Tom Brady often says he will play professional football until he is at least 45 years old, possibly even 50. Whenever Tom Terrific retires, Brady will go down as one of the game’s all-time greats — five Super Bowl championships, four Super Bowl MVPs and 12 Pro Bowl appearances, all after being drafted 199th overall by the New England Patriots.
Brady turns 40 on Thursday and while he celebrates the Big 4-0 — likely with his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — The Champaign Room thought there would be no better way to honor Brady’s milestone birthday than with a subtle reminder of the time Illinois stunned Brady’s Michigan men at The Big House.
The day was October 23, 1999. After starting the season 3-0, the Illini, under head coach Ron Turner, dropped their first three Big Ten games to Michigan State, Indiana and Minnesota. No. 9 Michigan, fresh off the heels of a heartbreaking 34-31 loss to the Spartans after a 5-0 start, were looking to rebound.
The Illini trailed the Wolverines 27-7 late in the third quarter before Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner found wide receiver Walter Young for a touchdown on fourth down. Illinois finished the game with four unanswered touchdowns on its way to a 35-29 win at Michigan Stadium.
Brady finished the game by completing 23 of 38 passes for 307 yards, but he also managed to throw two costly interceptions.
All in all, Tom Brady has had an all-time great NFL career and was an above-average college quarterback. Still, there was that one faithful day in 1999 where the Illini got to Tom Terrific.