Perhaps the argument would be different had the 49ers selected San Mateo’s Tom Brady out of Michigan in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft instead of Sacramento’s Gio Carmazzi out of Hofstra.
Perhaps the debate would have been much stronger if Brady was on the brink of winning his fourth Super Bowl for the 49ers instead of the New England Patriots.
But you’re not likely to find a 12-member jury in Northern California that will say with conviction that Tom Brady is on the same level as Joe Montana when it comes to winning Super Bowls.
Mr. Brady, we saw Joe Montana play football. We’ve seen you play football. Tom, you’re terrific, but you’re no Joe Cool.
Not even close – not on your best day.
In defense of Brady, the East Coast media believe differently. They say Brady, who grew up cheering for the 49ers, will not only catch Montana and the Steelers’ Terry Bradshaw with their record four Super Bowl victories, he’ll surpass both as the Super Bowl’s all-time greatest quarterback (Bradshaw shouldn’t be included in this argument).
Montana had Jerry Rice and Roger Craig, they’ll argue. Well, Brady benefited from the Tuck Rule, Spygate and now, possibly, Deflategate.
Montana’s quarterback rating of 127.83 is the best of all time in the Super Bowl, and his 11 career touchdowns are still the most. The argument for Brady is that he sustained success longer than Montana, playing in six Super Bowls.
But Brady lost two Super Bowls (and a third defeat is likely vs. Seattle). That’s something inconceivable of Montana.
You want to talk about longevity? We’ll have to wait to see if Brady is making network commercials 20 years after retirement at nearly 60 years of age like Montana.
As Joe Cool says in one of his latest ads showing off his four Super Bowl rings: “What an accomplishment.”
– Victor Contreras
What to watch
NBA, Kings at Cavaliers, 4:30 p.m., CSNCA: LeBron James, expected to miss tonight’s game, also sat out in the Kings’ win over Cleveland on Jan. 11.
On this date
2001: Truckee’s Daron Rahlves is the first American to win the super giant slalom at the world championships.