It seems like every time a college football team has 60, 70 or 80 yards to go with just seconds left and turns to a lateral-filled desperation attempt, announcers never fail to bring up “The Play.” And for good reason, too, as 38 years later it remains perhaps the single craziest, most utterly unbelievable play in the history of the sport. It had absolutely everything.
The 1982 matchup between Stanford and California game down to the final seconds, and the Golden Bears threw the ball around hoping to make something of it. On a controversial no-call where it appeared that a Cal ball carrier’s knee may have been down before he threw a lateral, the Stanford band stormed the field in celebration while the play still went on. Cal scored and won the game with no time remaining.
This play never gets old, as its entertainment value still holds up nearly four decades later. Friday, in fact, is the 38th anniversary of The Play.
38 years ago today …
THE CAL-STANFORD PLAY ????
Cal (-5) won 25-20 with a MIRACLE push ??
— SportsLine (@SportsLine) November 20, 2020
That’s an interesting nugget from SportsLine above, as bettors who took the Cardinal surely were shaking their heads in disbelief and disgust. With Pac-12 play back underway, we’re also just one week out from the latest installment in the Stanford-Cal rivalry, which will take place on Nov. 27.
Of course, that’s only if the game gets played. The Pac-12 canceled yet another game on Friday as the Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State will not go on due to COVID-19 issues. Of all the Power Five leagues, the Pac-12 has had the toughest time getting its 2020 season off the ground due to a combination of local ordinances and positive COVID-19 tests.