Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football player. From 2001 to 2020, he was the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, and is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Tom Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. He became the starter after perennial Pro-Bowler Drew Bledsoe was injured in Week 2 of the 2001 season, tallying an 11-3 record and winning the Super Bowl that year. Brady has been the starter in New England ever since. In Brady's 16 full seasons as a starter (he missed nearly all of 2008 with a torn ACL), the Patriots have earned nine trips to the Super Bowl, winning six. Brady has won four Super Bowl MVP awards (the most ever), three league MVP awards, has been selected to fourteen Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with sixteen. Brady is fourth on the all-time list for career passing yardsnote and third for career touchdown passes.note His career postseason record is 30-10; his playoff win total is the most in NFL history. He helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons. He also set the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 10, and in 2007 led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. He has thrown for more passing yards and touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL postseason history, and has the fourth highest career passer rating of all time (97.6) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts.note
Tom Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times. Brady is the only quarterback to lead his team to at least seven Super Bowls (he's led them to nine), holds the record for the most total Super Bowl touchdown passes and, after Super Bowl LIII, is now the first and only player to win six Super Bowls. He was named the NFL MVP in 2007, 2010, and 2017 (in 2010 becoming the first player since 1986 to be unanimously chosen as MVP) as well as the 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first NFL player to be so honored since 1990. He also became the first quarterback to throw for 50 or more touchdowns in a season. In 2010, he set the NFL record for consecutive passes without an interception (358).
After the 2019-2020 season, Brady announced that he would be playing for a team other than the New England Patriots next season, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady has been a popular spokesman for several brands including Gillette, Dodge, Under Armour, Uggs, and Citizen watches. He has made guest appearances on Family Guy and Entourage. Additionally he had a cameo as himself in Ted 2, directed by Patriots Fan Seth MacFarlane and starring frequent Patriots owner's box guest Mark Wahlberg. He also had a small speaking role in Stuck on You with another Patriots megafan Matt Damon. He is also on the cover of Madden NFL 18, which even got a G.O.A.T. Edition inspired by him.
Tropes related to his works:
- Always Someone Better: Possibly subverted. After the Miracle Rally in Super Bowl LI, many fans and commentators, even many who admitted to not liking him much, began calling him the G.O.A.T. - the Greatest Of All Time. Still, don't mention the names Eli Manning and Nick Foles, or the numbers 18-1 anywhere near him. Brady himself is this to Ben Roethlisberger, who lost three AFC championship games to Brady's Patriots.
- Badass Boast: According to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, shortly after Brady was drafted by the team, he introduced himself to Kraft and told him that he, Brady, was "the best decision this organization has ever made."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: His bond with tight end Rob Gronkowski is so strong that, when he went to the Buccaneers, he convinced Gronk to come out of retirement and join him there, by way of a trade. Notably, Gronk has caught more touchdown passes from Brady than any other player, and he was only in the league for the back half of Brady's career.
- It's Personal: Being selected so late in the draft still bothers him. During interviews, when he is discussing that draft day and how it felt to sit with his family watching the TV and have round after round go by without being selected, his voice breaks, his eyes tear up, and it's difficult for him to talk about it. A huge motivator for him is the fact that every team he plays (except the Houston Texans, which didn't start play until his third season in 2002) is a team that passed on him multiple times and all six quarterbacks selected ahead of him never won a Super Bowl and are now out of the NFLnote . And he loves rubbing their noses in it.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Brady's teams, especially recently, have been geared toward being staffed mostly by players who aren't the greatest at their position, but are capable at lots of different things, and can be shuffled around to compensate for other, injured players. Brought to a head when star Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending injury, and they still won the Super Bowl.
- Living Legend: His longevity means that many current NFL stars and fans grew up watching him play and may even be too young to remember the NFL without him.
- Long-Runners: The first and only quarterback, as of 2020, to spend twenty years playing for one team. Elandon Roberts, the seventy-seventh and final Patriot to catch a touchdown pass from him, was only six years old when Brady joined the league.
- Miracle Rally: Staged one of the greatest ever when he led the Patriots back from being down 28-3 in Super Bowl LI to tie the game, and win in overtime, 34-28.
- Nice Guy: Although he's received his fair share of criticism, he's a rather kindhearted person off the field, and even though he's rightfully earned a reputation for being a rather sore loser (see Sore Loser below), he's generally known to be a consummate professional who gives credit to people where it's due.
- Old Hero, New Pals: He led the Patriots to win six Super Bowls where the first three teams and the second three teams had essentially no overlap between the two groups. Vince Wilfork was with him for XXXIX and XLIX, and Ben Watson of the XXXIX and XLII teams came out of retirement for the 2019 season.
- Pop Culture Urban Legends: He is aware of the Madden Curse, but he does not believe in it. When featured on the cover of the 2018 version, his MVP season in 2017 seemed to show no effects that plagued other QBs such as Culpepper, though his WR corps did suffer several injuries (most notably to Julian Edelman, who was sidelined for the entire year with a torn ACL), but he won MVP, and they still clinched the top seed in the AFC, but they ultimately fell short of the sixth Super Bowl, losing 41-33 to the Eagles. No one's sure whether him winning MVP means he defied it, or him losing the Super Bowl means he suffered from it. In the Super Bowl, he did pass for over 500 yards, but also had the Patriots' lone turnover of the game.
- Red Baron: He's sometimes referred to as just "TB12", after his jersey number. It's so prevalent that when Brady went to the Buccaneers, Bucs' wide receiver Chris Godwin willingly changed jersey numbers so Brady could still wear #12.
- The Rival: The Manning brothers. Peyton was one of the few quarterbacks who could contest Brady's dominance of the AFC, and has a winning record against him in the playoffs. Eli on the other hand upset the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl, the first time against a then-undefeated Pats with what is widely considered to be one of the greatest plays in football history.
- Also to Ben Roethlisberger, who along with Brady and Manning formed the trio of AFC Quarterbacks that appeared in all but one Super Bowl between the 2002 and the 2019 seasons. Unlike Manning, Big Ben never beat the Brady-led Patriots in a play-off game, losing AFC championship games in 2001, 2004, and 2016 , and secured three Super Bowl berths essentially by working at the margins of the Patriots dynasty, winning in 2005 when the Patriots lost the Divisional to Denver, winning in 2008 when the Patriots were without Brady and missed the playoffs, and losing in 2010, where they faced the upstart New York Jets in the conference championship.
- Sore Loser: If your team beats Tom Brady and the Patriots, don't expect him to congratulate you. After all three of their Super Bowl lossesnote , he went to the Patriots' locker room without shaking any of the Giants' or Eagles' player's hands.
- Wham Line: Brady's announcement that he would be leaving the Patriots to play for another team was this trope to a lot of people, especially the teams fans.