- AffiliationTampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s not just about the unprecedented seventh Super Bowl title this February, or that he proved he could win one without his old coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. It’s more about the mentality, determination, and leadership that Brady brought to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization upon his arrival last season, guiding them out of NFL purgatory and to their first championship in 18 years. Teammates spoke of his transformative impact in the locker room and the belief he instilled in them through both his words and example. They witnessed firsthand how, even at age 43, few in the game work harder. And other key offensive players were galvanized by nightly group texts from their quarterback in the week leading up to the Big Game against Kansas City that insisted “We will win.” It’s that kind of leadership that has managed to make Brady’s extraordinary accomplishments look routine after a remarkable two decades at the top of his sport. Love him or hate him—just don’t take him for granted.