This Sunday, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will play Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII and with so many numbers being thrown around, 17 is the magic number – the number of years between the GOAT and the birth of his opponent.
Instead of the interest being on the game, a lot of the media attention is on the starting quarterbacks, largely because of that number. So much was accomplished in those 17 years between 1977, the year Tom Brady was born, and 1994, the year Jared Goff was born. The internet was invented, there was the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Cold War ended and so many other events took place before Nancy Goff gave birth to her second child.
Also, during that time frame, Tom Brady was paving his way to become one of the greatest football players ever and a future first ballot Hall of Famer.
Let’s look at Tom’s accomplishments, starting with the University of Michigan and what his Super Bowl opponent was doing that very same year.
Drafted in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Montreal Expos, Brady turned down a professional baseball career to play football at Michigan. During his freshman year, he was listed as seventh on the depth chart. Meanwhile, Goff turned one-year-old, just starting to walk and potty in his diaper – this is a fact, trust me, I have three children.
Brady throws his first pass as a college quarterback on Sept. 28 against UCLA. With Michigan up 35-3 late in the 4th quarter, Brady was put in the game and the pass ended in the worst way possible – with an interception which was returned for a touchdown. Goff, on the other hand, was learning to be potty trained and likely attending Houston Astros games, to watch his father, catcher Jerry Goff, play America’s pastime.
With his college career over, Brady entered the NFL Draft and was selected in the sixth round by the Patriots. In the months leading up to the draft, Tom was sending resumes in case the whole sports thing didn’t work out. And Goff turned six, an age when most start getting into sports and school.
It was a pivotal season for Brady. After New England’s starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe was destroyed by Mo Lewis early in the season, Brady stepped up and ended the season with his first Pro Bowl selection and helped the team earn a spot in the Super Bowl. Just months after taking over the starting job from Bledsoe, Brady won his first Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams. Brady led the game-winning drive which was capped off by an Adam Vinatieri field goal. That was, ironically, 17 years ago. Goff was on the verge of turning eight and was kicking it in California with his family.
Selected first team All-Pro for the first time, Brady also had his first kid with ex-girlfriend and actress/model Bridget Moynahan. This happens to be the year Randy Moss was added and they almost had the perfect season. The undefeated Patriots and the New York Giants battled it out in the Super Bowl but an unbelievable David Tyree helmet catch was too much for New England. Meanwhile, Goff was probably in middle school – who cares?
Brady marries Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. and Goff is an awkward high school student, playing for the junior varsity team. Just kidding, three-year varsity starter with a 39-4 record.
Brady turned 40 and loses yet another Super Bowl, despite being favored. While, in his second season with the Rams, Goff is selected to the Pro Bowl and still dealing with all the fame after being featured in HBO’s Hard Knocks series and Amazon’s All or Nothing series.
Brady is playing in his ninth Super Bowl and looking for his sixth win and Goff is playing in his fourth playoff game, looking for the same magic as the Philadelphia Eagles the season before.