After years of indirectly answering the question, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana finally referred to Tom Brady as the “GOAT” (Greatest Of All Time).
Speaking with ESPN’s First Take program earlier this week, Montana publicly acknowledged for the first time that Brady has surpassed him.
“I think Tom has taken his place on the top up there a long time ago”, Montana said.
“He’s had a tremendous career, he’s fun to watch. Everybody always contests over that, but I think if you look at what Tom has been able to accomplish in his time that he’s played, I think it puts him definitely up there at the top of the list.
“There’s a lot of great guys, as I said, before me, you go back to Otto Graham, who won 10 or 11 championships. It’s hard to compare them, but if you’re looking at it, yeah, definitely Tom at that point.”
Brady, of course, is now up to seven Super Bowl championships to Montana’s four, and he has also surpassed Montana’s Super Bowl MVP award total with four to his three.
Following this years championship, Brady teams have now qualified for the Super Bowl a staggering 47.6% of the time (10 of 21 seasons) whereas Montana’s teams qualified for a Super Bowl just 26.6% of the time over his 15 pro seasons.
Montana’s praise now brings Brady’s initial love of football full circle, as he grew up idolizing the 49ers quarterback as a fan during his childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, even attending “The Catch” in 1982.
You can listen to Montana’s full interview with “First Take” below.
On Wednesday Montana shared some advice for Brady has he prepares for his second season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Play as long as you can,” Montana told Fox News. “Because once it’s over, it’s over. And if you try to get back to it after you retire especially at a later age, it’s hard to get that motivation back again. So, as long as you can keep it going, and if people want you to play, keep playing.”
Brady will look to double Montana’s ring total at age 44 this fall and earn a repeat championship for the first time since he did it with the Patriots in 2004.
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