The Respect Factor: How Tom Brady’s legacy impacts Eli Manning’s

Eli and Brady

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By: Adam Cohen

   Tom Brady. No doubt a true living legend to the game of professional football. Brady, 37, still continues to produce despite many critics announcing his retirement for him after his Monday night debacle against the Kansas City Chiefs. Numerous amounts of reports called it a career for the legend Tom Brady as the Patriots received a crushing lost. As great players do though, when next week arrived all was but forgotten as Brady and the Patriots handed the Cincinnati Bengals handsomely to bring about new hope for Patriots fans and their followers for the season. The win was a stepping stone that propelled the Patriots all the way to their fourth Super Bowl win on February first against the Legion of Boom (LOB) and the rest of the Seattle Seahawks. The golden boy was yet again at the pinnacle of the football world, and with that brings another player’s legacy to another level too.

A four-time world champion, a feat only Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana were able to accomplish until Brady in Super Bowl 49. One thing (or should I say two) still stands in the way of Brady, Bradshaw, and Montana, and it’s the two Super Bowl losses by the golden boy. Unlike Bradshaw and Montana, who went a perfect 4-0 in Super Bowls, Brady has gone 4-2. Some may say that getting to more Super Bowls with the same amount of wins is more respectable than going a perfect 4-0. Some also may say that going to the Super Bowl is one thing, and winning it is another thing, downplaying the true magnitude of the moment and only giving credit to the player if they win. Eli Manning, if you don’t already know, was able to hand Brady both of his only two Super Bowl loses. Does Eli’s legacy improve due to the fact Brady has won another Super Bowl? Let’s talk about it.

We all know the resumé. The two-time Super Bowl MVP and champion has not only accomplished such a feat that only a number of quarterbacks ever had the chance to experience in their careers but, he has done so against the best. When it comes down to it, professional athletes are judged on how they perform when it matters most (except Peyton Manning for some reason, but that’s a whole other discussion). Eli Manning has not only done it at the highest level, but against the highest talent. When it comes down to it, the more success Brady has, the more respectable and amazing the two Super Bowl wins for Manning will rank.

“Does that mean Giants fans should root for Brady to succeed?” As many will continue to root for Brady, I hope Brady never wins another game in the NFL. If anyone follows New York Giants Memes on Facebook, they would know I strongly dislike #12 of the Patriots (because hate is a strong word). The idea of rooting for a player for reasons that help others legacy is preposterous, at least to me.

One fact still stands true, Eli Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to beat Brady not once, but twice. Those two wins weigh more and are perceived as more respectable as the decorated Giants quarterback was able to lead two outstanding drives at the end of each of the Super Bowls to put the Giants on top of the football world. Fans will never forget the outstanding catch the wide receiver, David Tyree, was able to come down with in outstanding fashion as he came down with ball on his helmet, thanks to a great escape by Eli Manning. At the biggest stage in the NFL, Eli Manning was able to make a play that captured and held together a city. The drive was then completed when Plaxico Burress put the dagger, or should I say the bullet, into the Patriots perfect season. The moment was all too surreal as Eli was now the king of New York.

Eli Manning followed up a story book Super Bowl run in Super Bowl XLIX (42) with another amazing run in Super Bowl XLVI (46). The Super Bowl will forever be remembered by the catch another Giants wide receiver, Mario Manningham, made on the sideline after a beautiful throw by the Giants captain, Eli Manning. Again, Manning was able to accomplish the same task handed to him in the 07-08 season as he handed Brady another Super Bowl loss.

Eli has not only beat Tom Brady, but has done it in such a way that has garnered respect around the league as Brady continues to defy father time and continue his success. The more accolades he receives, the better Eli’s two Super Bowl wins will be respected.

The two will forever be dependent on each others legacies. If Brady were to win another in the coming years, along with me being sick to my stomach if the Brady and the Patriots do so, he would clearly be the best quarterback of all time. Brady is still at the top of the greatest quarterback, and even player, of all time but another ring would seal it. They say the only way to be the best, is to beat the best. Eli’s two wins against arguably the best quarterback ever on the biggest stage in the NFL should suffice for beating the best. But hey, who’s counting?

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