Tom Brady versus Tiger Woods. When it comes to elite, talented athletes, people cannot help but compare the greats even if it means crossing into different sports. The latest one compares NFL GOAT Tom Brady to golfing legend Tiger Woods on Good Morning Football, the morning show on the NFL Network. Former Kansas City Chiefs star kick/punt returner extraordinaire Dante Hall took on the subject and offered his thoughts on the matter.
On the morning show, Hall laid out his reasons why he thinks Woods edges out Brady in this debate:
“If anyone has ever tried to pick up the game of golf, you know just how difficult that is. And on top of that, Tiger Woods has to do it by himself. I love Tom Brady. I think he's the GOAT. I think he's the all-time, definitely the greatest quarterback of all time. Definitely the winningest quarterback of all time. But he had a lot of help.”
Hall went on to emphasize that Woods plays in a solo sport, and that is why he thinks Woods has the more impressive sports career:
“In the early years, you had the defenses, you had the special teams, you had the head coach in Bill Belichick. Tiger Woods has to go out there by himself and get these W’s, get these majors all by his lonesome. That is a lonely place out there with just you and that little white ball, and the world watching. You have no defense, no special teams, no coaches. It's you, that little white ball, we throw the caddy in there too. But it’s Tiger Woods by a landslide.”
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods’ championship achievements
The ultimate goal of competitive sports is to win a title. Tom Brady stands alone on the NFL mountaintop with 7 Super Bowl rings. He won 6 of those rings with the New England Patriots, with Bill Belichick coaching the team for over two decades. His most recent ring came with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Brady was the last piece of a winning puzzle for a Buccaneers team loaded with offensive talent (e.g., wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin) and a good defense.
Professional golf, on the other hand, has four Majors -- the Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship. These four events occur within the same year annually, and winning just one event is a major accomplishment. Tiger Woods has 15 total major titles, only trailing Jack Nicklaus, who has 18 total major title wins. At age 21, Woods was the youngest winner of the Masters, and at age 24, Woods became the youngest golfer to achieve the Career Grand Slam (winning all four events).
Injuries and personal issues kept Woods from winning more majors in his mid-to-late ‘30s. He would win the Masters at age 43, ending a 10-year major title drought. In comparison, Jack Nicklaus was the oldest winner of the Masters at age 46. Phil Mickelson was the oldest golfer to win a major championship at the age of 50. Woods still has some time to win more golf titles.
While Tom Brady is entering his 23rd NFL season and will turn 45 before the start of the regular season, Tiger Woods, at age 46, is also attempting to win another major title, in hopes of catching Jack Nicklaus. The NFL is more physically demanding, and the fact that Brady has lasted this long playing a physicallty demanding sport is a testament on its own.
That being said, when comparing apples to oranges (or football to golf), Woods’ individual achievements is a unique accomplishment when considering that Brady had the benefit of great NFL defenses during most of his Super Bowl runs.