Will there ever be a time when it is finally agreed upon that Tom Brady is the undisputed greatest quarterback of all time without someone trying to diminish, eliminate, or argue about his career and why someone else is better?
It's been a consistent debate since he accomplished more than any other quarterback has ever in the history of the National Football League. When he led the Patriots to their first three Super Bowl wins, naysayers said he hadn't surpassed Joe Montana because the legendary 49er had won four in his career.
Then, when Brady won his fourth Lombardi, people disqualified him as a GOAT contender because Montana was 4-0 in Super Bowls, and at that point, Brady was 4-2.
When Brady went on to win his fifth, sixth, and even seventh championship, then came the criticism of him "always having an elite team, especially defenses," and he "had the luxury of having a legendary head coach for most of his career," which created an unfair advantage.
On top of that came the argument that playing in the AFC East meant he had the easiest road to the playoffs of any other quarterback, which those screaming this seemed to ignore that the reason for that was because of how good Brady was with the Patriots. That's why the division was never that great. It's a talking point that Alex Smith even mentioned just two weeks ago as he went on national television to discredit Brady's career yet again.
Now that he has retired, the new way non-Brady fans have attempted to eliminate him from the GOAT talk is by talking up what Patrick Mahomes has done throughout his six years as the Chiefs starter.
Of course, he is an incredible quarterback and likely the best of his generation. His pairing with Andy Reid, plus four years with the best receiver (Tyreek Hill) and tight end (Travis Kelce) in the game, has made his path to winning two Super Bowls look easy. Not to mention, his career statistics prove he is an elite player.
But embracing what the young quarterback has already accomplished and being excited about what more he can do during his career is not enough; he must have already surpassed Brady as the GOAT, and these people try to hammer it home at every opportunity.
Typically, it's from Kansas City fans or those who grew tired of the Patriots dynasty who make these kinds of talking points, which makes it more surprising to hear a former player like Rodney Harrison do the same thing recently.
Harrison was interviewed by McKenzie Nelson last weekend, and when discussing Mahomes recording another milestone in his career, he decided to declare the quarterback will end up becoming the greatest player ever to do it.
Although the statement itself is a little shocking, it's not really to hear it from Harrison specifically. He's been very critical of Brady in his years as an analyst, with his most infamous criticism telling the quarterback to take off his skirt and play football when discussing penalties on signal callers in games.
It's clearly something he wanted to express at the time because Nelson didn't ask anything related to that statement for Harrison just to blurt that out. It's another attempt by a player to diminish what Brady accomplished to something easily attainable by just any other incredibly talented quarterback.
Is it possible for Mahomes to build upon the success he's already had and win more championships in the future? Absolutely. But why does that have to mean he will inevitably pass Brady because of it?
Why can't Mahomes just be Mahomes?
People don't seem to realize that declaring him the GOAT already puts a lot of pressure on a young man to live up to a standard that will likely never be attainable. And why does he have to be better than Brady anyway? He's brought life back into the Chiefs, and the fans have benefited from the success since he arrived. So, shouldn't that be enough?
Inevitably, comparisons to Brady will always be there, especially when more Mahomes' join the league in the upcoming years. However, we need to get to a point where we recognize and appreciate greatness for what it is and stop attempting to reduce it to something easily achievable when, in reality, that's not the case.
Unfortunately, there will never be a mutual resolve when it comes to something involving Brady. People feel very strongly about the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, which will continue until the end of time. So this kind of argument won't be going anywhere any time soon.