- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
When Uncle Sam calls, some say hell no, they won't go. When Kirk gives the word, Scotty beams him up. When Red Auerbach retires, Bill Russell becomes modern pro sports' first black head coach. When the year ends, the Celtics, Orioles, Canadiens and Packers have survived, as have Texas Western in basketball, Notre Dame in football.
IN SI'S WORDS
Old Notre Dame will tie over all. Sing it out, guys. That is not exactly what the march says, of course, but that is how the big game ends every time you replay it. And that is how millions of cranky college football fans will remember it. For 59 minutes in absolutely overwrought East Lansing last week, the brutes of Michigan State and Notre Dame pounded each other into enough mistakes to fill Bubba Smith's uniform—enough to settle a dozen games between lesser teams—but the 10-10 tie that destiny seemed to be demanding had a strange, noble quality to it. And then it did not have that anymore. For the people who saw it under the cold, dreary clouds or on national television, suddenly all it had was this enormous emptiness for which the Irish will be forever blamed.
Forget everything that came before, all of that ferocious thudding in the line that was mostly responsible for five fumbles, four interceptions, 25 other in-completions, a total of 20 rushing plays that either lost yardage or gained none, and forget the few good plays—the big passes. Put the No. 1 team, Notre Dame, on its own 30-yard line with time for at least four passing plays to break the tie. A No. 1 team will try something, won't it, to stay that way?
Notre Dame did not. It just let the air out of the ball.
FACE IN THE CROWD
Auerbach extinguishes his coaching career after the Celtics' eighth straight title.
Skateboards take over the sidewalks.