Tom Brady: G.O.A.T. moniker 'makes me cringe'

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Note to New England Patriots fans, television persons and the world entire: stop calling Tom Brady the G.O.A.T.

It's not that this writer doesn't like it, or that it's an overused, made-for-First Take acronym, or that the connotation of "goat" has in this decade morphed from "reason for losing" to "reason for being." No, Brady doesn't like it either, and the very utterance of the word gives the 41-year-old superhuman and six-time Super Bowl champion the heebie-jeebies.

"I don't even like that. I don't even like it. It makes me cringe, it makes me cringe. it makes me cringe," Brady told retired New York Giants legend and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan. "I guess I take compliments worse than I take [criticism]. I wish you would say, 'You're trash. You're too old. You're too slow. You can't get it done no more.' And I would say, 'Thank you very much. I'm going to go prove you wrong.'"

This isn't a surprising response from Brady, who was just hours removed from his sixth Super Bowl title, one during which he inspired the Pats to role-play as underdogs and led chants of "We're still here!" to throngs of fans who didn't presume otherwise.

Once the man retires in 23 years and his legacy is laid to rest and primped for enshrinement, Brady will likely have no issues or physical reactions to critics and fans calling him the greatest football player of all-time, instead of his boyhood idol Joe Montana. It's a consideration all athletes in their respective sports dream of being bestowed upon them.

But as long as Brady is still playing, and winning, under the curmudgeony level-headed leadership of Bill Belichick, he will react to a compliment or premature honor as he would to a strawberry or an artificial preservative: with gorgeous revulsion.

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