At this rate, the superlatives will run out before Tom Brady’s career does.
The 43-year-old quarterback served New England as a Patriot with distinction for 20 years, long enough and with more than enough honours for two Hall of Fame careers.
After nine Super Bowl appearances in Boston – six of them victorious – Brady headed for warmer climes in west Florida last summer.
And the third decade of his remarkable career already looks eerily familiar, the Vince Lombardi Trophy – in Tiffany sterling silver – in his hands for a seventh time, another parade coming up and one more Super Bowl ring being cast for his magic fingers.
Seldom in his illustrious career has Brady entered the NFL’s showpiece finale as an underdog. After 21 years, we really should have known better. By the end of the first quarter, he had doubters changing their minds. By half time, apology speeches were being penned.
There are certain modern athletes to whom usual measurements and calculations do not apply. Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan.
A plinth was already being raised in that pantheon for Tom Brady before this game. You can pour the concrete now and ready his laurel wreath. The NFL G.O.A.T. is sealed.
There had been talk that a win here for Kansas City would leave Brady stuck, probably for good, on six Super Bowl wins while opposite number Patrick Mahomes would have claimed back-to-back titles at just 25, meaning another four or five in his career could be a real possibility.
Now the score is Brady 7, Mahomes 1. And who’s to say Brady is finished yet? He has already declared a desire to play beyond his 45th birthday, which means at least two more seasons. Try finding a doubter now that eight or even nine could be his tally before he swaggers off into the sunset.
After some of the nail-biting, last-gasp wins and losses that Brady has experienced in Super Bowls, this one was much more straightforward.
Both quarterbacks struggled to crank up their scoring machines in the early going but by half time, it was as good as over.
Brady hooked up twice in the first half with his old Patriots teammate, Rob Gronkowski, for the first two touchdowns of the night and he threw a third TD pass just before half time to Antonio Brown.
Canadian singer, The Weeknd, wowed the 25,000 socially-distanced crowd at half time but the second half did nothing for the Chiefs other than to wish their own weekend could start afresh.
Leonard Fournette ran in another touchdown early in the second half but as much as Tampa Bay easily out-scored the Chiefs, a monumental effort from their defensive line had Mahomes on the run all night.
You could have named your price with oddsmakers on KC not scoring a touchdown in this Super Bowl. Mahomes will come again. Time is on his side.
But don’t bring up time to Brady. He will call it on his career when he is good and ready, and right now that looks a few years off yet.
The G.O.A.T. gets to make the rules and no one will ever question that beast’s identity.