Seven thousand copies of the ersatz issue were planted in newsstands on the Berkeley campus before the real Daily Californian—fortuitously late off the presses that day—could be distributed. "We stayed around to watch the reaction," says Kelly, one of the Stanford Daily commandos who made the early-morning trans-Bay trek from Palo Alto. "We heard a couple of screams of 'Oh no!' and a lot of swearing. One girl looked to be in tears. Marty Rabkin, the Daily Cal's business manager, showed up. He picked up an armload and was busy telling people the paper was a phony, but Cal students were walking by taking copies out of his arms the whole time. The look on his face was hard to describe—disgust, maybe." At Stanford, says Kelly, news of the hoax came "as a catharsis. It helped alleviate the mood of despair on campus." Copies of the paper, as with most everything else connected with the event, have become collector's items on both campuses, and its authors have joined the expanding pantheon of Play heroes.
The biggest heroes—along with their satellite, Tyrrell—remain the mad lateralers. They achieved new stature on a campus not noticeably appreciative of football stars and were greeted with ardent good humor as they strolled across Berkeley's leafy glades. Alumni and businessmen in town hastened to entertain them with dinner and drinks. Garner, working the cash register at a suburban Macy's store over Christmas vacation, was often mobbed by customers. "I thought I was going to get fired," he says. "Then when my boss found out who I was, he started talking to me about The Play. Turns out he was a Cal alum."
The four players were all good friends before, but The Play brought them even closer. "When we see each other now," says Ford, "we all just burst out laughing." They are bound forever by a special experience, a second set of Four Horsemen. "Now," says Garner, "we squeeze each other's hands just a little tighter."