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Who's the MJ of Football?

Who's the MJ of Football?  

93 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's the MJ of Football?

    • Tom Brady
      55
    • Jerry Rice
      18
    • Other (explain)
      20


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I'm sure we've all seen The Last Dance by now, or at the very least we all know who Michael Jordan is. Clearly the greatest basketball player of all time. The football debate is much more complex, as Brady, Rice, and a few other players could all make their case for the GOAT. Who is it?

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Posted (edited)

It's really not possible to look at "The Michael Jordan of Football" because I think football and basketball, especially in recent years, don't have the same history. When I think of The Michael Jordan, I'm thinking of social impact too. The media impact. The total cult of personality, the brand. Football became a more widely popular American sport long before basketball did. Michael Jordan became the literal face of basketball and helped popularize the sport worldwide, and I think that was because of the media market of the the came up and where the sport was at when he arrived. I think we'd have to go a lot further back in the NFL's history to find the true "Michael Jordan" of football because that person would have to be a player who helped bring the sport along onto the national stage. I'm not sure who that effectively is, but I'm sure older members of the forum could help weigh in on that!

I think Tom Brady, of the two you mentioned, probably have the best case, especially given the TB12 brand he's trying to establish and all of that. Plus, six rings doesn't hurt to help draw the line. 

Still, football was established and popularized well before Brady. So I don't think it QUITE compares. We still have yet to see the player who takes American football global, surprisingly.

 

Edited by SpacemanSpiff
adding info

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3 minutes ago, Starless said:

Can't really compare. 

Agree with this. The set ups for the sports are just too dissimilar 

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There isn’t one. Single players can’t dominate, have that amount of success, and then have that lion’s share of credit in football the way Jordan had it in basketball.

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Just now, SpacemanSpiff said:

It's really not possible to look at "The Michael Jordan of Football" because I think football and basketball, especially in recent years, don't have the same history. When I think of The Michael Jordan, I'm thinking of social impact too. The media impact. The total cult of personality, the brand. Football became a more widely popular American sport. Michael Jordan became the literal face of basketball and helped popularize the sport worldwide. I think we'd have to go a lot further back in the NFL's history to find the true "Michael Jordan" of football because that person would have to be a player who helped bring the sport along onto the national stage. I'm not sure who that effectively is, but I'm sure older members of the forum could help weigh in on that!

I think Tom Brady, of the two you mentioned, probably have the best case, especially given the TB12 brand he's trying to establish and all of that. Plus, six rings doesn't hurt to help draw the line. 

Still, football was established and popularized well before Brady. So I don't think it QUITE compares. We still have yet to see the player who takes American football global, surprisingly.

 

you're very right on the media aspect of jordan's success. he was the face of the league right when the media boom happened and because of that became a global icon. his narrative as a winner (6/6 in the nba finals) is so easy to push from a media perspective.

 

but there are players like bill russell who dominated the league for over a decade, winning 11 championships almost consecutively. that was in the late 50's/60's, so there is very little footage of it and little stats were kept track of back then to compare to players of jordan's era. then there is kareem abdul jabbar, who played through the 70's and 80's and has as many career accolades as jordan, but is nowhere near the flashy player jordan is so rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as jordan. and then there's lebron, who grew up in the "tabloid media" generation where they pick apart every little thing to try to sell a story, so his narrative is smeared with every little negative thing that happened in his career. even though his talent, performance, etc. is on par with jordan's, his legacy has so many negatives attached to it compared to jordan who (in media hindsight) has an "untouchable" narrative.

 

football-wise, just combining performance and team success brady would have to be the "MJ" of football.

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There isn't one, but if I was going to pick one person it's Deion Sanders. MJ was more than the talent he was also the attitude and confidence. Deion is the one in the NFL that really combined those the best. Widely acknowledged the best at his position (though not nearly as much of a consensus), athletically absurd, has won multiple championships.

He also had that brief playing time in baseball just to further the comparison

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, mse326 said:

There isn't one, but if I was going to pick one person it's Deion Sanders.

Feel like Sanders is more of a LeBron, personally, given how the media portray him. This is a good take, though. 

Edited by SpacemanSpiff
Edited for correct pluralization of "the media"

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I agree that it is hard to compare but in the interest of participating at the moment I would say Patrick Mahomes is setting himself up nicely. 

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Posted (edited)

With only five players on the court at a time and the fact that you play offense and defense I think it's hard to compare.  You'll probably get a bunch of different answers.  I'll throw one out of my own, Barry Sanders.  Didn't win any championships, only won one playoff game, but he was fun to watch.  Lots of great highlight reels, I don't think I've ever seen a player make so many pro bowl/hall of famers look silly, I think he would be a lot of fun for casual fans to watch as well.  Even though Detroit never really did anything in the playoffs he had a lot of big Thanksgiving games, so he was shown on a National stage quite often.  I'm not a Lions fan but he was probably my favorite player growing up..

 

Edit: Even though he was known for his quiet demeanor on the field, apparently Barry was the biggest trash talker on a basketball court

Edited by Jotun_Fan

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No perfect comparison as stated already, but Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr had the closest type of aura as Jordan. 

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2 hours ago, SnoopDogg said:

I'm sure we've all seen The Last Dance by now, or at the very least we all know who Michael Jordan is. Clearly the greatest basketball player of all time. The football debate is much more complex, as Brady, Rice, and a few other players could all make their case for the GOAT. Who is it?

Not sure I can let that one slide. There are strong arguments for both Kareem and Lebron here.

There isn't a direct comparison in football. One player can't have that same level of impact regardless of how dominant they are individually. 

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2 hours ago, mse326 said:

There isn't one, but if I was going to pick one person it's Deion Sanders. MJ was more than the talent he was also the attitude and confidence. Deion is the one in the NFL that really combined those the best. Widely acknowledged the best at his position (though not nearly as much of a consensus), athletically absurd, has won multiple championships.

He also had that brief playing time in baseball just to further the comparison

What? I love Sanders, but he didn't even consistently dominate over a wide number of years.  I mean...no. Just---NO.

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