And sorry, but in at least one way he never will be. For the past week I have seen article after article on the Internet comparing the two. I have also heard hours of conversation talking about it thanks to those articles and the upcoming Super Bowl. I just can't avoid talking about it anymore. To be perfectly clear I am NOT a Tom Brady fan and while I agree they are both sports legends in their own right but....Derek Jeter is in a class of his own!
Just as I am on team Jeter, Rolling Stone is on team Brady going so far as to call Jeter "overrated" HERE. Maybe they should stick to music but regardless, yes, Tom Brady is an incredibly fortunate man. He has a beautiful model wife (hell, even I won't deny that!), good looks, a fan base that worships the ground he walks on and four super bowl rings. Derek Jeter doesn't have ANY of that.....OH WAIT......
I mean, hello.....Adrianna Lima anyone? I haven't met a man yet that would say "no thanks." So, both men have their supermodels.
Here's a good one for you. Like Patriots fans, we worship Derek Jeter. In fact, we have adored him for so long and so did the entire organization that he was given a tremendous honor when he was named the 15th Captain in franchise history. He held his title proudly from 2003-2014 and even after he retired we still don't have a new one. We probably won't for a long time because those are hard shoes to fill and the Yankees just don't have that kind of leader on the team yet.
Unlike the Patriots, who have more than one "Captain" and this year for example, Brady gets a co-captain with Rob Gronkowski. Before anyone wants to go off on a tangent and say "you need captains for offensive and defensive lines" OR "Football is different, you can't judge it the same!" Leadership is based upon the same principles no matter what the context is. Jeter was the very definition of it and didn't need a wingman.
Oh and how about those rings? Until the Super Bowl reveals it's winner tonight....Brady has FOUR rings to Jeter's FIVE and I sincerely hope it stays that way. Jeter was not only the face of the Yankees but he was the face of baseball. His abilities and leadership brought winning baseball back to the Bronx after our own long drought and he delivered under pressure.
Both of these men have been important to their sport. However, there is still another big difference here. Brady has been the star quarterback that Bill Belichick has needed all of these years just as Jeter was the star Captain and shortstop that Joe Torre and Joe Girardi needed but without all of the controversy.
Jeter was the classiest guy in the game. Even some of the biggest Yankee haters but intense baseball lovers I know have said that. You can hate the Yankees all you want but Jeter was all about class and he was and still is so respected. I will NEVER forget how Casey Kotchman tipped his cap as Jeter ran the bases after his infamous 3000th home run hit. Former teammate Johnny Damon even came out of the Rays dugout to congratulate him and David Price graciously left his glove on the mound and walked to the dugout to let Jeter enjoy his moment. That is incredible respect from your peers!
Jeter played the game the right way and he didn't let his success go to his head. Even off of the field he made all of the right moves. You would find Jeter's name in the newspaper, but it was all business. There were no unpleasant tabloid stories plastered on the gossip columns. He had a clean image and he was a true role model. I hope that some day my kids will have a "Derek Jeter" to look up to but I wouldn't be surprised if he is a one-of-a-kind.
So there is no avoiding it. Brady doesn't have a squeaky clean image. He was in the tabloids and there is no taking 2007 away and erasing it. Yes, news broke that Brady's "old" girl Bridget Moynahan was pregnant with Brady's baby right before he began dating Gisele Bundchen. That chapter is missing in Jeter's legacy, thankfully.
And of course, the chapter that will never be forgotten....the great Deflate-gate. It doesn't matter if you or anyone else thinks the man is guilty as sin for cheating or completely innocent. The odd dynamics of the situation casts doubt on his reputation. No matter how you spin the story, it still cost Brady a four game suspension and a lot of controversy. The NFL commissioner may have conducted a flawed investigation but it makes no sense to keep one of the biggest stars out of the game if there was no reason to believe that there was some measure of dishonesty. After all, a suspension means no appearance on televised football games, fewer fans buying tickets and decreased TV ratings. It all boils down to lost money and the NFL would not take a decision like that lightly.
It all boils down to reputation and respect.
When Jeter announced retirement, commissioner Bud Selig had nothing but praise for him.
"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as Commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter. Since his championship rookie season of 1996, Derek has represented all the best of the National Pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his - or any - era."
I will make a bold prediction here and say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell probably won't have a statement like that once Brady decides to retire.
So Rolling Stone and all of the other recent Brady loving fans and publications out there can keep Brady. The "overrated" Derek Jeter left a mark on America's favorite pastime that will never be tarnished. Too bad Brady can't say the same thing. No matter what the outcome of the game is this weekend I will never forget that.
GO FALCONS! GO NUMBER 2!
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