Tom Brady will be 43
GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is surrounded by the media after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

When Super Bowl LV kicks off next week, Tom Brady will be 43 years old making him the oldest player to appear in a Super Bowl. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccanneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LV, and all eyes will be on the future Hall-of-Famer.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will become the first NFL team in 55 years to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium so the hopes of an entire state rest of Brady’s broad shoulders. While all Super Bowl’s feel special, next Monday will be especially monumental given the upheaval that has followed Brady’s career in the past twelve months.

New Team, Same Old Brady

Remember the hype around Lebron James’ The Decision’ back in 2010 when he passed on the Cavaliers to sign up with Miami Heat? That’s about the only sporting decision that comes close to buzz generated from Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots to sign up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

The NFL world struggled to conceive how Brady, who had spent two decades (and won six Super Bowls) with the Pats would slot into a new outfit. In typical Brady style, he went about answering his critics in the best way possible, guiding the Bucs to their first Super bBowl since 2002.

Age is just a number

When Brady laces up the boots and sets foot on the field next week, he will officially become the oldest player to grace a Super Bowl. Before that, the record belonged to 42-year-old Matt Stover. Stover was the starting kicker for the Colts at Super Bowl XLIV in Indianapolis’ 31-17 loss to the Saints.

It’s also worth noting that while Tom Brady will be 43 years old at his 10th Super Bowl, he shows no signs of slowing down. His 4,633 passing yards during the regular season was the fifth-highest total of his career.

History is on his side, kind of

During his 20 years in New England, Brady made it to the Super Bowl nine times, walked away with a Lombardi Trophy in six of those games and been rewarded MVP four times. In his first year with Tampa Bay, Brady has the Buccaneers primed for a second championship.

Tom Brady will be 43
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 1: MVP Tom Brady of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

However, history suggests that while Brady finishes strong, he starts slow. Brady hasn’t led a single touchdown drive in the first quarter in his past nine Super Bowl appearances.

He wants to play on till 45

In further proof that Tom Brady is not human, the Buccaneers quarterback has indicated he’d like to continue playing until he hits 45. “Definitely. I’d definitely consider that,” Brady said during a pre-Super Bowl press conference.

“It’s a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is. Just because it’s a contact sport. There’s a lot of training that goes into it. And it has to be 100% commitment from myself to keep doing it.”

Brady gets The Last Dance treatment

In the past twelve months, both Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have been the subject of piercing sports documentaries (our breakdown on which is better here), and now it’s Brady’s turn.

The ESPN team, who also produced The Last Dance, has ordered a nine-part docu-series examining Brady’s career so far. Produced under the working title Man In The Arena, the series will include first-person interviews with Brady and his teammates. It will explore the legacy of his twenty-year career with the New England Patriots.