Oh, what a beautiful thorn in the Bears’ side this is!
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. There they are. The starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl LV.
Make that two thorns in the Bears’ side, if you will, jabbing away at organs called Blown Opportunities and May I Have a Do-over?
You see, either of those players could be a Bear right now if somebody in the organization had thought either of them could help the team or if some Bears planner had any foresight or felt the need to do something better than plain old average.
Nah. The Bears are 16-17 in the last two seasons, counting one playoff wipeout, so who needs help? Chuckle.
The Super Bowl always has two of the best — if not the best — quarterbacks in the NFL involved. It’s no different this time.
Indeed, it’s really not much of a stretch to say that Brady and Mahomes are the bookends of absolute greatness, maybe the oldest and youngest best quarterbacks in pro football history.
Think of it: Brady, 43, will be playing in his 10th Super Bowl — this time for the Buccaneers rather than the Patriots — and he has won six of them. Nobody else has won more than five.
In his fourth season with the Chiefs, Mahomes is only 25 and is playing in his second Super Bowl, having won last year’s title and getting named MVP of the game. The season before that, 2018, when the Chiefs only made it to the AFC Championship Game, losing to Brady’s Patriots 37-31 in overtime, Mahomes was named MVP of the entire NFL.
Between them, they have a jillion statistical records and honors, and Brady is so far and away the leader in Super Bowl appearances that nobody can touch him.
Yeah, he’s old. Antique, even. Do you want some humor? Brady won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award 12 years ago. When he was a creaky 31.
You’ll hear and read more about these two than you can stomach before the actual game is played Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Brady’s new hometown of Tampa, Florida.
But the Bears should have a special alertness element to them these next two weeks because there could not be a much harsher fish-slap than knowing either quarterback was there for the taking. If they weren’t too dumb to do something about it, that is.
Brady was a free agent last offseason. He could have gone anywhere after 20 years with the Patriots. Tampa? That’s the best he could do? So he could visit Busch Gardens anytime he wanted?
You’d have a hard time convincing me Brady had the pick of the litter or was overjoyed about joining a team that had gone 17-31 the last three seasons and 57-101 in the previous decade. Was it because he got to bring along his tight end buddy, Rob Gronkowski?
Well, then offer Gronk a scholarship, too, Bears general manager Ryan Pace! Offer Gisele one, while you’re at it. Whatever it takes — even if you’re just renting an old hunting dog for a year or two. That dog can still hunt. And what — dear God — at the quarterback position is demonstrably worse than the Bears’ below-mundane Mitch Trubisky?
Which brings us to Mahomes.
The Bears could have had him, easy. Could have had lesser but still good Deshaun Watson, too. But we’ll stick with Mahomes.
As all Bears followers have heard by now, ad nauseam, Pace moved up to No. 2 in the 2017 draft to take Trubisky, leaving Mahomes to go at No. 10 to the Chiefs.
Well, there have been worse misses in draft history, but I can’t come up with one without Mel Kiper here to guide me.
Neither of these Super Bowl quarterbacks blows anybody away with obvious physical skills. Strong arms, sure. But every NFL QB has a strong arm. For all you dreamers out there, remember Mahomes ran a 4.8 40 at the combine; Brady, 5.28.
Your grandma can run a 5.28.
But the immeasurables? Things such as spatial recognition, timing, vision, courage, desire, dedication, innovation, intuitive understanding of the physics of running men, vector forces, a spiraling ball intersecting with a moving target? Genius level, both of them.
Those are the kinds of things a club is supposed to recognize.
The Bears don’t. Or at least they didn’t.
The Super Bowl’s comin’. Have a nice offseason, folks!