Who is the GOAT of GOATs?

Gray Hughes

Well, the Super Bowl is behind us, and we have a new champion of football. And when I mean new, I mean old. Tom Brady, once again, comes out on top of the football world.

This is his seventh Super Bowl championship. Whether or not you believe he came by them all honestly (I still maintain his Patriots cheated the Eagles out of a Super Bowl in 2005), he has now, in my opinion, cemented himself as the GOAT of GOATs in professional football, which got me thinking: in North American team sports, who is the GOAT of GOATs?

For those of you who do not know, GOAT stands for greatest of all time. And each sport has one. In my opinon, football has Brady, baseball has Hank Aaron, basketball has Michael Jordan and hockey has Wayne Gretzky. But out of all of those, who’s the greatest?

Let’s break it down for each sport.

Brady has seven rings (more than literally any other franchise in football history), three regular season MVP awards, five Super Bowl MVP awards, been named to the Pro Bowl 14 times, has nearly 80,000 passing yards and holds the NFL record in touchdowns.

Yes, these are all great, but as I mentioned above, his teams have been in the center of two cheating scandals, and he himself was in the center of one of those during Deflategate.

To me, this is the deciding factor of why he cannot be the GOAT of GOATs.

Now let’s turn to baseball. For baseball, I said true home run king Aaron is the GOAT.

Aaron won a World Series and NL MVP in 1957, was a first ballot hall of famer and holds MLB’s records in RBIs, total bases, extra base hits, all star game appearances with 25 and, in my opinion, the home run record. Further, he had 3,771 hits and had a batting average of .305. Aaron was so consistent with hits that if you took away all of his home runs he’d still have over 3,000 hits. Now that’s remarkable.

But is he the GOAT of GOATs? To me, no, and that’s because of the sport he plays.

For starters, coming up with a GOAT of baseball was tricky for me because field players and pitchers are so drastically different. You could easily make the argument that a pitcher like Nolan Ryan is the GOAT of baseball because of his dominance as a pitcher.

Plus, the eras of baseball are so different. The game now is drastically different from when Aaron played which was drastically different from when, say, Babe Ruth played. I maintain that if he can keep it up and maybe win a World Series title, Mike Trout will be the GOAT of baseball.

So, because of the fact that I’m not even sure if he’s the GOAT of baseball or will be considered the GOAT in 15 years, Aaron, as great as he was, is not the GOAT of GOATs.

Now let’s turn to one of my favorite athletes of all time: Michael Jordan. I love the way he competed and expected the best out of everyone around him. As much of a jerk as he was, he was good…and he knew it.

Let’s check his stats. Jordan is a hall of famer, has six rings, six finals MVPs, five regular season MVPs, averaged over 30 points per game (an NBA record), has his own wildly successful sneaker brand and, above all, revolutionized the game and is a cultural icon more than anyone else on this list. And he did this all while taking significant time off during his peak to play baseball!

Surely this would make him the GOAT of GOATs, right? Wrong. Because he does not hold a candle to the true GOAT of GOATs.

If you were paying attention, I listed four GOATs from the main four North American spots. I have not declared any of these people the GOAT of GOATs, and there’s one GOAT left. And that, the GOAT of GOATs in my opinion, is Wayne Gretzky.

Gretzky is simply known as The Great One, and his stats back it up. Gretzky has four Stanley Cup championships, holds the NHL regular season records for goals, assists and points (goals and assists combined), holds the NHL playoff record for goals, assists and points, nine Hart Memorial Trophies (the NHL’s MVP award), the standard waiting period for him to the Hockey Hall of Fame was waved and he entered the hall of fame immediately upon retirement and his iconic number 99 was retired league wide. That’s right: no one ever again can wear the number 99 again. To put his offensive dominance into perspective, think about this: you could take way all of Gretzky’s NHL record of 894 from his NHL record 2,847 points and he would still have the NHL record in points, which would be his NHL record 1,963 assists.

Because of his pure dominance of a game that’s very hard to play, I declare Gretzky the GOAT of GOATs. This decision is final, and may God have mercy on my soul.

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