Sports·The Buzzer

Tom Brady is defying age — and belief

CBC Sports' daily newsletter marvels at Tom Brady, who's back in the Super Bowl again at age 43.

There's never been a QB this old this good

New team, same result: Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports' daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what's happening in sports by subscribing here.

Here's what you need to know right now from the world of sports:

It wouldn't be a Super Bowl without Tom Brady

For all the upheaval we've experienced lately in sports and in life, there remains a near constant: Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. The age-defying quarterback made it back for the fifth time in seven years by helping Tampa Bay upset Green Bay 31-26 in yesterday's NFC championship game. Brady will now try to knock off Kansas City and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes after they stamped out Buffalo's magical run with a dominating 38-24 win in the AFC title game.

We'll have plenty to say about the Super Bowl matchup as the Feb. 7 game gets closer. But, for today, let's just appreciate Brady.

This is the 20th Super Bowl matchup since Brady became an NFL starter in 2001 and, come two weeks, he'll have played in 10 of them. He went 6-3 and won four Super Bowl MVPs with New England. And now, after just one year in his new conference, Brady owns as many NFC titles as fellow future-hall-of-famer Aaron Rodgers has managed in 13 years as Green Bay's starter.

Did we mention Brady is 43 years old? Sure, he looked it at times yesterday, throwing three interceptions. But he also tossed three touchdown passes — the eighth time since the season started that he's had at least that many in a game.

How wild is that for someone his age? Well, before this, there was exactly one instance in NFL history of a player past his 43rd birthday throwing at least three TD passes in a game. And that happened a half-century ago. George Blanda, who had transitioned from QB to kicker in his old age, came on in relief of Oakland's injured starter and threw three TDs to beat Pittsburgh in Week 6 of the 1970 season.

Which is all to say, there's no precedent for what Brady is doing right now. He's not just defying age. He's defying belief. Read more about how Tampa Bay and Kansas City reached the Super Bowl here.

Quickly…

The Edmonton Football Team's head coach quit before he even coached a game. Scott Milanovich resigned today to, as the CFL team put it, "pursue NFL opportunities." He's reportedly joining the Indianapolis Colts as their quarterbacks coach after the guy who had that job was promoted to offensive co-ordinator. Edmonton hired Milanovich as its head coach after the 2019 season, and the 2020 campaign was wiped out by the pandemic. Read more here.

And in case you missed it…

A few more things from the weekend that you should know about:

Canada's speed skaters can't be trusted. Oh, they're fine people and all. But they told us not to expect any medals from them at the long-track World Cup season opener in the Netherlands. Save for a two-week training camp back in the fall, the Canadian team had no opportunities to train on a proper oval since the pandemic hit, forcing them to resort to short tracks and outdoor ice to prepare for the shortened season. So of course they showed up to the Netherlands and promptly won five medals — including a gold by Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais in Friday's women's team pursuit. Read more about the haul and watch highlights here.

Reece Howden had himself a weekend. The 22-year-old Canadian won back-to-back men's World Cup ski cross events in Sweden on Saturday and Sunday. He now has three victories and four podium finishes in seven races this season and sits atop the World Cup standings by a wide margin. Canada's Marielle Thompson is second in the women's chase after reaching the podium for the fifth time this season on Sunday. Read more about the women's and men's races and watch highlights here.

Conor McGregor got knocked out. The UFC's biggest star hadn't fought in a year and was making just his third appearance in the octagon since 2017. But he was expected to beat Dustin Poirier for the second time in his career and bolster his case for luring undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement for a megafight. Instead, Poirier spoiled McGregor's (and the UFC's) plans by dropping him with a flurry of punches to score a shocking second-round KO on Saturday night. Read more about the upset here.

Patrik Laine got traded. Winnipeg swapped him for another talented young player who wanted a change of scenery, sending Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick. Laine averaged about 35 goals over his first four NHL seasons and is still only 22. But he's wanted out of Winnipeg for a while and, with his contract set to expire after this season, the Jets didn't seem all that interested in convincing him to stay. Dubois was the third-overall pick in 2016 and looked like a promising player the last two seasons. He scored 27 goals in 2018-19 and had 18 in pandemic-shortened 2019-20. But he asked for a trade after his relationship with fiery Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella soured. Read more about the deal and why Laine wanted a fresh start here.

Coming up on CBC Sports

Alpine skiing: The World Cup season continues Tuesday with a women's giant slalom in Italy starting at 4:30 a.m. ET and a men's slalom in Austria starting at 11:45 a.m. ET. Watch both two-run races live on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app.

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