than Brady.

Moreover, Brady, now 37, has, as of last night’s heart-stopping 28-24 victory over the classless Seahawks, matched Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only QBs in NFL history with four Super Bowl wins.

Even with his impressive supporting cast, Brady’s singular ¬†performances in the playoffs, especially the Super Bowl, place him on a lofty pedestal. Thiry-four, forty-five and now twenty-eight points scored in the three playoff games this month and last. Eye-popping, particularly in throwing four touchdowns to four different receivers (a first) against Seattle.

Let’s just hope we’ve got a few more years to continue marvelling at Brady’s phenomenal career. Sounds like Tom wants to play into his forties. Sounds great to me.

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