After playing for Clear Lake High School, then Texas A&M, Steve McKinney spent 10 seasons in the NFL. During the 2001 season, his fourth in the league - and the final one before joining his hometown Houston Texans, McKinney's Indianapolis Colts played at the New England Patriots.
"I'll never forget it," McKinney admitted during a Zoom interview with ABC13 on Wednesday. "The week before, Drew Bledsoe got hurt. So we're feeling pretty confident - playing against a backup quarterback."
That backup quarterback? Tom Brady.
On Wednesday, the 45-year-old announced he's done playing in the NFL after 23 seasons in the league and seven Super Bowl titles. Brady's first-ever start came against McKinney and the Colts on Sept. 30, 2001.
"I'm sitting in the hotel room in New England the night before the game, and flip on the local sports show there - and a guy is sitting there interviewing the Tom Brady," McKinney recalls. "Tom is wearing this little Payne Stewart-like golf cap. I'm thinking, 'Man, we're gonna crush these guys. Who is this doofus?'"
RELATED: Tom Brady retirement: Newly-minted retiree JJ Watt jokes in congratulations tweet to former rival
Brady completed 13 of 23 passes for 168 yards. He did not throw a touchdown but did not throw an interception, either. The Patriots mauled McKinney's Colts 44-13.
"He just stuck it to us, man," Steve said. "I remember walking off the field thinking, 'I cannot believe we lost to Tom Brady. Who is this guy?'"
That was the first of what would be 251 victories for Brady.
"That was really the beginning of the dynasty run for New England," McKinney noted about that 2001 game. "It really started with that win against us because you could tell it built the confidence of their team."
For more sports news, follow Adam Winkler on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
SEE PREVIOUS REPORT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady officially announces retirement