Todd Christensen's finger hits the button, and the videotape shoots forward, stopping at fourth-and-goal on the Cleveland eight-yard line as time is running out. He restarts the tape. Raider quarterback Marc Wilson drops back, buying time, looking, looking, finally hitting his tight end, Christensen, who has somehow wormed his way between two defenders. Christensen makes a diving, rolling catch, and the official throws his arms up with 29 seconds showing on the clock. A sudden silence falls over Cleveland Stadium.
"That's what I love best—that massive crowd silence when something bad happens," Christensen says. "I've run this back a million times. It's getting fuzzy."
The date of the game was Oct. 20, 1985; the score: Raiders 21, Browns 20. Afterward Raider coach Tom Flores said, "We gave Todd the end zone and told him to get open." It's one of the gems of Christensen's personal highlight film.
"Now watch," he says, hitting the button again. "Watch the cop in the end zone. He takes off his helmet and throws it on the ground."
"Where? I didn't see it," says Christensen's eight-year-old son, Toby, the oldest of his three boys.
"Look closely," Christensen says. "See, he spikes it. There, right there."
"Oh yeah," Toby says.
"Now watch," says Christensen, shooting the tape forward. "Charger game in San Diego the same year." We see Christensen pull in the 24-yard TD pass that gave L.A. the lead with 1:49 remaining. "Here's the best part," he says. "I'm over by the wall, and a fan pours beer on me. See it?"
"No," says Toby.
"Wait, I'll slow it down," Christensen says, and we see a silvery streak cascade gently onto his head. "See, Dokie Williams turns and looks at the guy," Christensen says. "My helmet smelled of beer in the locker room."