Year in and year out, it's been the kindling for debate in New England. Patriots fans enjoy nothing more than arguing Tom Brady's place among quarterbacks in the league, today and for all time, and each time the argument gets under way, the discussion revolves around the same point.
In some years, Patriots fans have been able to puff out their chests, knowing that Brady was putting up MVP-caliber seasons with pedestrian receiving corps. In others, the critics have had the upper hand, pointing out that Brady has had the luxury of throwing to Pro Bowlers, future Hall of Famers, or both.
The Brady discussions occur every year, and they always serve to remind participants just how unstable the New England wide receiver situation has been since No. 12 took over in 2001.
The Patriots have been loaded, but the cupboard has also been bare.
Usually, they've been somewhere in the middle.
With Brady prepared to throw in 2012 to his 12th different group of receivers, here's a breakdown of the 10 best casts he's had so far.