By Jimmy Cunningham, howiGit Contributing Writer
New York, NY
Mr. howiGit loves his comparisons, so here is one for him: a comparison of the two most iconic heroes in New York and Boston of the past generation — Derek Jeter versus Tom Brady. As with most comparisons on this blog, this one will dig deeper than just the numbers and performance on the field, but will examine the whole person — and in the end will determine the more iconic figure.
Winning – Both Jeter and Brady have won a lot in their careers. Both have been in the playoffs every year except one, with Brady missing one season while hurt in 2008. Jeter has played in seven World Series in 15 seasons; Brady has played in four Super Bowls in nine years. Jeter has won five World Series championships and Brady has won three Super Bowls. With those numbers being too close to close to call, this is a push.
Records – Currently, Jeter is the active leader in hits in the MLB, and looks to continue to move up the all-time list. I have a bet with Mr. howiGit that he will break Pete Rose’s record for the most hits all-time, so we will see how that one ends up. That said, most of Jeter’s records are playoff records: leading in playoff hits, runs, and doubles. Along with that, he is third all-time in playoff home runs. Brady’s records come mostly from the 2007 18-1 season with Patriots, with his single season record-breaking 50 touchdowns being his crowning jewel. He also owns the record for most completions ever in a Super Bowl with 32 against Carolina in 2004. For both Brady and Jeter, career records have yet to be determined, but due to his touchdown record season the edge goes to Brady.
Result: Brady Wins
Clutchness – Mr. howiGit’s favorite intangible quality is clutchness. Both of these players seem to have ice water in their veins and step up when their teams need them most. Jeter’s batting average when his team is down is .317, which climbs to.322 when his team is down by one run. His career average climbs by nine points when his team is losing by any margin, from .308 to .317. His average also continues to grow on the games highest stage; the World Series, going from .308 to .321. With that, Jeter has a .400 on-base percentage in the 9th inning, to go along with a .333 batting average in extra innings as well as a .500 on base percentage in those extra innings. Brady has 30 4th quarter wins, in which his team is tied or down heading into that quarter. Along with that, he has engineered two last-minute Super Bowl winning drives and has been near perfect in overtime throughout his career. The edge here goes to Jeter. Looking at Brady’s career by quarter, the 4th has been his worst. He has his most interceptions, fumbles, and worst quarterback rating in the 4th quarter. According to quarterback rating, Brady plays his worst when his team is down, while Jeter elevates his play at crunch time.
Result: Jeter Wins
Women – Tom Brady has a gorgeous wife in Gisele Bundchen. I would question you to find anyone who would say that she is ugly. He also has dated Tara Reed, pre letting herself go, and also has a kid with Bridgette Moynahan who also is no slouch. But this one is not a contest. Derek Jeter has dated 6 women on Maxim’s top 100 lists; Jessica Alba, Vanessa Manillo, Scarlett Johansson, Gabriele Union, Mariah Carey, and Jessica
Biel. That is just the All-Star team which does not include a Miss Universe, singers, and actresses. Oh and he is engaged to Minka Kelly who was recently named sexiest woman alive by Esquire Magazine.
Result: Jeter Wins, by a landslide.
Endorsements – Jeter is endorsed and heavily featured by Gatorade and Jordan. He is also one of three athletic spokesmen for Gillette with Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, two of the best at their respective sports. Jeter makes over $10 million a year total in endorsements. He was recently in a movie, The Other Guys, staring Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell. He also currently has the top-selling jersey in the MLB, coming in his 15th season. Brady, on the other hand, has endorsements with Smartwater and Movado watches, and makes about $4 million annually in endorsements. He also has the 14th highest selling NFL jersey, one behind Eli Manning.
Result: Jeter Wins
Personality- Derek Jeter seems to have the respect of his peers, media, and the public in general. The knock on Jeter is that his defense has declined. People that do not like him have the type of dislike that comes from respect. Brady gets much love from the media and seems to have a healthy rivalry with Peyton Manning. However ask the Baltimore Ravens or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have both had issues with Brady on the field, what they think of Tom Terrific. I don’t think you would ever see Jeter get in the face of a back-up left fielder, a la Anthony Smith or question how many runs his team is going to score in the World Series, a la Plaxico Burress. Something I did not know existed before doing some research for this article is dickipedia.com. It is a Wikipedia type page devoted entirely to who the public thinks are “dicks”. Tom Brady has a page, Alex Rodriguez has a page, Derek Jeter does not. Jeter also doesn’t model his hair off of a 16-year-old Canadian punk.
Result: Jeter Wins
So in the end, Jeter is the winner, 4-1-1. The on the field was very close with Jeter winning one, Brady winning one, and a push. However Jeter really pulled away in the off the field aspects, proving himself the overall better man. If any topics were missed, let the debate begin.
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