Buccaneers' Tom Brady Named SI's 2021 Sportsperson of the Year

Erin WalshDecember 8, 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 05: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who is in the midst of yet another phenomenal season in the NFL, has been named Sports Illustrated's 2021 Sportsperson of the Year.

The award is given annually to an athlete, coach or team who best represents the spirit of sportsmanship, character and performance. Brady previously received the honor as a New England Patriot in 2005 following his third Super Bowl title.

SI's Jon Wertheim wrote:

"The quarterback earns this honor for the second time, 16 years after the first, for a year defined by victory in Super Bowl LV and—in the midst of an MVP-caliber encore—victory over time itself."

Brady, 44, has had an incredible 2021 thus far and is playing better than he did when he was in his mid-20s. He led the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl victory since 2003, was named Super Bowl MVP and now is in the midst of yet another MVP-caliber season.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion has led the Bucs to a 9-3 record this year, which is good for first place in the NFC South. In addition, he leads the NFL in passing yards (3,771) and passing touchdowns (34) while completing 68.3 percent of his passes.

And as for how long the veteran quarterback will continue playing, it certainly seems like he's got plenty of gas left in the tank:

"I'd say there are parts of me that are 55, and I think there's parts of me that are 25. What parts? I think I'm wise beyond my years," Brady told Wertheim. "I think I've had a lot of life experience packed into 44 years. When I go through the tunnel and onto the field? Probably mid-30s—and I've got to work really hard to feel good. It's a demolition derby every Sunday. I feel 25 when I'm in the locker room with the guys. Which is probably why I still do it."

Brady, who is often considered the greatest of all time, also holds various NFL records, including for passing yards, passing touchdowns and the most Super Bowl titles of any player in league history.

The California native has his Buccaneers ready to fight for another Super Bowl title this season. However, it won't be easy with teams like the Arizona Cardinals (10-2), Green Bay Packers (9-3) and Dallas Cowboys (8-4) keeping things interesting in the NFC.

The Bucs are set to face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday before hosting the New Orleans Saints in a divisional showdown at Raymond James Stadium.