We’ve all suffered in some way during the past year. Whether we’ve lost a loved one to the COVID-19 pandemic, struggled with our mental health or missed out on special opportunities due to the virus, everyone has dealt with some kind of negativity. That’s why now more than ever, we really need to appreciate the positive things in life, no matter how small or irrelevant they may be.
A great example for sports fans is the Super Bowl this Sunday. Despite everything that’s happened since last year’s Super Bowl, we still get to enjoy watching the NFL’s two top teams battle for a championship. Not only that, but we get to see what could go down as the greatest Super Bowl quarterback matchup of all time.
In the previous 54 renditions of the Super Bowl, there have been some all-time greats paired up. Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach battled in two memorable Super Bowls in the 70s, X and XIII. At the peak of their careers, Joe Montana and Dan Marino squared off in Super Bowl XIX. John Elway vs. Brett Favre in Super Bowl XXXII was one of the best matchups ever. In more recent memory, Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV and Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX are the ones that stand out the most.
But I’m not sure any of those are quite as good as what we’re going to see on Sunday in Super Bowl LV, when Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. On one side, you have the greatest quarterback of all time, who is still performing at a very high level at 43 years old. On the other side, you have the best quarterback in football right now, who is just coming into his prime at 25 years old. In addition, you have the last two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl squaring up for the first time ever.
This is truly a historic matchup. Brady is the greatest quarterback ever – what he’s been able to do this season at 43 with a brand new team to get to his 10th Super Bowl only confirms that. Mahomes has had the best start to a career in NFL history, winning an MVP and a Super Bowl in his first two seasons as a starter. Now, he’s back in the big game for a second straight year looking to be the first quarterback to repeat as champion since … Tom Brady with the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004. Perhaps the craziest part is that Mahomes was just nine years old when Brady accomplished that feat.
This is the ultimate generational battle that I don’t believe we’ve ever really seen in any sport. The current GOAT against the potential future GOAT. This is the equivalent of if Michael Jordan played a little bit longer and somehow matched up against LeBron James in the Finals. That obviously never happened, but we’re basically getting the football equivalent of that this Sunday.
What’s crazy about this matchup is that although there is an 18-year age difference between these guys, both are playing damn close to the top of their games. Sure, Mahomes is clearly the best in the league right now, but Brady isn’t too far behind. Brady may not be in his prime anymore, but he’s playing as close to his prime as any athlete I’ve ever seen in their 21st season.
The storylines truly write themselves for this game. If Brady and the Bucs win, the story will be that Brady isn’t giving up his stranglehold on the league just yet, and that he’s on top of his sport at 43 – something we’ve never really seen before besides Tiger Woods at the Masters a couple of years ago. If Mahomes and the Chiefs win, the game takes on more of a “passing of the torch” narrative where Mahomes officially supplants Brady as the best quarterback in the game. While most people – especially those who are sick of Brady – are probably hoping for the second outcome, I’m here for either one. I just want a fun game.
The storylines are there. Now, the game itself just has to live up to them. The Super Bowl is weird because sometimes the greatest matchups on paper don’t end up being that great. The Montana-Marino Bowl was kind of a dud, and when Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly faced off in two straight Super Bowls, neither game was really competitive.
I don’t believe that will happen in this game though. Every time Brady and Mahomes have played each other, it’s been a really good game that comes down to the wire. I don’t expect this one to be any different.
This has all the makings of being one of the best Super Bowls of all time, and during a time where there isn’t too much to be excited about, I sure as hell am excited about this.