1.02.2007

The Greatest College Game Ever Played

There's been a lot of talking by some sports fans about last night's amazing Fiesta Bowl win for Boise State. An electrifying game, for sure, but does it deserve to be talked about as the best bowl game ever?

Nay, my friends, Michael Weintrab disagrees. Not only is it not the best bowl game ever, it's not even close to the best Fiesta Bowl ever.
    This was Jan. 2, 1987, and for the first time, the college football season had been extended beyond New Year's Day. Because of a quirk in the system, because Miami was ranked No. 1 and Penn State was ranked No. 2, and both schools were independents at the time, with no ties to any conferences, meaning no affiliations with any specific bowls, the Fiesta Bowl landed the dream matchup. Before this, the Fiesta had been second-tier, unable to stand up to the cabal of Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange, but now the Fiesta Bowl was in the right place at the right time, and so was NBC, which took the radical step of shifting the game to a Friday night and preempting its most popular television show to make room for, of all things, a college football game.
The article is fantastic, and obviously I couldn't agree more. Here's a few more snippets...
    That Nittany Lions drive accounted for nearly half of their 162 yards of total offense; Miami would finish with 445. And all of this was fine with Paterno, and it was fine with Sandusky, because they had built this team on a philosophy that, two decades later, has begun to seem more and more quaint: You win with defense first, and you win with special teams second.
Ever wonder who the first person in prime time to get 'jacked up' was? Why none other than Michael Irvin:
    DANIEL STUBBS, DEFENSIVE END, MIAMI: "I'm a Jersey guy, and the one thing I knew about Penn State was that their defensive backs could hit. They crushed Michael on one play, and he came to the sidelines and I said, 'I told you so.' "

    TREY BAUER, LINEBACKER, PENN STATE: "Irvin got totally jacked up early in the game by one of our guys. I mean, he got hit. And I don't think he did much of anything the rest of the game. I think in the press conference afterward, he said the ball was slippery or something.
Read the entire article if you have a chance, on this the 20th anniversary of the greatest college football game ever played.

3 comments:

linguo...est said...

Wow. I thought you were exaggerating, but after watching the pregame telecast of last night's Orange Bowl, i was choking on hyperbole. Ooo! The Fiesta Hyperbole (fits, if you mispronounce it). I am the funniest man ever.

Hackett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
linguo said...

STAGNANT!