Extra Points

NFL Set to Honor Tom Brady’s Place in Super Bowl History

tom brady super bowl xlix.jpg
As part of the festivities at Super Bowl 50, three-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady has been invited to participate in an on-field ceremony prior to kickoff. Getty Images/Christian Petersen

Tom Brady has resurfaced on Facebook… but he’s not talking White House.

Brady’s marketing team posted a letter to the Patriots quarterback from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that recognizes Brady’s contributions to the game, his performances in three Super Bowls, and being one of only 43 players to be named Super Bowl MVP.

With Super Bowl 50 on tap next, the NFL is launching “a year-long celebration of the first 49 Super Bowls that will conclude with this year’s game in San Francisco next February.”

As part of the festivities at Super Bowl 50, Brady has been invited to participate in an on-field ceremony prior to kickoff.

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The caption on Brady’s photo reads: “What an honor… Hope I have my helmet on for the on-field ceremony in SF! #teameffort”

What an honor… Hope I have my helmet on for the on-field ceremony in SF! #teameffort

Posted by Tom Brady on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A fifth Super Bowl title would leapfrog Brady over Terry Bradshaw and, more importantly, Joe Montana, for sole possession among quarterbacks with the most rings in NFL history. But not only would Brady be able to accomplish the field at spanking-new Levi’s Stadium, he’d also get to win it in a city a stone’s throw from his hometown of San Mateo, California.

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He would also best his boyhood idol in the discussion of the best the game has ever seen in the NFL’s 2015 host city of San Francisco, where Montana staked his claim as such a generation ago.

Until No. 12 came along.

If Brady still possesses the unequivocal drive that has helped build his future Hall of Fame career, the New England Patriots quarterback won’t slack on the opportunity to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles especially considering the ramifications, for this is a guy who clearly has excelled in the face of uncertainty.

Sixth-round draft pick? The Michigan product has smashed that doubt into veritable shards, a disbelief he even carried into his latest achievement — a victory in Super Bowl XLIX that silenced those foolishly wrapped up into the claims that his most recent successes were due to monkeying with the inflation levels on footballs.

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That, you may recall, is now a group that includes none other than one Joe Montana.

“If I ever want a ball a certain way, I don’t do it myself. So, somebody did it for him,” Montana told The Boston Globe’s Chris Gasper in Phoenix, prior to the Patriots’ rousing 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.. “But I don’t know why everybody is making a big deal out of trying to figure out who did it. It’s pretty simple. If it was done, it was done for a reason. There is only one guy that does it. Nobody else cares what the ball feels like.

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“I mean it’s easy to figure out who did it. Did Tom do it? No, but Tom likes the balls that way, obviously, or you wouldn’t have 11 of them that way without him complaining because as a quarterback, you know how you like the ball. It’s a stupid thing to even be talking about because they shouldn’t have the rule anyway.”

And now that the NFL is ready to honor Brady for his accomplishments, it also appears the league is ready to rule on the Deflategate controversy.

“I never put myself in those discussions,” Brady said when asked to compare himself to Montana after the Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. “That’s not how I think. There are so many great players that have been on so many great teams, and we’ve had some great teams that haven’t won it. I think you just enjoy the moment.”

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You have to think though it was a moment where Brady, who has long professed that his favorite title is “the next one,” had his eye squarely on the Bay Area he once called home, as well as the guy he aspired to be, and instead is destined to overcome.

“The guy is a great quarterback,” said Montana. “There is a category that people like to say, ‘the greatest to ever play,’ he is definitely in that category. But I think it’s hard to put anybody up there no matter who it might be. Go back and watch Otto Graham and Sammy Baugh. If you haven’t seen any footage, it’s ridiculous the things those guys did back then. I think it’s really hard to compare, but Tom obviously is having a tremendous career.”

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Boston.com’s Eric Wilbur contributed to this report.

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