SI Sportsman of the Year Cover

From SI:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY NAMED SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S 2005 SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

First Pro Football Player to be Honored Since Joe Montana in 1990;

Second Back-to-Back Boston Sportsman Selection

New York, December 5, 2005 – Tom Brady, the New England Patriots’ quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champion, has been chosen as the 2005 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year for symbolizing in character and performance the ideals of sportsmanship, it was announced by SI Managing Editor Terry McDonell.

The Sportsman of the Year issue, which is dated December 12, 2005, will hit newsstands this Wednesday, December 7. Brady will receive the traditional Sportsman of the Year award, a replica of an ancient Grecian amphora, at a party in his honor in New York on Tuesday night, December 6. On Friday, December 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, HBO’s Costas Now will celebrate Brady’s selection and profile other sports figures who shined this year.

“Tom Brady is the consummate winner,” said McDonell. “Against the steepest odds and on the grandest stage, he refuses to believe his team can be beaten. That character extends to his teammates and his fans.”

Brady has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons while earning Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. He is only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to three or more Super Bowl wins and is just the fourth player in Super Bowl history to earn multiple MVP awards. Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls before his 28th birthday.

Six previous Sportsman selections played in or have ties to Boston: Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Bill Russell (1968), Bobby Orr (1970), members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team (1980) and U.S. Women’s World Cup Soccer Team (1999) and the Boston Red Sox (2004). This is also the second time SI has named back-to-back Boston Sportsmen: Yastrzemski and Russell being the first.

Professional football is being honored for the sixth time in the 51-year history of the award. Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula was the last pro football honoree (1993) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana was the last pro football player named (1990). Late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle (1963), Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw (1979, with Willie Stargell) and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams (1987, one of eight Athletes Who Care) were also named Sportsmen.

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