Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Play - Cal vs. Stanford

I don't follow football, college or professional, but when this piece came up in NPR's Story of the Day, I was riveted and had to dig up the video. I vaguely remember students mentioning this game when I attended Cal, but there was no YouTube then to clue me in. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the scene:
  1. November 20, 1982, Berkeley California. Rivals Cal and Stanford face off in the annual Bay Area classic. The lead changed hands several times and in the final two minutes the score was 19-17 Cal.
  2. Stanford quarterback John Elway (you know, the one who later led the Denver Broncos to two Superbowl wins) led Stanford on what appeared to be a game-winning drive.
  3. With eight seconds left on the clock, Stanford scores a field goal to give them a 20-19 lead. Announcer Joe Starkey said, "Only a miracle can save the Bears."
  4. With Stanford already celebrating, the band wanders down on the field. But in an amazing series of five lateral moves, Cal keeps the ball alive and runs it into the end zone for a touchdown. Kevin Moen runs down a trombone player in the process.
  5. After the referee decision is announced, Starkey screams "Oh my God! The most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football! California has won the big game over Stanford."

It truly was a spectacular play. Just listening to the announcer on the podcast gave me goosebumps. The NFL ought to remember football's rugby roots and try some lateral moves more often.

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