In Super Bowl XX, Chicago's Jim McMahon and New England's Craig James will be opposing each other in a bowl for the first time since they lit up the scoreboard in the 1980 Holiday Bowl at San Diego. If they produce the same kind of fireworks in New Orleans, fans are in for a treat.
In the Holiday Bowl, McMahon hit tight end Clay Brown with a 41-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the game to give Brigham Young a 46-45 victory over Southern Methodist.
The play climaxed one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. SMU, behind the rushing of James and his Pony Express running mate, Eric Dickerson, appeared to be breezing when they extended their lead to 38-19 lead in the fourth quarter, but McMahon wouldn't be denied.
McMahon wound up completing 32-of-49 passes for 446 yards and 4 touchdowns. James carried 23 times for 221 yards, including touchdown runs of 45 and 52 yards. He also caught a pass for a touchdown.
Dickerson's figures were more modest. He netted 110 yards in 23 carries and scored twice.
Trivia Time: Mike Ditka played in Super Bowl VI, catching a seven-yard pass from Roger Staubach as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins, 24-3. Now he's going to a Super Bowl as a head coach. Is he the first to go to the Super Bowl both as a player and a head coach? (Answer below.)
Walter Payton offers this unique explanation for the success of the Bears: "The key is that everybody on this team could be cast for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and get a part. We're a bunch of crazies here who all blend together with a common denominator, to win."
Add Payton: If you ask him how he keeps in such tremendous shape, he'll tell you about a hill he challenges every summer in Arlington Heights, Ill. The hill is 50 yards high at a 45-degree angle.
Last summer, he ran the hill with Kevin Kelly, a 19-year-old linebacker at Indiana University.
"We would work and work trying to make each other quit," Payton said. "We would go up and down that hill and run and run. My goal was to make him drop, his goal was not to drop. Nobody dropped and nobody quit.
"Then he would come to my house in the afternoon and say, 'Let's go.' I didn't want to but I did. Some days after we were through I couldn't walk up the stairs or even turn on the television."
Trivia Answer: No. Forrest Gregg played for Green Bay in the first two Super Bowls and was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Note: Raider Coach Tom Flores was a backup quarterback for Kansas City in Super Bowl IV but did not play.
CBS analyst John Madden, after Dieter Brock threw an incomplete pass to Bobby Duckworth: "That looked like a Duck to Passworth."