In every day, in every life, we make decisions that set in motion irreversible changes that shape our lives. Sometimes our choices lead to decisions that are made for us that are beyond our control. The same thing applies to entities as well as it does to individuals—say, a sports team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a vast majority of good decisions over the years, which has allowed them to be the winningest team in the modern era, with the most hardware to show for it.
But some decisions have worked out less well than others, and have helped shape the team as they are today. In the world of alternative facts, we get an opportunity to explore the team as it could have been, if one decision or event had gone differently.
“With the 163rd pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…Tom Brady, quarterback, Michigan”.
That was an entirely plausible outcome during the 2000 NFL Draft, and my, how things might have gone differently over the course of the past 16 years had it gone that way. The Steelers did draft a quarterback with the 163rd pick, in the fifth round, of that draft, after all. Only they used it on Tee Martin out of Tennessee, who completed 6 of 16 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in his NFL career.
Brady, on the other hand…well, suffice it to say that he has done well for himself. He has gone to the Super Bowl seven times, winning five of them, and is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game, as much as that might pain many of you to read it.
Now, does that mean that the Steelers would have nine Lombardi Trophies right now if they had drafted Brady instead of Martin in 2000? Of course not. There are so many variables in that discussion, not the least of which being Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, that it would be ludicrous to suggest that.
But it is reasonable to suggest that Brady might have become the team’s franchise quarterback, and at a bare minimum that more likely than not means that Ben Roethlisberger would have never wound his way into Pittsburgh.
For his part, Roethlisberger, has managed to take the Steelers to three Super Bowls, winning two of them, which is quite an accomplishment in its own right, but who knows what might have happened since the 2000 season with Brady under center.
One very obvious byproduct of this alternative reality going back to 2000 is that the Patriots would have had to forge their dynasty with somebody else under center, if they were even able to achieve that. While Belichick has had success when he hasn’t had Brady in the lineup…well, who knows if he would have even kept his job after a losing season without a quarterback in his early tenure.
Feel free to spend the rest of your day pondering the implications of Tom Brady being the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can decide for yourself whether or not this is a desirable alternative.