‘The Play’ had special meaning to Cal's Coach Tedford

Robert Stinnet/Oakland Tribune via APMayhem: Cal’s Kevin Moen plows through Stanford band members after scoring the winning touchdown in the 1982 Big Game.

Killing time in a Las Vegas hotel room, a 21-year-old quarterback for Fresno State suddenly remembered his pal Kevin Moen was playing.

“I was just waiting for our game,” Jeff Tedford said, who on Nov. 20, 1982, was preparing for UNLV, “and I wanted to see what Kevin was doing.”

From his TV set, Tedford saw that Moen and Cal were down 20-19 to their then-Pac-10 Conference Bay Area rival Stanford, with a mere four seconds left to play.

But “play” Moen and his teammates did.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

A Stanford squib kick and five desperate Cal laterals later — the final of which was to Tedford’s buddy — and Moen was trampling a confused Cardinal trombonist and into the end zone.

Cal won. And Moen’s heroics at games end resulted in one of the most — if not the most — famed plays in college football history.

“It was pretty cool to watch him do that,” said Tedford, the coach who lead Cal into the 155th Big Game on Saturday. “But at that point, you never really knew what kind of impact or what kind of history that it [would] make.”

It’s been 30 years since that miracle at Memorial Stadium, and even more since Tedford and Moen last played on a gridiron together as high school teammates in the 1979 North-South Shrine game at the Rose Bowl.

Moen and Tedford both represented the South then. And for those wondering who won that Shrine game, Tedford gave a clear answer.

“Well, [John] Elway was playing quarterback for them, and I was playing quarterback for us,” Tedford said. “So, you could probably figure that out.”

But at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Tedford — in his 11th season as coach for the Bears — won’t only be calling plays.    

“Every year, there’s always a history lesson that goes into the Big Game,” Tedford said in respect to the looming matchup with Pac-12 rival Stanford. “And we make sure everybody appreciates what it stands for.”

And Tedford’s sophomore tight end Richard Rodgers, is one who understands. His father, Richard Rodgers Sr., had a hand — or two — in that 1982 Cardinal confrontation.

“I’ve heard from some people that he actually called it,” Rodgers said of his father. “A lot of people had given up on the game, and he was in the huddle on special teams and was pulling people on the field that weren’t even on special teams.”

Yet irregardless of who called what, Moen played the role of hero that night.

“It was exciting when I got to Cal, to bump into Kevin for the first time,” Tedford said. “I thought we could be able to reminisce about not only the game, but of course the prominence of that play — ‘The Play.’”

Just Posted

Market Street is only the beginning of drive to clear city streets of cars

Car-free streets won’t stop at Market. At least, that’s the intent of… Continue reading

SF approves plans for a car-free Market Street

San Francisco will soon kick cars off one of its busiest thoroughfares… Continue reading

Black officials call out NAACP head for partisan politics

Conflicts reach a head after Rev. Amos Brown calls supervisors ‘racist’ for resisting Mayor Breed

Fire burning after explosion at energy facility in Contra Costa County

I-80 closed in both directions between state Highway 4 and Carquinez Bridge

Dueling behavioral health plans headed for March 2020 ballot as city leaders spar over reform plans

Update 5:10 p.m.: Mayor London Breed filed paperwork Tuesday that would place… Continue reading

Most Read