Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Six forgotten games that aren't forgotten

A rainy day and a slow news day brings a chance for this post.
Six games that that most have forgotten or never bothered with to start with that have hung around my house forever.
Some have even had nicknames dubbed to them.
I am sure there are more of these,so Cherie and/or Ryan feel free to let me know on ones that I have missed for future posts.

1) 1986 Independence Bowl-Texas Tech-Ole Miss- "The VCR Bowl"

I have been a Texas Tech football fan since I was six (More on that later),but the college football scene was far different in the 70's and most of the 80's.
Television appearances were limited and since Texas Tech was not Texas,the only time I was able to see them play was the occasional bowl appearance.
In 1986,I rarely saw Texas Tech football as the Red Raiders had not been in a bowl since 1977 and I was excited to see them get an Independence Bowl bid.
However,the Independence was not with ESPN,they used syndication and no station bought it-except for WBFF 45 out of Baltimore,which I couldn't get.
Until I discovered that the lovely Cherie,whom I was dating at the time, could pick up WBFF in her parents basement,then I was thrilled.
I could tape the game,go out on a date and then watch the game at home late night.
One small problem-Cherie refused to let me tape the game because she was afraid the VCR would break.
I missed the game and it took me almost 15 years to find a tape of the game.
When I did see it,it was nothing special,but still unforgettable here.
The 1986 Independence Bowl-known here as the "VCR Bowl".....

2) 1988 Eagles at Giants-"The Dot Finfrock Bowl".

I was always a huge Buddy Ryan fan and I loved the Buddy Ryan Eagles with a passion.
To the point of borderline insanity.
The Eagles were visiting the Bill Parcells Giants for first place at the Meadowlands and the game was televised here,not always the case in Redskins country.
Me? Where was I for this classic encounter?
At Richardson's restaurant (now defunct) for the Dot Finfrock birthday party.
Who was Dot Finfrock? My now deceased grandmother in law,who didn't care much for me to begin with and I am celebrating her birthday?
I spent the evening racing back and forth from the table to the restaurant bar to watch the game,ticking off the lovely Cherie and likely everyone else.
But I did see the unforgettable ending that saw the game go into overtime with the Eagles attempting a game winning field goal.
New York blocked the kick,but the ball never passed the line of scrimmage making it a live ball when Eagles defensive lineman Clyde Simmons scooped up the ball and ran it in for the game winning touchdown.
That salvaged the evening-for one of us at least....
1988 Eagles at Giants-"The Dot Finfrock Bowl".

3) 1983 North Carolina at Maryland "The Chuck Driesell Game"

Until the ACC ruined the conference with their ridiculous expansion,Maryland basketball ranked right with Ohio State football as huge passions of mine and Maryland always were the underdogs against Dean Smith and the hated North Carolina Tar Heels.
Duke was still at the bottom of the league,so UNC was the most hated of all Terrapin foes.
Carolina always seemed to find some way to pull a BS win out of the fire and Dean Smith always walked out with that same damn smirk on his face.
On this day,Maryland had the ball with seconds remaining and down by one,Lefty Driesell drew the perfect play to zap his nemesis Smith with.
Lefty's son, the seldom used reserve Chuck Driesell would cut to the basket for a wide open layup on the inbounds pass and the game winner.
No one would be looking for Chuck Driesell to shoot the game winner,not on a team that had Len Bias,Adrian Branch and Ben Coleman on it.
It was brilliant and it worked-Chuck was wide open and just as he let the ball go,some guy comes flying out of nowhere to make a block that no human should have been able to make.
Problem was it was not a human,it was Michael Jordan.
Poor Chuck.
1983 North Carolina at Maryland-"The Chuck Driesell game"

4) 1986 Orange Bowl-Oklahoma vs Arkansas "The Bad Roads Bowl"

I have mentioned before how much I loved the Barry Switzer Sooners.
I loved the wishbone offense and I thought the world of Barry Switzer.
The Sooners were right up there with Ohio State and Texas Tech and I saw the Sooners play more than Tech,so I knew more about the program.
Oklahoma had won the Big 8 and were taking on Arkansas,which they were heavy favorites.
They were such a heavy favorite that I figured I could tape the game and watch a scratchy signal from the only channel that the Lovely Cherie's parents cabin could pick up,as they had taken the family to their retreat in Tomahawk WVA (the less said about this place the better) for the Holidays.
A rough drive on a summer day ,a January first snowstorm made the roads likely impassable.
I wouldn't know,as I didn't make it there although not without trying.
As most of you would know,when you are 17 and in love,small things such as 10 inches of snow don't get in your way often and I was no different.
I left my house and the roads were not good,but I made it to the interstate and crossed the WV line. The roads instantly went from bad to life threatening. I had little chance on the interstate and barely made it to the first exit and reluctantly returned home,feeling bad because I could not tell her that I was unable to make it,since the cabin had no phone.
The Sooners salvaged the evening with a 42-8 win over the Hogs,as I cashed a wager on the game,which enable me to have quite the enjoyable month with Cherie,but that game still is more notable for me being nuts enough to even try to get to that cabin.
1986 Orange Bowl-Oklahoma vs Arkansas "The Bad Roads Bowl"

5) 1974 Peach Bowl-Texas Tech vs Vanderbilt "The Aunt Wood Game"
I was six years old in 1974 and all the college football rules in effect for TV that I wrote about earlier were in full swing.
I visited my favorite of all my grandmother siblings (She had many) Aunt Wood with my grandmother on a holiday week afternoon and watched the Peach Bowl before what seemed to be about 16 fans in Atlanta.
I started rooting for the team with the red jerseys and white helmets and never looked back.
I adored Aunt Wood and remember her bringing me snacks on a flattened TV tray the whole game as I sat right in front of their floor level TV as I rooted for my new team.
Two things about this game.
One was that Vanderbilt coach Steve Sloan quit after this game to coach (wait for it) Texas Tech.
The other is that the 6-6 tie might be the worst football game that I ever watched...
1974 Peach Bowl-Texas Tech vs Vanderbilt "The Aunt Wood Game"

6) 1996 ALDS Game 4 Orioles at Indians "The Fall Ball Fiasco"
The 1996 Indians were a juggernaut that crushed all in their path,the Orioles were the wild card team and won two of the first three games of the then five game ALDS.
That left the Tribe needing to win both games to advance and I was stuck in the third base box at Halfway Little League coaching Fall Ball.
Fall Ball is a no record keeping. playing just to play league that I was coaching in to help out and it was no fun at all.
The game creeped into extra innings with all Oriole fans around me,I heard Roberto Alomar's top of the 12th homer that would end the Indians season and sunk to my knees in the coaches box.
Cleveland would get revenge the following season when the Orioles had the superior team and the Indians sent them home from the playoffs.
I always think that of all the playoff teams that the Tribe had,the 1996 team might have been the best and they were knocked out early...
1996 ALDS Game 4 Orioles at Indians "The Fall Ball Fiasco"

Hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did looking back at them.....


Ryan Heimberger said...

No mention of the infamous 2003 Ohio State-Wisconsin (Jim Sorgi chokes, but literally this time) game? I guess I'm not surprised...

Shawn said...

Yeah,but more often than not,these games become more memorable for happenings off the field than on.