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Tom Brady named Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Sportsperson of the Year

The accolades, awards and tributes keep on coming for Tom Brady in his 22nd NFL season and at the age of 44.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and future Hall of Famer has been named Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Sportsperson of the Year.

The recognition marks the second time Brady has won the award, as the quarterback also named SI Sportsperson of the Year in 2005 following his first three Super Bowls wins in a four-year span.

Beginning in 1954, SI’s Sportsperson of the Year Award recognizes “the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.”

Given that set of criteria, Brady certainly merited consideration for the award. Following a two-decade run and six Lombardi Trophies with the New England Patriots, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season. Not only did he thrive, Brady led the Bucs to a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV for the team’s first championship since 2002 and his seventh title.

Brady unsurprisingly is unwilling to rest on his laurels at this point, either. Shortly after basking in the afterglow of the Bucs’ Super Bowl triumph, Brady made it clear that his eyes still remained on the biggest prize ahead of the 2021 season: another Lombardi Trophy.

The Bucs and Brady are making good on the quarterback’s drive to deliver another title to Tampa as well. The Bucs currently sit at 9-3 and are one of the top teams in the NFL heading into the season’s stretch run. Brady, the current MVP favorite according to PointsBet (via Pro Football Talk), leads the NFL in passing yards (3,771) and passing touchdowns (34) while posting a 104.0 QB rating.

Brady was asked for SI’s cover story just how he feels at this stage of his career and long he thinks he can keep this level of play going as Father Time looms.

“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 Jon 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.”

The case can be made that Brady has provided no evidence at this point to suggest he won’t continue to defy the odds.