You pick: Tom Brady or Tim Rattay

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tom Brady you know. Chances are Tim Rattay, you don’t. Yet, they do have a connection.

Tom Brady, if there were such a position, would be king of professional football. If you saw Sunday night’s Super Bowl LI, particularly the fourth quarter and the short overtime, you would know why I say Brady would be king of football.

All of the players of both teams are amazing athletes. Brady’s opposition quarterback was no slouch and quarterbacks need other players to block for them and to catch their passes. The Julio Jones catch in the fourth quarter was one of the most amazing examples of concentrated foot and hand work you will ever see.

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Football teams consist of scores of players, but there is no doubt that the quarterback position is the most prominent of all. For the most part, the quarterback touches the ball on every offensive play. In the professional game, the passing game is significant and both Super Bowl LI quarterbacks were outstanding, but Brady was the last one standing.

For all his accolades, his four Super Bowl Most Valuable Player recognitions, his five Super Bowl rings and victories, his unsurpassed records for Super Bowl passing, the Comeback Kid, as he is known, would seem to be the quintessential football quarterback. If Michelangelo were living today and carved a quarterback out of a big piece of marble, it would look like Tom Brady.

At the same time, Tom Brady, wasn’t good enough to start on his high school’s JV team that was 0-8! Brady was better at baseball than football.

He got a scholarship in football to the University of Michigan where he began his college career, not as second string, not as third string, but as SEVENTH string. According to a Sports Illustrated article, Brady was so distraught about getting a chance to play, he sought out a sports psychologist to help him cope with his frustration. I guess the Falcons are doing the coping today.

Even though Brady had a really good Michigan career, he did not start his first two years and always had to fight for the starting position. Nothing was given to this current day “Greatest of All Time” quarterback.

After playing and winning at Michigan, he was not considered for a first or second round draft pick by the professionals. He wasn’t picked until the sixth round. One hundred and ninety-eight players were picked before Tom Brady’s name was called by New England.

Brady was sitting with his family in California expecting to be chosen early and became so embarrassed when rounds one, two, three, four, and five passed that he excused himself. According to an ESPN interview, Brady left the home and cried. I imagine there were some crying Falcons’ fans a few days ago.

This is where the name Tim Rattay comes in. The choice the New England Patriots had to make was whether to take Tom Brady as quarterback or Louisiana Tech QB Tim Rattay. The Patriots chose Brady over Rattay and I guess this is a good place to insert “and the rest is history.”

Brady was grateful that New England had drafted him and told the ESPN interviewer that if he had not been drafted he might have become an insurance salesman. I’m sure he would have been a good one, but probably not the “greatest of all time!”

Tom Brady is a great example of fortitude. He may look like a “natural,” in the fourth quarter when the pressure is on, but he also understands what it means to be seventh string!