Over in Thailand, young boys aged 11 or 12 would compete in gruelling boxing matches.
The debate now escalates, Tom Brady or Michael Jordan.
The GOAT – Greatest Of All Time – status in North American professional team sports paints an interesting picture.
It seems as though Michael Jordan has held the title for as long I can remember. He transformed the world with his basketball exploits on the court and his superstardom off it.
Everyone knew of Jordan and it seemed as though everyone walked around in a pair of his Air Jordans sometime in their life.
‘MJ’ transformed the world of sports entertainment and fashion and is still making millions from it.
Tom Brady on the other hand is unique. He drinks avocado juice, releases healthy living guides and simply refuses to let Father Time catch up with him.
After winning his sixth Super Bowl he joins Jordan with six titles.
He now stands alone as the only NFL player to win that many.
What makes his story so remarkable was that he was overlooked 198 times in the 2000 NFL draft, served as the fourth string quarterback before replacing Drew Bledsoe as the starting slinger in the 2001 season.
He won his first Super Bowl and MVP in that same season.
It would be also be negligent not to mention the impact their coaches have had on both players’ careers.
Bill Belichick the head coach of the Patriots played a massive role in helping Brady achieve such dominance, but similar to Brady, Jordan had Phil Jackson who is recognised as one the best coaches in NBA history.
Furthermore after Super Bowl LIII, Brady has played in nine title games in his 18 seasons, an unbelievable achievement considering the heavy reliance on the other 54 players on the roster.
Unlike Jordan who won many Most Valuable Player Awards, Finals MVP Awards, Defensive Player of the Year Awards and the list goes on, Brady’s influence on a game can be negated by the performance of the his team’s Defence and Special Team units.
This leads to speculation Jordan had to perform on both ends of the court and thus his impact on a game was greater, though true, in basketball the smaller number of players in each team provides greater opportunity for individuals to influence games – whereas Brady’s heavy reliance on teammates to perform at their best to win is why he stands shoulder to shoulder with Michael Jordan in the GOAT debate.
His ability to drive perfection and maintain a high level of consistency despite the high turnover of teammates, and the league’s determination to achieve parity, has enhanced his status and amazingly at this point in time he endeavours to continue on until he is 45 years old.
One more title may tilt the discussion in his favour but one things for sure the discussion will rage on for years to come.