Stanford v. California 1982 – “The Play”

Stanford and U.C. Berkeley have one of the oldest rivalries in college football, dating back to 1892. Ninety years after they first met, they played one of the most classic of all college football games on November 20, 1982.   All-American Quarterback John Elway  was a senior playing in his final game as a Stanford University Cardinal. This now legendary rivalry game took place at the Cal’s Memorial Stadium and featured Joe Kapp’s never-say-die Cal team against shell-shocked Stanford under third-year head coach Paul Wiggin. The two schools were meeting for the 85th time and no one could have known that the game would end on what is widely considered to be one of the most amazing plays in the history of college football, a five-lateral circus return for trombone-crushing touchdown now know simply as…. “The Play”.  Richard Roders, Mariet Ford, Kevin Moen, all names that will haunt Stanford fans for generation to come.

It is one of  the most recognizable play and most unblievable game-finish in the entire century-and-a-half history of the sport!

From Wikipedia: “The Play” refers to a last-second kickoff return during a college football game between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford University Cardinal on Saturday, November 20, 1982. Given the circumstances and rivalry, the wild game that preceded it, the very unusual way in which The Play unfolded, and its lingering aftermath on players and fans, it is recognized as one of the most memorable plays in college football history and among the most memorable in American sports.

After Stanford had taken a 20–19 lead on a field goal with four seconds left in the game, the Golden Bears used five lateral passes on the ensuing kickoff return to score the winning touchdown and earn a disputed 25–20 victory. Members of the Stanford Band had come onto the field midway through the return, believing that the game was over, which added to the ensuing confusion and folklore. There remains disagreement over the legality of two of the laterals, adding to the passion surrounding the traditional rivalry of the annual “Big Game.”

The Content: This 1982 Big Game program has all the normal features like campus profiles for each school, schedules, player and staff photos, player spotlights and coaching profiles, depth charts, rosters and line-ups, stadium info, a basketball preview, a Heisman quiz, etc. There are feature articles including one on “Great Cal Quarterbacks”, others titled “Who Do the Writers Watch?”, “The Defensive Linemen”, “Depth”, “Tailgating in the Midwest”, “The Best Seat in the House” and “Cinderella Stories”, and TouchDown Illustrated’s All-Time Team.

We have a very nice selection of Stanford v. Cal programs on our website.

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