Can you give me a good reason to write about the machining business with the Super Bowl approaching?
Tom Brady, the greatest NFL quarterback ever, against Patrick Mahomes II, who may become the greatest quarterback ever. Yet the life-changing business decision both guys had to make before they turned 21 was whether they wanted to play Major League Baseball or pursue football.
Patrick Mahomes, son of a Major League pitcher with the same name, grew up around the game. His dad played for Minnesota, Detroit, even my Chicago Cubs over an 11-year Major League career. Young Patrick was recruited by Texas Tech University to play both sports and was a relief pitcher for the college team. He would have been drafted after his sophomore season but made it clear to his father and the Major League baseball scouts who followed his course that football was the sport he would build his future on.
Tom Brady went to the same high school that Barry Bonds graduated from in San Mateo, California. He was a powerful hitter and batted left-handed. He played catcher and was projected as a second or third round draft pick if he did not go to college as a football player.
Brady chose the pigskin. He had faith in himself choosing Michigan, which had a future pro quarterback at the time in Brian Griese and an all-world prospect named Drew Henson, who was planning to follow Griese’s path.
Brady did not play his freshman and sophomore years, and he split time with Henson during his junior year and into his senior year.
The 1999 Orange Bowl was the last game at Michigan for both Brady and Henson. The Michigan coach, Lloyd Carr, picked Brady to start and he played a fantastic game. Henson watched from the sidelines and decided that he was never going to be a quarterback like Brady. He signed a baseball contract to play for George Steinbrenner’s Yankees and collected a $3 million bonus soon after. Hensen was a bust as a baseball player and actually wound up playing in the NFL as a backup quarterback.
Brady was picked 199th in the 2000 NFL draft, a sixth round choice by New England. After 21 years in the league, now holding virtually every passing record there is, Brady now gets to play in his 10th Super Bowl next week against Mahomes, who was just 4 years old when Brady joined the Patriots.
The game is worth watching just to see Mahomes and Brady play one another. The two men have played each other four times before, splitting the games. Both men have amazing accuracy. Mahomes can run well, while Brady may be the slowest afoot in the NFL. Mahomes has a chronic toe injury and is coming off a possible concussion during his game against New Orleans. Mahomes has the more dynamic receivers of the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly Tyrek Hill and Travis Kelce. Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay has the better defense.
On paper, Kansas City has the superior team. They have lost only once this season while Tampa Bay barely made the playoffs. But Tom Brady beat the League’s MVP, Aaron Rodgers, on the frozen tundra of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field to get to the Super Bowl. He outplayed Rodgers.
Brady is 43 years old, yet he played every game this season and never had a significant injury. He has a knack for avoiding punishment. He almost always wins big games.
I know the commercials will be awful. Pepsi’s halftime will be laughable, and the hype will be absurd, but Brady vs. Mahomes makes the Super Bowl a game you have to watch.
Question: Which team will you bet on in the Super Bowl?