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"How about the drops?"
"You know, you play a game, you win together, you lose together," he said. "It doesn't matter if they're drops or tips or whatever. We're all in it together."
Only four of the 43 passes Stabler threw (he completed 24 for 196 yards) were longer than 15 yards. One was a completion, three were misses, including a long one, a perfect throw, that was dropped. Bradshaw had the luxury of being able to go long when the mood seized him, knowing that Swann and Stallworth were waiting on the other end.
"Everyone thinks that Stallworth out-jumping the guy was such a fluke," Bradshaw said, "but I learned three things about football a long time ago. No. 1: if defensive backs were great receivers, then they'd be playing on offense. No. 2: when your receiver sticks his hand up, he wants you to throw the ball to him. No. 3: never worry about it, just throw it. Nobody's going to outjump John Stallworth."
The world learned about this a long time ago, too. It happened in San Francisco and was called Alley-Oop—Y.A. Tittle throwing, R.C. Owens catching. Someone asked Stallworth if he'd ever heard of that combination.
"I never heard of Archie Owens," he said, "but I vaguely remember Y.A. Tittle. He was that bald-headed guy, right?"
Right. And last Sunday he must have been smiling.