It doesn’t seem like it was too long ago that the year was 1998, when a 21 year old Tom Brady was the starting quarterback for Michigan. Now in the blink of an eye, it is August 3rd, 2017, and it is Tom Brady’s 40th birthday.
Before the New England Patriots quarterback won 5 Super Bowls, appeared in 8, went to 12 Pro Bowls, won two MVP Awards, his true character and resilience was already apparent during his time in Ann Arbor.
Brady endured a quarterback competition with Drew Henson in 1999. He dealt with adversity during it, when Lloyd Carr would start Brady for the first quarter, Henson the second, and they decided on the second half quarterback based on who performed better. By the midway point of the season, this no longer occurred, it was Brady’s job.
The ‘99 season had some memorable moments, including a come from behind victory against Penn State, where Brady’s face was noticeably bloody. Down 27-17 late at Penn State, Brady rallied Michigan to win 31-27.
The following week Brady was able to beat Ohio State in Ann Arbor, knocking the Buckeyes out of bowl game contention, winning 27-17. The Wolverines have beaten Ohio State just three times since this day.
In the 2000 Orange Bowl, Michigan faced Alabama, and Brady had an incredible performance, one that was a great indicator of the clutch quarterback Brady would become in the NFL. Michigan was down 14-0, he led them back 14-14. Then Michigan was down again 28-14, and they tied it back up 28-28. Brady had the game winning passing touchdown in overtime, Michigan won 35-34.
In his Michigan career, Brady had a record of 20-5 and threw for 5,222 yards and 35 touchdowns.
After many years away from Ann Arbor, Brady was able to be an honorary captain last season:
Michigan Alumni didn’t forget to send Brady a message:
Happy 40th birthday to U-M alum Tom Brady! pic.twitter.com/jsiGP3KSKF— Michigan Alumni (@michiganalumni) August 3, 2017
The NCAA gave us a throwback picture to celebrate the day:
Tom Brady is showing no signs of slowing down. His New England Patriots team has added weapons this off-season and look better than they did going into last season. It would not be surprising for Mr. Brady to play another five seasons or so, and win a couple more rings in the process.
Happy Birthday Tom Brady. You sir, are the G.O.A.T.