Discovering the NFL's PGA Counterparts
As the 2023 NFL season kicked off with a thrilling Thursday night face-off between the Chiefs and Lions, it's hard not to draw comparisons between the electrifying world of football and another sport close to many hearts: golf. Yes, they might seem worlds apart, but there are some surprising parallels between stars of the gridiron and the green. As the NFL season gets underway, let’s have some fun pairing up our favorite NFL stars with their PGA Tour counterparts.
- Tom Brady vs. Tiger Woods
- Why They're Teed Up Together: Dominance. Brady's string of Super Bowl victories and Woods' collection of Major titles make them the undeniable GOATs of their respective arenas. Hall of famers!! At 44 in 2021, Brady clinched his 7th Super Bowl with the Buccaneers. Woods, with 15 Major titles by 2021, has been a force since his first Masters win in 1997.
- Randy Moss vs. Phil Mickelson
- Hitting It Down the Middle: Flair for the dramatic. Moss's unbelievable catches contrasted against Lefty's near-impossible shots from tight spots give fans endless highlight reels. Moss, with 156 career touchdowns over a 14-year span, took aerial duels to new heights. Mickelson, a 6-time Major champion by 2021, is known for his audacious shots and his wins span decades.
- Larry Fitzgerald vs. Jim Furyk
- Driving It Home: Consistency. Their careers might not always make the flashiest headlines, but their dedication and consistent performances earn them respect among peers and fans. Fitzgerald, with 17 NFL seasons under his belt, is a model of consistency. Furyk, turning pro in 1992, clinched the U.S. Open in 2003 and remains a PGA fixture.
- Julio Jones vs. Dustin Johnson
- The Long Drive Comparison: Athletic prowess. Whether it’s Jones soaring through the air or DJ launching rockets down the fairway, both show off raw athletic talent every time they play. Both just natural phenomena, Jones, moving to the Titans in 2021, boasts a prolific career since 2011. Johnson, world No. 1 for several spells, bagged his first Masters in 2020.
- JJ Watt vs. Brooks Koepka
- Tackling The Green: Intensity. Their competitive edge is undeniable, with Watt terrorizing offenses and Koepka's laser focus during Majors. These two just embody intensity. Watt, a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, made waves since his 2011 debut. Koepka, with 4 Majors by 2021, exhibits a distinct flair for the grand stages.
- Patrick Mahomes vs. Collin Morikawa
- A Perfect Shot on Target: New era champs. Both skyrocketed to stardom in record time. Mahomes' MVP-level play matches Morikawa's quick ascension to Major winner. Mahomes, the 2018 MVP and Super Bowl LIV champion, has dazzled since 2017. Morikawa clinched the PGA Championship in 2020 and The Open in 2021, making a splash early in his pro journey.
- Drew Brees vs. Jordan Spieth
- The Bunker to Touchdown Pass: Comeback stories. Brees and Spieth both faced their share of challenges, only to bounce back and remind everyone of their greatness. Brees, with a 20-year career capped by a Super Bowl MVP, faced early questions of stature. Spieth, with 3 Major titles by 2021, emerged from a slump to reaffirm his elite status.
- Lamar Jackson vs. Bryson DeChambeau
- Revolutionary Playmakers: Game changers. Jackson's QB runs have defenses on their toes, much like DeChambeau's power game has the golf world buzzing. 2019 MVP Jackson has redefined QB expectations since 2018. DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champ, experiments with game physics like none other.
- Calvin Johnson vs. Rory McIlroy
- Grace Under Pressure: Both Johnson and McIlroy have the ability to make their exceptional plays seem almost effortless. "Megatron" ruled from 2007-2015 with over 11,000 receiving yards. McIlroy, with 4 Majors by 2021, possesses a swing that many consider a golfing symphony.
- Richard Sherman vs. Patrick Reed
- In The Rough: Love them or question them, their talent is undeniable. Sherman’s attitude & lockdown defense and Reed’s gritty & controversial play both grab headlines. Sherman, Super Bowl XLVIII champ with the Seahawks, is as articulate as he is skillful. Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, often lets his clubs do the talking amidst controversy.
- Aaron Rodgers vs. Justin Thomas
- Clutch Moments: Both have a knack for pulling off the unexpected, be it a Hail Mary or a birdie in the clutch. Rodgers, the 2020 MVP, is revered for his clutch throws since 2005. Thomas, with his 2017 PGA Championship, is a final round maestro.
- Rob Gronkowski vs. Jon Rahm
- Power Plays: Whether it's Gronk powering through defenders or Rahm's long drives, these two showcase brute force. Gronk, vital in the Buccaneers' 2021 Super Bowl win, dominates the tight end role. Rahm, world No. 1 in 2021, combines skill with unmatched passion. Both are just forces of nature.
- Eli Manning vs. Zach Johnson
- Quiet Storm: Not always the center of attention, but when the pressure's on, they deliver. Manning's two Super Bowl MVPs came against all odds. Johnson, with 2 Majors including the 2007 Masters, often flies under the radar.
- Russell Wilson vs. Rickie Fowler
- Fan's Favorites: Both have won the hearts of fans not just for their skills, but their demeanor and sportsmanship. Wilson, a Super Bowl XLVIII champion, blends skill with philanthropy. Fowler, still chasing his first Major by 2021, wins hearts with his demeanor and vibrant attire.
Cheers to the start of the 2023 NFL season!
Enjoy the games, and may your favorite teams and players find the endzone or the bottom of the cup!