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Tom Brady Joins Michael Jordan in Accomplishing Something Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning Couldn’t

The New England Patriots are the 2018 Super Bowl Champions. Tom Brady is the first player in history to win five Super Bowl rings, and he did it with a new team. This year’s game was also historic for Michael Jordan, who joined an elite group of players who have won six championships.

Tom Brady has joined Michael Jordan in accomplishing something Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning couldn’t, which is winning the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady was the winning face of the New England Patriots football team for 20 years. The GOAT quarterback left Massachusetts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 219 victories, 541 touchdowns, and six Super Bowl titles. On Sunday, he and his new squad went to their old haunts. When Brady donned his Buccaneers shirt in Foxborough, he tried to accomplish what Michael Jordan had done but which other superstars like as Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning had failed to do: win on their return “home.”

Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was victorious on his return to New England.

Sports fans are already familiar with Tom Brady’s tale. New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis injured New England Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of the 2001 season. He was replaced by a second-year signal-caller from Michigan. The No. 199 overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft then takes over and leads Bill Belichick’s squad to a Super Bowl victory against the St. Louis Rams, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Brady was released by Belichick and the Patriots two decades later. The coach didn’t think a quarterback in his mid-40s could still perform the job. 

Brady then moves on to Tampa Bay in 2020, where he will earn his seventh Super Bowl ring. TB12 will return to the greater Boston region in Week 4 of 2021, according to the schedule designers.

The game served as a showcase for the new Patriots Golden Boy, first-round selection Mac Jones, as well as a battle between Belichick and Brady. It was a thrilling and dramatic game, albeit not very well-played, since it was played in a downpour for the most of the night. 

Brady was kept in check for the most of the Sunday Night Football battle because to Belichick’s tactics and Rob Gronkowski’s injury. Jones was impressive throughout, at times like a young Tom Brady. Brady led his team on a game-winning drive late in the game. After two strange shoots at the end zone to Antonio Brown, the Bucs were forced to settle for a field goal when all they needed was a first down. 

Jones came close to leading his own late rally, but his last effort failed. It left Patriots kicker Nick Folk with a 56-yard field goal attempt that landed with a thunderous thud between the uprights. 

Brady’s victory wasn’t the most beautiful of his career. But it was a victory in his long-awaited return to the football field. By winning this game, Brady joined Michael Jordan in doing something that other legendary athletes like as Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning had failed to do. 

Michael Jordan won with the Washington Wizards on his return to Chicago.

Michael Jordan, 38, scored 16 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in his return to Chicago as a Wizard. #Peyton

October 20, 2013 — Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar)

On his path to become the greatest of all time in his sport, Michael Jordan also won six championships with one team. Jordan, like Tom Brady, spent his last seasons as a professional player with a different team. 

Following the team’s sixth championship of the 1990s, governor Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause destroyed the Chicago Bulls dynasty, as well-documented in the Last Dance documentary. 

Jordan announced his retirement in 1998, after the Bulls’ last championship season. He returned to the NBA in 2001, though, to play his last two seasons with the Washington Wizards. 

In early January 2002, the NBA legend was given a chance to play for his former club, albeit in Washington. The Wizards won 89-83, with Jordan scoring a game-high 29 points. MJ made his triumphant comeback to Chicago two weeks later. 

The Bulls and Wizards played a nasty game, similar to Brady’s New England homecoming. Jordan had a good game, scoring 16 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out four assists, but the Wizards shot a dismal 36.9% from the floor. Jordan was fortunate in that the Bulls shot even worse, 24.7 percent, and the visitors won 77-69. 

In their return games, Wayne Gretzky and Peyton Manning both failed to win.

(L-R) Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards, Wayne Gretzky with the Los Angeles Kings, and Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Peyton Manning (L-R) | Photos: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images; Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images; Graig Abel/Getty Images; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Not all legends are able to return to the sites of their greatest triumphs and emerge victorious. What Michael Jordan and now Tom Brady have done is unusual. Winning in a return to your athletic home isn’t as simple as it seems, as two other all-time greats can attest. 

Wayne Gretzky, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, can attest to this. After nine seasons and four Stanley Cups, the Edmonton Oilers unexpectedly transferred The Great One to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. Gretzky returned to Alberta, Canada, only seven games into the 1988-89 season. 

On the Kings’ six goals, the NHL’s career leader in goals, assists, and points had two assists. But it wasn’t enough to match the Oilers’ still-powerful offense, and LA was defeated 8-6. 

Peyton Manning is another great who has struggled on his return to his old haunts. Manning spent the last four seasons of his career in Denver after missing the 2011 season due to a neck injury, which allowed the Indianapolis Colts to finish worst in the league and select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. 

Manning returned to Lucas Oil Stadium for his second season with the Mile High City. Manning’s successor was the superior quarterback on that particular day. On his route to a 36-33 win, Luck tossed three touchdowns and no interceptions. Manning had a solid statistical game, passing for 386 yards and three touchdowns, but his homecoming to Indianapolis was ruined by an interception and four sacks.  

Even (and maybe particularly) for the all-time greats, returning to the site of their greatest sporting triumph can be difficult. Brady demonstrated that no matter what the circumstances, he can always rise to the occasion by winning in New England. It’s one of the main reasons Brady was so successful in New England in the first place.  

Pro Football Reference, Basketball Reference, and Hockey Reference provided all stats.

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