After watching Tom Brady and the New England Patriots pull off the most improbable comeback in sports history, I think we can all agree on a few things:
Super Bowl LI is the greatest comeback win in the greatest Super Bowl ever played.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
Leading up to the Patriot's historic moment in Houston, Brady has been crediting his team's mental toughness as the defining factor.
"We've won a lot of different ways under a lot of different circumstances. This mental toughness, man, that's what it's all about, and this team's got it," he says.
In his newly created Instagram account, Brady highlights a notable passage from a classic bestseller, surprisingly, about tennis. W. Timothy Gallwey's The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Side to the Mental Guide of Peak Performance was a phenomenon when it was published in 1972, mainly for its revolutionary take on overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. As Gallwey wrote, "Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game." The former is played against opponents, and is filled with lots of contradictory advice; the latter is played within the mind of the player, and its principal obstacles are self-doubt and anxiety.
"...Man is a thinking reed, but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. 'Childlikeness' has to be restored ... Perhaps this is why it is said that great poetry is born in silence. Great music and art are said to arise from the quiet depths of the unconscious, and true expressions of love are said to come from a source which lies beneath words and thoughts. So it is with the greatest efforts in sports; they come when the mind is as still as a glass lake."
On Sunday night, with less than three minutes left in the game, Brady, his team trailing 28-20, led an epic 91-yard touchdown drive that will rank among the most astounding in league history. Befittingly, Brady was named the Super Bowl MVP for a record fourth time in his career, and he has now won five Super Bowls, more than any other quarterback in history.
"He was the same as he always is--cool, calm and collected," said Patriots receiver Danny Amendola.
Taking a page out of Brady's book: When the waters are still, you can see to the bottom.
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