It ain't over 'til it's over
Originally Posted by Hostile
It was the 4th quarter of Monday Night Football. For the first time ever, the Dallas Cowboys had a regular season game played in January. The season was shortened to 9 games because of the first NFL Players strike. Divisions were done away with for the year.
Dallas trailed the Vikings, 13 to 24 after Rick Danmeier returned a Danny White pass the other way for a score. Minnesota pinned the Cowboys inside the 1 yard line and things looked hopeless.
My Mom was watching the game with me and said, "Well, what are your Cowboys going to do now?" At the time the longest rushing TD in the NFL had been a 97 yard score by Andy Uram of the Chicago Bears in 1939.
I confidently replied, "No problem, Tony Dorsett is going to break the NFL record right here."
[View Full Quote]Tony Dorsett was the single setback, because the FB forgot to enter the game. Dallas had only 10 men on the field. It must have helped that Tony didn't have to avoid his lead blocker. I still remember Frank Gifford's call, "huge opening for Tony Dorsett, look out he's got great speed." In the background Don Meredith was saying it by the time Tony hit the 30 yard line, "99 yards and a half."
Then you could hear Howard Cosell, "99 yards. i think it's the longest run in the History of the league."
I had a big bowl of popcorn in my lap, I jumped up and it went flying. I also raised by arms and hit a huge potted fern that my Mom loved and it went flying. I had huge chunks of fern draped over my head and popcorn and fern were all over the floor. I destroyed that fern. Did I mention my Mom loved it? It was really quite beautiful.
I heard something and slowly turned my head to the right and saw my mother lying across the couch laughing her *** off. She was snorting and holding her ribs lying on her side. Tears running down her face. I was trying to apologize for destroying the plant, and she didn't care one bit. Sad it was the funniest thing she had ever seen.
I told that story at her funeral in May and everyone was laughing.
It is perhaps my favorite moment ever in a Cowboys loss. I am proud of the record Tony holds, but it also has the significance of that story for me which is a precious memory of a better time in my life. I was home from college for the Christmas break.
I can still remember how cold the wet fern was on my head, and trying to see the carnage and the end of the touchdown through the shoots draped over my face and eyes. Still smell and taste the hot buttered popcorn that mom made in a pan on the stove the old fashioned way. Can still hear Frank, Don, and Howard praising Tony. I remember Drew Pearson was the first guy to congratulate him.
I still remember the belief we were going to come back and win that game too. You see, Tony Dorsett rushing for 100 yards was a good omen for the Cowboys. Up to that point, only one time in his career had he hit 100+ yards and the Cowboys lost.
That TD made it 20-24. Ron Springs later scored too for a 27-24 Cowboys lead, but the Vikings scored on a late TD pass, I think Tommy Kramer threw it. The Vikings won 27-31.
43 times in his Cowboys career Tony Dorsett eclipsed the 100 yard mark in a football game. 39 times when that happened we won. Only 4 times did he reach that mark and the Cowboys fail to capitalize.
It was 29 yars ago today, and it doesn't feel that long ago at all.
Did Tony ever get that football back? I remember he tossed it away at the end of his run.