A Decade’s Worth Of Super Bowls And Other Fun Facts About Tom Brady

Athletes | 1/28/21

In 2021, Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a huge Super Bowl win. For the living legend, it was his 10th appearance in one of the biggest yearly sporting events in the world. Playing the game he loves into his 40s has been no easy task, but Brady has proven to be more than up for that challenge. Through his two-decades-long career he has seen it all, and so have his biggest fans. These are all the facts you need to know about the greatest quarterback to ever put on cleats and shoulder pads!

He Played In His First Super Bowl In 2002

tom brady in 2002
JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images
JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images

Tom Brady was just 24-years-old in 2002 when he made his first Super Bowl appearance. Standing under center for the New England Patriots, Brady beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 and became the youngest QB in NFL history to win a Super Bowl.

No one could have predicted at the time that Brady would still be playing at 43-years-old while chasing after a seventh ring. This, after all, was just the beginning of one of the most storied careers in NFL history.

He Has A Losing Record When Facing The Broncos

tom brady and peyton manning
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Against every team in the NFL except for one, Tom Brady has a winning record (including postseason). That team is the Denver Broncos. During the regular season, Brady has beaten Denver eight times while losing to them six times.

The postseason is where the record flips. Brady has faced Denver in the playoffs four times and has only won once, giving him an overall record of 8-9 against the Broncos.

He’s Played In Super Bowls During Four Presidential Administrations

Super Bowl LIII and tom brady
Al Bello/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images

From 2002 through 2021, nothing shows how incredible the longevity of Tom Brady’s career is then this fact – he has played in Super Bowl during four different presidential administrations, starting with George W. Bush.

Brady played four Super Bowls during the Bush administration. He then played in his fifth and sixth during the Obama years, three more during the Trump years, and now he is playing in his tenth less than one month into the Biden administration.

The Seahawks Played In The AFC When Brady Was Drafted

Seattle Seahawks qb jon kitna in 2000
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When Tom Brady was drafted in 2000, the NFL looked a lot different than it does today. Not only were there 31 teams spread across six divisions, but the Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC.

Considering the rivalry between the 49ers and Seahawks in the last decade, it’s hard to believe there was a time when these two teams weren’t divisional rivals. Seattle moved to the NFC West in 2002 when the NFL realigned the entire league.

26 Franchises Have Appeared In Less Conference Championship Games Than Tom Brady

tom brady standing
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Not only has Tom Brady played in 10 Super Bowls, but he has also started 14 conference championship games. That number is more than the total of 26 NFL franchises. The only team to play in more are the Steelers, Cowboys, Patriots, and 49ers.

Two teams are tied with Brady – the Packers and Raiders. And his Super Bowl appearances beat every team except the Patriots, mostly because he played for the franchise for so long.

Brady Has Beaten 27 Different QBs In The Playoffs

tom brady and aaron rodgers
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Playing in the NFL for over two decades and reaching the playoffs as much as Tom Brady has meant that he has beaten a lot of other QBs. In total, Brady has stood victorious over 27 different signal-callers in the postseason.

Some of the more notable QBs Brady has beaten are Peyton Manning (twice), Ben Roethlisberger (twice), Philip Rivers (three times), Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes. Will he add to that list before he retires?

He Was A Seventh String QB In College

tom brady in college
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Coming out of high school, Tom Brady was overlooked by just about every major program. He ended up going to Michigan, where as a freshman he was the team’s seventh string QB! Eventually, Brady started, but not before he learned under both Brian Griese and Drew Henson.

With his path to the NFL on thin ice in college, Brady had to plan for a different future. Luckily that didn’t happen, and instead, Brady was able to reach his full potential.

198 Players Were Selected Before Him In The Draft

tom brady sitting
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Entering the NFL, Tom Brady was not a highly-touted prospect. He was taken in the sixth round by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall pick. There were six QBs taken before him, a group now referred to as the “Brady Six.”

These six quarterbacks started a combined 191 games and threw 258 touchdown passes. Brady has won over 260 games and thrown more than 650 touchdown passes. Not bad for the former seventh stringer.

Brady Is The Second Highest-Paid Player In NFL History

NFC Championship game photo of tom brady
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Over the course of his career, Tom Brady has left a lot of money “on the table.” He was known in New England for signing contracts that were under market value so the team could sign other big-ticket free agents.

That doesn’t mean Brady hasn’t made bank, though. As of 2021, he had earned $263 million, a staggering number that makes him the second-highest paid player in NFL history. The highest-paid of all-time is Drew Brees, who has made $269 million.

Brady Has Started Twice As Many Super Bowls As Any Other QB

tom brady catching a football
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Tom Brady has been the starting QB in ten Super Bowls. In 21 seasons, he has spent nearly half of his career leading his team to the promised land. In NFL history, no other starting QB has ever been to five Super Bowls.

John Elway led the Broncos to five appearances, winning two. Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger have only combined to start nine Super Bowls. There’s a reason Brady is considered the G.O.A.T.

