First things first, Don Bradman is the GOAT of all GOATs. For anyone to argue otherwise is generally pure folly.
But firstly I would like to talk about the careers of Cameron Smith and Tom Brady, the GOATs of their respective football codes of rugby league and American football.
Brady will play his tenth Super Bowl today as he aims for his seventh NFL championship ring. At the age of 43 this season Brady has finally silenced anyone who doubted that he is the greatest quarterback of all time. I was one of the doubters.
I never doubted his ability. The comeback he engineered in Super Bowl 51 is the most astonishing thing I have ever seen in sport.
I just wondered how much of his success was due to his coach Bill Belichick, the organisation he played for, and the ensemble of great players assembled around him. If Drew Brees played for the Patriots, would he have been the GOAT of the NFL? Maybe.
But what Brady did this season with Tampa Bay is remarkable and should silence any doubters. He has propelled an organisation that had not made the playoffs since 2013 to fifth seed in the NFC and then through three sudden-death road playoff wins and into to the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, in New England, the Patriots stumbled through a dreadful season and without Brady were absolutely embarrassing almost all season long. You might argue that there were mitigating circumstances and that maybe timing is everything.
But the plain facts are that Tom Brady is in yet another Super Bowl and the Patriots were shot ducks barely half way through the season.
The NRL GOAT Cameron Smith has had an equally stellar career. He has similar numbers to Brady, in that he has played in eight grand finals, winning five of them. It would have been nine but he was suspended from the grand final of 2008. His team lost that game 40-0.
The Melbourne Storm seem determined to move on from Cameron Smith. They want to lock up promising youngster Harry Grant as they look to the future. But Cameron Smith has not announced his retirement yet and the whispers are that he will soon sign with the Gold Coast Titans for 2021. I really hope he does.
I want to see if Cameron Smith can show who the real brains of the Storm are. Can he engineer an NRL fairy tale and make the grand final in 2021? Will Storm coach Craig Bellamy and the Melbourne Storm capitulate without Smith and miss the finals for the first time in forever? Wouldn’t it be nice.
Today I’ll be rooting for NFL GOAT Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. They enter the game as huge underdogs to the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs and possible future GOAT Patrick Mahomes. If Mahomes wins he will continue his quest to chase down Brady’s six championship rings. If Brady wins a seventh, his record may never be equalled.
After that I will eagerly await the news on the playing future of NRL GOAT Cameron Smith, whose many career records will surely never be surpassed.
Here is my list of GOATS. What is yours?
Cricket (batting): Don Bradman – he averaged 99.94, there’s no more to be said.
Cricket (bowling): Shane Warne – has anyone here seen one better?
Swimming: Michael Phelps – lots of gold and longevity.
Rugby league: Cameron Smith – such a glittering career at all levels.
American football: Tom Brady – 43 and loving it.
Golf: Tiger Woods – his 2019 Masters clinches it.
Basketball: LeBron James – his longevity of greatness gives him my nod.
Boxing: Joe Louis – 25 consecutive heavyweight title defences is amazing.
Tennis (women): Serena Williams – so dominant for so long.
Tennis (men): Novak Djokovic – has dominated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and will finish with the most slams.
Rugby union: Richie McCaw – a pure competitor and great leader.
Baseball: Babe Ruth – the Bambino was a pretty good all-rounder
Cycling: Anna Meares – four-time Olympian and legend.
Netball: Anne Sargeant – very tall and basically just dunked it every time.
Darts: Phil Taylor – the Power was for so long just unstoppable.
Horse racing (mares): Black Caviar – 25 from 25 and has never been whipped.
Horse racing (horses): Takeover Target – lion-hearted globetrotting legend.
Horse racing (humans): Tommy Berry – just back him and you’ll know why.
Athletics: Usain Bolt – pure perfection.
Football: Usain Bolt – he was looking really good for the Mariners.
AFL: Warwick Capper.
Speed skating: Steven Bradbury – the master tactician.