During the season ESPN and Buffalo Wild Wings have counted down the top 30 plays in the last 30 years. This week they named Flutie's Hail Mary No. 1. For those who don't remember the game or think it has been eclipsed since, let me set you straight with some context.
-- Flutie was a huge star. He was Tim Tebow before Tebow. What's amazing though about Flutie's prominence was he did it from BC and prior to the internet, ESPN's talking heads and when there was only one game on a week. Glowing features in Sports Illustrated were big factors in making him a household name. He graduated holding most college football passing records.
-- Miami was a big deal too. '84 was a down year for the 'Canes, but they were the defending National Champions and had gained a big following. Just watch ESPN's new documentary "The U" to see how hot the 'Canes were.
-- Both teams were cutting edge. We take passing for granted now, but at that time teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma were dominating with ground attacks. Miami and BC were using pro style offenses and were setting records for passing and points.
-- It was the only game on during a Thanksgiving weekend. Once again this was before there were 300 channels and every game was on tv. The whole country tuned in and the drama only built.
The game was that good. So good we are still talking about it 25 years later. The Hail Mary is No. 1 because it was the culmination of this momentous game and the conclusion of one of the most historic college football careers. It is No. 1 because everyone remembers where they were when they watched it. As I said at the beginning, ESPN and Buffalo Wild Wings got it right.