Though the fans had voted Peyton Manning No. 1 and Tom Brady No. 3 (with Aaron Rodgers at No. 2), the players ranked Manning second; just behind Brady who went on to secure the top spot on the list.
We've often heard the two of them referred to as "1-A and 1-B"; and though that may be the case as far as 2011 is concerned, Brady displayed no hesitation when asked to share his feelings about Manning in a phone interview with Lindsay Soto during the “Top 100 Reaction Show,” going as far as to state where he would place Manning amongst the greatest to ever play the same.
When asked "What is it about Peyton that makes him such a great player?,” Brady responded by saying:
To me, he's the greatest of all-time.
What he's accomplished and the way that he studies, the way he prepares. He's really got a killer instinct too. I've been fortunate to be around him on a lot of occasions and we always hit it off; we have a great relationship and he's a friend of mine and someone that I always watch and admire because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better and he doesn't settle for anything less than the best.
So when you watch the best and you're able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better."
The fans seemed to concur.
NFL Network's text vote regarding "Who Is the Greatest Quarterback of All-Time?" brought forth an overwhelming amount of support for the only four-time league MVP in NFL history.
Manning captured 47 percent of the votes, Brady came in second with 28 percent, Montana in third with 17 percent, with the remaining eight percent being attributed to "other" quarterbacks.
More shocking than the fan support were Brady's comments about Manning as he prefaced his response by immediately proclaiming his arch nemesis to be "the greatest of all time."
Take into consideration, of course, that the question of "who is the greatest quarterback of all time" is not only a common one, but one that quarterbacks themselves face both privately and publicly on a regular basis.
Tom Brady is no idiot and would not make such a bold statement without taking the time to ponder the correct answer beforehand. Even if he wanted to be humble and remove himself from such considerations, he made no mention of Montana, Elway or any other quarterback to have ever played the game.
Legacies were not even part of the discussion; Brady volunteered his thoughts in that respect.
The players may not have agreed with the fans regarding the No. 1 spot on Sunday's countdown, but the real question should be:
Who did Tom Brady vote for?