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Orange Bowl - Edwin Pope
Plenty of memories

They are not all just moments. The Orange Bowl memories flooding our collective football psyche can be one play, as in two classic dashes by two local heroes named Hudson and Auer. They can be one game. Or they can be a whole stretch of them. Just remember, these are only my own top 10 from the Orange Bowl, and you should feel free to replace them with any of the thousands of images you may call yours.

AP Photo/CBS Sports

1. (TIE) HAIL FLUTIE | DEC. 5, 1984

This calls up a quarterback not much taller than your coffee cup. I'm not sure they ever held Doug Flutie still long enough to measure him.

Miami leads Boston College, 45-41, with 28 seconds left. Boston College offensive tackle Mark McDonald is thinking, How long is 28 seconds? I can't walk from my kitchen to my bedroom in 28 seconds.

It's long enough for Flutie to slip and slide around and finally launch a 48-yard pass that is seized by Gerard Phelan, right off the mitts of the Hurricanes' Selwyn Brown, Darrell Fullington and Tolbert Bain.

Only 30,235 were recorded as attending in person, and that probably was a generous estimate.

Miami Herald file photo

1. (TIE) UP HOWARD, DOWN TOM | JAN. 1, 1984

The 1983 title finally came down to Nebraska coach Tom Osborne deciding to try a two-point conversion to beat Miami. That was the idea.

A twister named Kenny Calhoun raced out of UM's ''double dog trio'' defnese and tipped Turner Gill's pass away from Jeff Smith, and the Cornhuskers got nothing. They would walk away with only their courage intact, leaving Howard Schnellenberger's Canes as kings of all.

Schnellenberger had described his players as extremely hungry, and drew an analogy. ``When you're hungry, a piece of Wonder Bread tastes like angel-food cake. If you're not hungry, it tastes like Wonder Bread.''

Churchchillian or not, it worked.

AP file photo

3. CHARGERS 41, DOLPHINS 38 (OT) | JAN. 2, 1981

San Diego and Miami played what might have been the most exciting pro game ever. First the Chargers charged and led 24-0.

Don Strock brought the Dolphins lunging back in a rally that headlined Tony Nathan taking a lateral from Duriel Harris just as the first half ended.

The entire play ("entire play," that's just about historic, 'ey?) went 40 yards and put the Dolphins back within striking distance, down 24-17. A few minutes later, Bruce Hardy, more great hands than twinkletoes, took off for 50 yards with another Strock pass and it was tied at 31. After an official 73 minutes 51 seconds (actual time, four hours five minutes), Rolf Benirschke mercifully kicked a 29-yard field goal to win.

AP file photo


Kind of hard to know where to start with such a mix of arrogance and humility as Joe Namath -- a good guy, just complicated.

No more confident QB ever walked, or limped, off of a field. The same man would go into an office at the University of Alabama to pick up some required document and would be asked by a clerk, ''Hey, don't I know you?'' And would answer, ``Maybe so, I come in here every year.''

He came around a bit too often for the Baltimore Colts as the New York Jets trimmed them, 16-7, Jan. 12, 1969.

The Colts were favored by 17 points or so. I picked them to win by 45-13.

AP file photo

5. NO KING IN MIAMI | DEC. 8, 1985

Chicago's Bears were unquestionably the best team in football in 1985. Only not around here, Dec. 8, 1985.

The Dolphins swarmed in for six sacks and three interceptions, and down went the champs-to-be, 38-24. It was their only loss of the season, preserving the 1972 Dolphins team as the only team in league history go undefeated.

Maybe this was Don Shula's best coaching job of all. And that's a huge ``all.''

AP file photo

6. AL HUDSON'S DAY | JAN. 1, 1946

You will never meet a nicer, more modest guy than Al Hudson. After he finished at the University of Miami, he became a jockeys' agent, and you couldn't possibly count the winners those riders brought in.

However, you could count Hudson's 89-yard run, the classic that put the stamp on Miami's 13-6 triumph over Holy Cross in the 1946 Orange Bowl Classic.

Al Hudson never brought up that play in his life. He never had to.

For the Miami Herald

7. AND JOE AUER'S | SEPT. 9, 1966

Joe Auer was a kid from Coral Gables who never wanted to be famous. He just wanted the world to know he knew computers, which he was selling a long, long time before they got big.

He got famous when he hauled back a Raiders kickoff 95 yards on the first play of the Dolphins' first-ever game, a 23-14 loss.

The Dolphins lost, 23-14, before 26,776 customers who saw something to talk about the rest of their lives.

Getty Images

8. SUPER BOWL XIII | JAN. 21, 1979

That Terry Bradshaw you're always seeing on TV, he's good, and he was an even better QB.

He threw four TDs when his Steelers beat back the Cowboys, 35-31, in the wildest of all Super Bowls. Bradshaw's Steelers became the first to win three Super Bowls.

Loser: Roger Staubach, who had won a couple before that.


Here we have more of a lifetime achievement award. The Stings beat everybody locally who challenged them for 26 years, and took 23 state championships from 1921 through 1963.

It took Jackson High to break up the streak. In 1951, Joe Brodsky and Lee Corso did most of the deed.

10. JOE BELLINO'S CATCH | JAN. 2, 1961

In the 1961 Orange Bowl Classic, Navy's Hal Spooner threw a pass his coach, Wayne Hardin, described as ''simply beyond Joe Bellino's reach.'' Yeah?

Bellino himself said the pass ''was 20 feet over my head.'' Yeah? Bellino went up and got it on a 27-yard TD play, but Navy lost 21-14 to Missouri, anyway.

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