In Super Bowl 57, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes painfully endured his re-injured ankle to lead his Chiefs down by 10 points at Halftime to win 38 – 35 over the Philadelphia Eagles. 27-year-old Patrick won his second Super Bowl Championship in three Super Bowl appearances. In his first 5 years as starting Quarterback, he led the Chiefs to 5 AFC Championships. He has 3 NFL regular season MVP Titles and 2 Super Bowl MVPs. Patrick Mahomes is a generational talent. I have never seen an NFL Quarterback, do what he can do.
In his first season as the Chiefs’ starting Quarterback, he threw for 50 touchdowns. He led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Patriots won in overtime. They went on to win the Super Bowl defeating the Los Angeles Rams.
Although the Chiefs lost wide receiver Tyreek Hill, arguably the fastest man in the NFL, to free agency in 2022, the Chiefs were the number one offense in terms of yards gained and points scored. Patrick has Coach Andy Reid, who’s the offensive play-calling genius and one of the greatest coaches in the NFL. Patrick’s most reliable receiving target is future Hall of Fame Tight End Travis Kelce, who gets open regardless of the defense’s coverage.
Is Patrick Mahomes the next GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) Quarterback? Currently, retired Tom Brady is the GOAT with 7 Super Bowl Championships in 10 appearances along with numerous passing and touchdown records.
At 27 years old, Patrick Mahomes has not yet attained the zenith of his prowess. Still, it’s very unlikely that he will catch Tom with 7 Super Bowl Championships. The Metric of Greatness is 7 Super Bowl Rings. Does Patrick have to win 7 Super Bowls to be in the GOAT conversation? Really?
Tom Brady is my hero and kindred spirit. In 2000, the New England Patriots drafted Tom at number 199. That year he replaced injured starting Quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Tom led his Patriots to defeat the Rams in the Super Bowl. Since then, Tom never looked back.
In his illustrious 23-year NFL career, Tom continually worked on being the greater-than version of himself. He said, “What are you willing to do and what are willing to give up, to be the best that you can be?” Playing Quarterback is the great love of Tom’s life.
Aikido is the great love of my life. I continually work on myself, not on others in Aikido. I apply the Aikido technique to myself, not to the attacker. Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba said, “True victory is victory over oneself.” My GOAT opponent is always me. I overcome myself. I’ll never be the GOAT, like Tom Brady. I just train.
My friend Darin texted, “Not a big fan of the GOAT terminology. It’s very subjective…” Darin is absolutely right. Who’s the GOAT is entirely subjective. Rather, everyone’s selection for GOAT is valid. Just saying.
When asked whether he had a problem with people who didn’t have his work ethic, the late NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant said, “I have a problem with people who expect to be great, but don’t put in the work.” Amen, Kobe. Greatness isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey. I’m really just saying.
I will never be the GOAT of anything. Every day, I work on being the greatest person that I can be whether that’s in my Aikido training or in my writing. In Aikido I tell Ishibashi Sensei, “I have something else to work on” when I have to wait out the attack a little longer. I keep my heart open writing my articles on The Good Men Project. I let go that I’m not good enough for a woman I love. I give up being right and don’t make others wrong, including me. I love myself for who I am and forgive myself for who I’m not.
I take baby steps in life. Keep moving forward. Make my incremental gains. Whether I quickly take down the attacker in Aikido with yoko-iriminage (strike to the side of the head) or let go that someone I love isn’t in love with me, I’m greater than my zero, greater than where I started. Any gain is still greater than zero. That’s just math. Just saying.
I have nothing to do with what goes on inside someone else. I have a lot to do with what goes on inside me. I work on myself, not on others. I work on being the greatest that I can be. No, I’ll never be the GOAT. That was never my intention. Really.
The GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) conversations are fun and fodder for taking heads. They’re just not meaningful at all. Still, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and the late Kobe Bryant worked on being the greatest they could be in the midst of that idle chatter. Some were the GOAT. Some will become the GOAT. Patrick, Tom, and Kobe inspire me to work on myself, to invent the greatest version of me. That’s meaningful. That is the greatness metric worth measuring. Just saying.
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Photo credit: Larry Bridges Jr. on Unsplash