The NFL might be entertainment but, as Tom Brady recently made clear, the outcomes of games and seasons are not predetermined by the powers that be. 

When asked if he thinks the NFL in scripted, Brady alluded to a pair of Super Bowl losses at the hands of Eli Manning and the New York Giants as evidence that the league is anything but scripted. The first of those losses, a 17-14 decision in Super Bowl XLI, prevented Brady's 2007 Patriots team from becoming the first team in NFL history to go 18-0. 

"Do I think the NFL is scripted?" Brady asked. "You think I really would have played along with a script that had me losing to Peyton's little brother, Eli, twice in the Super Bowl? ... No." 

The ultimate competitor, Brady will probably never get over his Super Bowl losses to the Giants and the younger Manning, whose career in many ways was defined by those wins over the Patriots. Manning was named MVP in both of those games and is one of just two quarterbacks (Nick Foles being the other) to defeat Brady in the big game. 

In fact, Eli's other brother, Hall of Fame quarterback and Brady's top rival Peyton Manning, feels that his younger brother's performances in those games validates his future spot in Canton, Ohio. 

"When you're the Super Bowl MVP twice against the greatest dynasty of all time, the New England Patriots, Tom Brady/Bill Belichick, and you join a list that includes Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Tom Brady and Joe Montana, Eli Manning as the only (multiple) Super Bowl MVPs," Manning said in 2020

"I don't really know what that term, 'drop the mic' is, but I guess if there was one. ... There really is no 'yeah, but' after that. That kind of ends it. But if you want a, 'yeah, but,' yeah, but he also started 220-plus consecutive games. He's sixth or seventh all time in touchdowns. It wasn't like he just played those two seasons.

"He answered the bell, played his butt off, won some huge games for his team. I have strong opinions on it, but I'm gonna pull and Eli and live in the present and kinda look back if you will and not look too far ahead, get too worried about it."