With the Patriots win over the Rams on Sunday in Super Bowl LIII, Tom Brady has now accrued more rings than any other player in NFL history.
He has also tied Michael Jordan’s mark of six championships.
You can rest assured that barber shops around the country are about to ignite with an all-important sports debate: Which GOAT is greater?
Critics will say that’s an impossible question to answer—you can’t compare two athletes who play totally different games! Nonetheless, you know the conversation is going to happen so we’re here to reduce some subjective uncertainty.
Though there’s no way to create a perfectly valid and reliable comparison between Brady and Jordan, we’ve shed light on the debate by breaking down each player’s key numbers. Afterward, we share our (admittedly imperfect) verdict on whose résumé is superior.
In one corner: TB12, the Cali QB who’s become Boston royalty. In the other: His Airness, the iconic No. 23 with the hoop earring. Let’s get ready to rumble.
Jordan: 6 (in 6 appearances)
Brady: 6 (in 9 appearances)
Jordan’s six-for-six mark is holy ground; that record is the main reason some folks won’t even listen to arguments about LeBron James (who’s gone 3-for-9 in the NBA Finals) being basketball’s best of all time. And there’s no short-selling its impressiveness—seriously, who goes six for six in championship matchups?
The question is, should Brady be penalized for getting close but falling short three times? Jordan made the finals in 6-of-15 seasons (.400). Brady has made the Super Bowl in 9-of-19. (.464). It’s ridiculous to penalize a player more so for losing in the championship than, say, the divisional round of the playoffs.
It should also be noted that Brady now possesses the most Super Bowl victories (six) in NFL history, whereas Jordan is tied for 10th (first-place Bill Russell is way ahead with 11).