Watching a memorable and emotional game

25 08 2010

ESPN Classic is fantastic. The Ocho (reference to the movie “Dodgeball”) is showing the Oregon-Arizona State game from Oct. 28, 2000. Oregon won 56-55 in overtime when the Sun Devils went for two points and the win and failed.

What a shootout this was. The Ducks’ defense came into the game having allowed only six touchdown passes and its defense was the top-ranked in the Pac-10. Oregon was undefeated in league play up to that point in the year it would go on to play in the Holiday Bowl, because Oregon State (which played in the Fiesta Bowl) beat the Ducks in the Civil War. Washington ended up winning the Pac-10 and playing in the Rose Bowl and winning it. The Huskies have not won the conference ever since.

It was a great year for the Northwest Pac-10 schools. Washington in the Rose Bowl, the Beavers in the Fiesta and Oregon in the Holiday, and all finished in the top 10.

But back to this game. The fourth quarter was just back and forth, and the Ducks looked doomed with less than four minutes left in the game down by two touchdowns. But they scored twice before regulation time ended, the last regulation TD with 27 seconds to play.

It was funny, ABC had already named the players of the game when ASU fumbled, allowing the Ducks to get the ball back with 33 seconds left and have time to score.

Star cornerback Rashad Bauman, who went on to play in the NFL, injured his shoulder and had to leave the game. But the Ducks had so many other great names in their football history play well – Joey Harrington, Justin Peelle, Keenan Howry, Samie Parker, Maurice Morris, etc. ASU had some big-time players, too, like Terrell Suggs and Adam Archuleta. Even Levi Jones, and offensive lineman who would later get some bad pub for fighting with current Arizona Cardinals linebacker Joey Porter in Las Vegas in 2007.

Man my Ducks were fun to watch. They were just starting to become one of the top football programs in America.

Speaking of football, come this Friday night I will be going back to my roots, so to speak. I haven’t covered a high school football game in years, and this week I get a pair of Phoenix city schools, Maryvale and Central.

In the meantime, the writing continues. A restaurant review, and a practice report from stormy Tempe on Tuesday. I can honestly say I’ve never had to walk OUT of an indoor practice facility because of fears of inclement weather. Now I have.

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