Brady on 12th SI cover, ties Montana for most-ever by NFL player

With his appearance on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated, Tom Brady(notes) moves into a tie with Joe Montana as the football player with the most appearances on the front of the venerable sports magazine. The quarterbacks have both appeared on SI's cover 12 times (not including commemorative issues), more than any other NFL player. David Carr(notes), meanwhile, is still stuck at one.

It makes sense that Montana and Brady are tied at the top: They've won multiple Super Bowl MVP awards, played the glamour position for the best teams in the sport and have recognizable faces that sell magazines. That the most NFL appearances is 12 is a bit jarring seeing as how Michael Jordan was on the cover 56 times (Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods are the next most frequent cover subjects with 38 and 30 covers, respectively), but football is the most team-oriented of all the major sports. That, combined with a compressed playoff schedule, leaves fewer opportunities to land a cover.

[Photos: Candid images of star quarterback Tom Brady]

Brady's mug on the cover must sell well, because the Patriots weren't even the most compelling NFL story in their own division this week. He gets on covers because he's great, but the fact that his presence probably leads to more women buying newsstand copies doesn't hurt either. (Nor does the fact that there's no green in the New England jerseys.)

You can check out all of Brady's SI covers on the SI Vault website. I recommend starting with this one.

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