Selected as the 199th overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, University of Michigan product Tom Brady climbed the ranks quickly. Taking over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001, Brady defied critics (and odds makers) by becoming the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, his first of five. Recognizing the Foxboro phenom early, Sports Illustrated featured Brady on its cover following the Pats’ improbable Super Bowl XXXVI win, and proceeded to do so a grand total of 27 times. Here are the first two of those publications. Includes:
February 13, 2002: Encapsulated and Graded Near Mint+ 9.6, this Special Commemorative Issue portrays the Super Bowl MVP with the short and succinct headline of “Amazing!” This publication ranks #29 on the "Hardest to Find" list.
April 15, 2002: Encapsulated and Graded Near Mint+ 9.6, the issue marks Brady’s first of 21 regular weekly issue cover appearances (in addition to his six commemorative issue cover appearances). The title reads: “The Natural” with the subtitle of “A Whirlwind Off-Season for the New Prince of the NFL.” The latter, of course, refers to Brady taking over New England’s quarterback reigns in the wake of Drew Bledsoe’s trade to Buffalo. This issue ranks #21 on the "Hardest to Find" list.