With NMU football hosting its first nationally televised football game in at least three decades, The North Wind’s Adam Dompierre looks back on some of the more memorable moments in college football’s TV past.
5) Down Goes Charlie
This is the kind of moment you instantly know will be with you for a long time. A Notre Dame player sprints downfield to cover a punt. A Michigan player knocks him off course and sends him tumbling out of bounds. Charlie Weis, who doesn’t see any of this, is standing there like a house of cards balancing on a series of spinning plates. To say that Weis went down like a sack of bricks would be lazy and a little inaccurate. “He went down like a sack of sacks of bricks” is a much better description.
4) The Ol’ Ball Coach
This is more of a lifetime achievement award than any one defining moment, but former Florida and current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier’s press conferences are solid gold. Rather than reciting coaching clichés about working hard and taking it one game at a time, Spurrier acts like he’s working a comedy club. When asked if he would beat Georgia again that year Spurrier responded, “Is Ray Goff still the coach there?” And let’s not overlook his finest zinger, telling Florida fans that a fire had burned 20 books at Auburn’s football dorm, “but the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”
3) The 2007 Fiesta Bowl
Boise State came in as a big underdog against perennial powerhouse Oklahoma, but after some big plays, the Broncos held a commanding 28-10 second-half lead. Cue the roaring Sooners comeback, and Oklahoma held a seven point lead with a minute left. Three ridiculous trick plays later, and Boise had converted a two-point conversion for the overtime victory. Ian Johnson scored on the game’s final play, then went to the sidelines and proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend in an ending cheesy enough to make “Full House” look like “Apocalypse Now.”
2) He’s A Man! He’s 40!
OK, this one takes some exposition. In September 2007 an “Oklahoman” reporter wrote a hacky little column essentially calling Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid soft. Reid’s coach Mike Gundy doesn’t take too kindly to that sort of thing and used a postgame press conference to shout at said reporter for three and a half minutes. The video descends into Chris-Farley-character territory pretty quickly but doesn’t reach its high water mark until 2:25 in when Gundy hollers the baffling and instantly classic, “I’m a man! I’m 40!”
1) The 2006 National Championship
Self-proclaimed “Games of the Century” come along about once a year these days but the 2006 Rose Bowl was one deserving of the title. USC came in heralded as the greatest team ever with two Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield, but it was Texas quarterback Vince Young who defined the game. Play after play, in increasingly improbable ways, he seemed to raise the bar over and over again. On the game’s decisive fourth-down play, Young had one last miracle up his sleeve, running eight yards through USC’s vaunted defense for the clinching touchdown. Young’s life has turned rocky since then but nothing is going to erase that night in southern California when anything seemed possible.