As a Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady has the distinction of being the first NFL player to win seven Super Bowl championships.
Who is Tom Brady?
The New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady, known for his impeccable skills on the football field, in 2000. He boasts a successful career, with three NFL MVP awards and seven Super Bowl victories to his name. However, his career has not been without controversy, such as the infamous “Deflate gate” scandal of 2015. Despite a suspension resulting from this incident, Brady demonstrated resilience by leading the Patriots to another Super Bowl victory in 2016. After twenty seasons with the Patriots, Brady moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. Outside of his sports career, supermodel Gisele Bündchen also knows him for his marriage. Brady announced his retirement from professional football in 2022.
Early Beginnings & College Years
Born on August 3, 1977, in San Mateo, California, Tom Brady highlighted his athletic talents early on at Junipero Serra High School excelling in both football and baseball. Despite a promising opportunity in professional baseball after his graduation in 1995, Brady chose to pursue football at the University of Michigan. He remained a largely unexplored talent in his initial years at Michigan, only stepping into the limelight as a starting quarterback in his junior year. He ended his college career on a high note, leading his team to an Orange Bowl victory.
A Stellar NFL Career
The New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL draft is sixth round drafted Brady. However, his first season was uneventful, with him primarily serving as a backup quarterback. The subsequent season saw a turn in fortunes for Brady when he replaced injured starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe. His remarkable leadership and strong arm led the Patriots to an impressive season and a Super Bowl victory against the St. Louis Rams. This success was echoed in following seasons with victories at Super Bowl XXXVIII and in 2004, earning Brady two more Super Bowl MVP awards. Brady then extended his contract with the Patriots in 2005, and led the team to a 12-4 record in the 2006 season.
Close to Perfect Season and Injury
The 2007 season saw the Patriots put forward an almost unbeatable offense, with Brady throwing a then-record 50 touchdown passes. The team enjoyed an undefeated regular season but fell short against the New York Giants at Super Bowl XLII. Brady suffered a significant knee injury in the 2008 season’s inaugural game, sidelining him for the rest of the season. His return in 2010 silenced critics, as he cemented his place in the team once more.
In 2011, Brady once again led the Patriots to the Super Bowl, this time against the New York Giants. Despite a heartfelt plea from Brady’s wife to pray for his victory, the Giants defeated the Patriots. In a thrilling 2012 match against the San Francisco 49ers, Brady almost managed to overturn a 28-point deficit but ultimately lost the game.
‘Deflate gate’ and Super Bowl Success
2014 saw the emergence of the infamous “Deflategate” scandal. After a triumphant game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots were accused of using underinflated balls, one of which was found to be significantly below the NFL’s minimum requirement. While accusations of cheating ensued, Brady maintained his innocence, stating he had no knowledge of, nor involvement in, any violations of game rules.
The reputation of Patriots coach Bill Belichick came under scrutiny in 2007 when he was penalized with a fine of $500,000 for breaking league regulations by filming the signals of an opposing coach. This incident drew much attention from the media.
Despite the distraction caused by these accusations, quarterback Tom Brady remained focused on his upcoming match in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks. In an impressive display of skill, Brady set a Super Bowl record with 37 completions, leading his team from a 10-point deficit to a thrilling 28-24 win. He joined the elite ranks of quarterbacks to win four championships and became the second to earn three Super Bowl MVP awards, solidifying his status as one of the sport’s greatest.
The infamous Deflategate scandal resurfaced in the media spotlight in May 2015 when a report by investigator Ted Wells concluded that Brady had knowledge of a locker room attendant tampering with footballs before the AFC Championship game. Brady was initially suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season. However, this suspension was later contested in court and temporarily overturned due to legal shortcomings. When the NFL appealed in 2016, a judge overruled the previous decision and reinstated Brady’s suspension. Although Brady appealed the decision once more, he finally accepted the suspension in July 2016.
A Memorable Super Bowl LI Triumph
Despite being suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, Brady led the Patriots to another Super Bowl by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Before the championship, Brady expressed his desire to win for his ailing mother. As promised, he masterminded a thrilling game which was historically the first to go into overtime in NFL history, securing a 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. This win made Brady the first quarterback in NFL history to bag five Super Bowl rings. He outdid his idols, quarterbacks Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw, who both have four Super Bowl wins. Brady’s incredible 25-point comeback and record-breaking 466 passing yards in Super Bowl LI earned him his fourth Super Bowl MVP.
Continual Success and Super Bowl LIII Victory
Proving age is just a number, 40-year-old Brady led the NFL with 4,577 yards in 2017, helping New England secure a 13-3 record. Amid rumors of discord between Brady, his coach, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a more pressing concern arose when Brady injured his throwing hand in practice before the AFC Championship Game. Despite requiring more than ten stitches, Brady’s performance was undeterred as he led a late touchdown, securing a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and securing his eighth AFC title.