Nov 23, 2009, 12:03 PM EDT
We couldn’t let The Big Game get too far in our rear-view mirror without a passing nod to possibly the most infamous play in college football history; in fact, they simply call it The Play, and that is enough.
Great piece in The Stanford Daily on Friday about Gary Tyrrell, the Stanford trombone player who was trampled in the end zone at the conclusion of Cal’s improbable, five-lateral kickoff return which provided a 25-20 victory on Oct. 20, 1982. Tyrrell has given a multitude of interviews in the ensuing years, but until Friday I hadn’t known that he runs his own microbrewery, and markets something called Trombone Guy’s Pale Ale. Or that he comically showed up at the Big Game in ’83 in a neck brace and a wheelchair.
At least someone from Stanford is having fun with what many refer to as the worst moment in that school’s athletic history.
Among Tyrrell’s revelations in the Stanford Daily article: “Cal tried to buy the (trombone). They offered me maybe $100-$150 for it and my counter offer is that I’d trade it even up for the Stanford Axe.”
Tyrrell was famously run over by Cal running back Kevin Moen, after he and other members of the band had run onto the field thinking Stanford had won. John Elway for years refused to discuss The Play, blaming it for preventing him from going to his only bowl game. “They ruined my college career,” he famously said at the time.
Tyrrell and Moen have become friends, however; even having made joint appearances to talk bout The Play. Tyrrell is now the chief financial officer for the Silicon Valley firm the Woodside Fund. And also a Deadhead. What?
What many don’t know about this fired-up fan is his devotion to music, particularly the Grateful Dead. Gary has attended “approximately 112″ Grateful Dead concerts. Although he has lost track of the exact number, “it’s definitely somewhere in the hundreds and teens,” he said.
Tyrrell has also attended 31 consecutive Big Games. His trombone, by the way, is currently on display at the College Football Hall of Fame. Moen is now the head football coach at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in southern California.
And finally, consider this: If instant replay had been around in 1982, we most likely would not be talking about this now. And that would be very sad.
The Day The Music Died: The Man. The Trombone. The Legend [The Stanford Daily]
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