The phrase “Most Valuable Player” is one fraught with misunderstanding. Does it mean the most valuable to your team’s success? Does it simply mean the player having the best season? Does it really mean anything at all?Well, apparently it means a lot to Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians, who went on a windy rant Monday about the injustice of this year’s NFL MVP hardware going to anyone but his 44-year-old quarterback Tom “Methuselah’’ Brady.”I think if he doesn’t get it, it’s a travesty,” Arians said when asked if he felt his aged (Brady is long past aging) quarterback was deserving of his fourth MVP award. “Most completions ever, 5,000 (passing) yards, (43) touchdowns — the whole nine yards. To me, it’s not even a close race.”People in Green Bay, home of three-time and defending MVP award winner Aaron Rodgers, and in Indianapolis, where running back Jonathan Taylor ran for over 1800 yards while carrying his Colts’ team as far as he could on his back might feel differently about that. Certainly there are a number of other teams who can point to their best player and argue quite convincingly that they would not be the same without him either.What would the Chiefs be without Patrick Mahomes, for example? Or the Bengals if Joe Burrow suddenly disappeared? Yet the case for Brady seems, though perhaps boring because of its constancy, most compelling.”Tom’s the MVP every year,” said Brady’s long-time chief target, tight end Rob Gronkowski this week. “Just the way he adjusts on the fly to his personnel, just trying to get the ball into the best players’ hands or the best matchup on that current play. He’s just always ready to go no matter what the situation is. He’s the MVP every year.”Since Brady left what some perceived to be the womb, which is to say the Bill Belichick football laboratory in New England after a 20-year run that included six Super Bowl victories, he has gone 28-9 in two seasons, thrown for 11,111 yards, 93 touchdowns and won his seventh Super Bowl. He at the moment directs the NFC’s No. 2 playoff seed. He has made Bruce Arians look just as smart as Bill Belichick, who has not fared quite as well without Brady running his offense and to some extent his team.”It just shows what his work ethic is, how dedicated he is to the game of football and just how talented he is,” Gronkowski continued. “Just his determination week in and week out — it’s just unbelievable. And it’s just surreal how he’s pulling it off at age 44 and just coming out here like he’s in his 20s still, just winging that ball, zipping it where it needs to be, making fantastic throws week in and week out.”Clearly Brady brought more than a good arm, stout heart and quick mind to the Bucs. He brought a winning mindset unlike anything Rodgers has managed in Green Bay. Rodgers won the MVP a year ago but his team won nothing. Brady won another Super Bowl. In all his record-breaking seasons Rodgers has won only one Super Bowl and has been a sometimes divisive factor in Green Bay, where his spats with management and coaches have caused more than a little doubt about his future and the team’s,This season his refusal to be vaccinated and his efforts to conceal it led to a one-game suspension when he finally tested positive. The Packers did not win that game and some might argue they were not even competitive, showing both how valuable he is but also a cavalier attitude toward team success Brady has never exhibited, even when personally less than pleased with Belichick and the personnel direction of his teamAs for Taylor, his value in Indianapolis was obvious. Stop him you stop the Colts, as the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars proved last Sunday. Is he as valuable to the Colts as Brady is to Tampa or Rodgers to Green Bay? On the field probably so but because of the nature of the quarterback position he has less to say about how things run so for that reason he falls a step short.That winnows the balloting down to two names – Rodgers and Brady. This is not a career award so despite all Brady has accomplished the 2021 MVP hardware must be based solely on production of the moment. It is there, in the final analysis that Brady seems to have beaten the competition for this meaningless yet significant award.Why, you ask, when Rodgers led the Packers to the same 13-4 record as Brady posted in Tampa and did it well enough to nose the Bucs out for the valuable home tundra advantage the Packers hold this season? In the end, it comes down to the numbers.When all was said and done this year, Tom Brady became only the third quarterback in NFL history to lead the league in all four of the most significant quarterbacking categories – completions (485), attempts (719), yards (5,316) and (43) touchdowns. Only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees can make that claim. He also joined Brees as the only quarterback to pass for over 5,000 yards multiple times.Certainly the analytic geeks can come up with New Wave mathematical equations to argue Rodgers was more efficient than Brady or more accurate or had a better touchdown to interception ratio. Of course, how did things work out last weekend for the NFL’s chief stat geek, Chargers’ head coach Brandon Staley? He crunched the numbers and they crunched his team’s shot at reaching the playoffs when he over thought the final seconds of L.A.’s game with the Raiders?In the end, there is no right or wrong answer despite Arians’ declarative statement Monday about Brady. If Rodgers gets the plaque who could argue? If it goes to Taylor (which it won’t) there’s a case to be made.But in truth, this year the league’s Most Valuable Player seems clear. It’s Methuselah under center in Tampa Bay. Why? Because he produced the most for his team, held them together when injury and what looked alarmingly like a nervous breakdown threatened to break them apart and because, most of all, he turned a perennial loser into a continual winner.Not bad for an old man.