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STEELERS OF TOUGH METTLE
Rick Reilly
January 08, 1990
Pittsburgh, the unlikeliest playoff team, again showed its guts, beating Houston with a doubly dramatic 50-yard field goal
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January 08, 1990

Steelers Of Tough Mettle

Pittsburgh, the unlikeliest playoff team, again showed its guts, beating Houston with a doubly dramatic 50-yard field goal

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Houston called a timeout to let Anderson squirm, and Ilkin wandered over to him and said, "If there's one guy in the world I'd like to have kicking this kick for us, it's you." Anderson smiled.

"I had all kinds of confidence he was going to make it," said Brister. "Then I looked up at the scoreboard and it said, ' Gary Anderson has not attempted a kick from 50 yards or more this year.' And I thought, Oh, god."

When the kick went up, all Noll could think was, Thank goodness for the dome. Everybody kicks a little longer indoors, and this boot was plenty long. And plenty good. "That thing would've gone from 60," said Brister.

For the Oilers, Anderson's kick gave them one more rumor to deny. "If Mr. Adams doesn't want me to be the coach anymore," said Glanville afterward, "then I don't want to be the coach anymore. Not for one hour." Glanville has one factor working in his favor: Adams's reputation as a skinflint. Bottom Line Bud would have to pick up the last year of Glanville's contract.

For the Steelers, the kick gave them their fourth straight win. Now the only thing in the NFL more fun than wondering what Brister will say before games is what he will do to win them.

For the Anderson family, the kick gave them a moment as bittersweet as any could be. "We were all crying," says Sean. "Even my dad."

And so, five minutes after his field goal, with players whooping it up all around him and his own tears not helping much, Gary called his old coach.

"Dad?" said Gary. "Dad, I did it for you."

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