Joe Starkey's call of The Play

The audio file

You can download an audio file in .au format of Joe Starkey's call of The Play.

It's been edited, though. Parts of the middle are cut out. If you know where I can get an unedited version, please let me know, won't you?

The text

Cal and Stanford are two of the best universities in the nation, and they are situated across the Bay from each other, so it's only natural that they are rivals. The annual Cal/Stanford football game is known as the Big Game. The most memorable Big Game was the 1982 edition, which would be remembered as a great game even if it did not have the most spectacular finish ever to a college football game.

Cal led 19-17 in the closing minutes, but Stanford had John Elway. This was Elway's last regular season college game. Stanford was 5-5 going into the big game, and they knew that a win would send them to to the Hall of Fame Bowl. Elway became famous for the Denver Broncos for leading last-minute comeback drives, and he did it for Stanford that day as well.

At one point, Elway was facing a 4th and 17 on his own 14 yard line, but he converted that. He got to Cal's 18 yard line, and he called a time out with 8 seconds left in the game. This turns out to be a mistake -- he left too much time on the clock. The field goal gave Stanford a 20-19 lead with 6 seconds left. A remarkable finish for a game!

But the game wasn't over yet. Stanford still had to kick off from the 25 yard line following a 15-yard penalty for their exuberance after what they thought was a game-winning field goal.

Joe Starkey, the Cal football announcer then gave one of the greatest calls in sports history. Here it is:

Alright here we go with the kick-off. Harmon will probably try to squib it and he does. Ball comes loose and the Bears have to get out of bounds. Rogers along the sideline, another one... they're still in deep trouble at midfield, they tried to do a couple of... the ball is still loose as they get it to Rogers. They get it back to the 30, they're down to the 20... Oh the band is out on the field!! He's gonna go into the endzone!!! He got into the endzone!!

Will it count? The Bears have scored but the bands are out on the field. There were flags all over the place. Wait and see what happens; we don't know who won the game. There are flags on the field. We have to see whether or not the flags are against Stanford or Cal. The Bears may have made some illegal laterals. It could be that it won't count. The Bears, believe it or not, took it all the way into the endzone. If the penalty is against Stanford, California would win the game. If it is not, the game is over and Stanford has won. We've heard no decision yet. Everybody is milling around on the FIELD!!! AND THE BEARS!!! THE BEARS HAVE WON!!! THE BEARS HAVE WON!!! Oh my God, the most amazing, sensational, traumatic, heart rending... exciting thrilling finish in the history of college football! California has won... the Big Game...over Stanford.

Oh excuse me for my voice, but I have never, never seen anything like it in the history of I have ever seen any game in my life! The Bears have won it! There will be no extra point! Hold it right here, don't anybody go away....

The Cal Bears returned the ball 57 yards thanks to 5 laterals and the Stanford band. The image of Kevin Moen crashing into a Stanford band member in the end zone is a justly famous capper to this incredible game. Final score: Cal 25, Stanford 20.

I have a more complete transcript of Joe Starkey's call on another page.

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