Brady Has Made The Super Bowl In More Than Half The Seasons He Was The Starting QB

tom brady throwing the football
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

While Tom Brady’s career has spanned 21 seasons, he has only been a starting QB in 19 of them. In his rookie season, he sat behind Drew Bledsoe. It was during his sophomore season he took over for an injured Bledsoe and altered the course of New England Patriots history.

Then, in 2008, Brady tore his ACL. With Matt Cassel under center, the Patriots went 11-5 and somehow missed the playoffs. They would return to the postseason in 2009 with Brady healthy again.

Brady’s Wife Really Brings Home The Bacon

supermodel giselle
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Tom Brady is a very wealthy man but compared to his supermodel wife he’s nothing impressive. Giselle is one of the world’s highest-paid models and will make more than $1 billion when she retires.

At her highest point, Giselle spent 10 straight years as the world’s highest-paid supermodel. In 2020, Kendall Jenner moved into the top spot with yearly earnings of over $22 million, more than double what Giselle earned that same year.

Brady Enjoys Avocado Ice Cream As A Treat

tom brady eating food
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Part of the reason for Brady’s career longevity is that he treats his body like a temple. According to his famous “TB12 Method,” Brady sticks to a very strict diet that avoids sugar, dairy, and tomatoes.

When Brady wants to spoil himself, he eats avocado ice cream as a sweet treat. His personal chef also helps him keep his diet, which consists of 80 percent vegetables, on track. In 2017, Brady released the book “The TB12 Method” which revealed his lifestyle to his fans.

Brady Fell Asleep Before His First Super Bowl

tom brady taking a knee
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Preparing to play in the Super Bowl should be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences for an athlete. Unless your name is Tom Brady, that is. Before playing in his first Super Bowl, the future Hall of Famer fell asleep at his locker.

As Brady remembers, the waiting period before the start of the game was elongated because of all the pomp and circumstance. He decided to take off his shoulder pads and lay down, “I wasn’t intending to sleep, but I think I dozed off for 20 or 30 minutes.”

He Trains Using Resistance Bands

tom brady smiling
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Instead of the traditional weight training that most athletes do, Tom Brady prefers resistance band training. This means that while he might not be putting on as much muscle as his teammates, he is becoming more flexible.

Brady believes that one of the keys to his longevity is this flexibility and pliability. He believes that peal performance is aided by long and soft muscles. Other athletes who have tried his training program have tended to get hurt more often, however.

He Once Broke A Ping Pong Paddle After Losing A Match

New England Patriots tom brady upset
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Tom Brady is hyper-competitive. To play at the level he’s played at for 20 years it’s a necessity. That fire in his belly also means that he is one of the world’s sorest losers.

Danny Amendola, a former teammate, said Brady once broke a ping pong paddle out of anger when he lost a match to him. Another former teammate said Brady threw a backgammon board across a room after losing once.

One Publication Estimated Brady Gave Up $60 Million To Stay In New England

tom brady looking down
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In March of 2020, Business Insider crunched the numbers on Tom Brady’s career earning and found out just how much he should have made in 20 years in New England. Playing for the Patriots for 20 seasons earned Brady $235 when he should have made closer to $295 million.

As we noted earlier, Brady made the point to restructure his contract several times as a Patriot to free up cap space and keep the team competitive. It was only after his 20th season in New England Brady made the decision to become a free agent for the first time in his career, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

No QB In League History Was More Productive In Their 30s

tom brady celebrating
Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

As most NFL QBs hit their 30s, they begin to regress. A player who would normally complete 67 percent of his passes suddenly only completes 63 percent. For Tom Brady, the opposite happened. No QB in league history has been more productive after turning 30-years-old.

During his 30s, Brady tossed 309 touchdowns. He is the only player to throw more than 300 TDs in their 30s. His 74 interceptions in the decade are also 47 fewer than anybody else who threw more than 200 touchdown passes in that same amount of time.

Brady Has Played In More Super Bowls Than The Bucs Have Postseason Wins

tom brady screaming
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Since entering the NFL in 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have only won nine postseason games. Since starting his career in 2000, Tom Brady has been to ten Super Bowls. As long as Brady stays in Tampa, the franchise should continue to prosper.

The last time the Bucs reached the top of the NFL mountain was during the 2001 season. QB Brian Griese threw a then franchise-record five touchdown passes. Brady now holds the franchise record with seven and counting.

Brady Used To Eat Ham And Cheese Subs With Onion Rings And Orange Soda

tom brady at the podium
John Wilcox/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images
John Wilcox/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Brady might be a health nut at 43-years-old, but when he first started his career, he wasn’t so strict. In 2000, it was reported that Brady regularly ate nachos before games. At the time he was a fourth-string QB.

The Boston Globe published an article in 2017 further delving into the diet of Brady. The newspaper wrote that before the TB12 Method, Brady would eat ham and cheese subs for lunch with onion rings and orange soda, later eating pizza for dinner.