Aug. 11, 2001
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -
By TOM COYNE
Associated Press Writer
The play that ended John Elway's college career isshown repeatedly at the College Football Hall of Fame - in the blooperssection. Though it caused pain for a while, he laughs about it now.
The play is the infamous five-lateral kickoff return by Cal through theStanford band in 1982 for a winning touchdown on the final play of the game,costing Stanford a possible bowl berth.
"It hurt at the time. But each year it gets a little funnier," said Elway,inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. "It sure wasn'ta lot of fun at the time. We just wish we had the band come out for sometackling practice."
Elway, who never played in a bowl game, was enshrined in the hall Saturdayalong with former Southern Cal running back Marcus Allen, former Nebraskawingback Johnny Rodgers and 22 other former players and coaches.
The inductees, most of whom were officially inducted into the hall at abanquet in New York in December 2000, took part in a full day of activitiesat the hall Saturday that included a news conference attended by fans, ayouth clinic, an autograph session and a flag football game.
Elway threw for four touchdowns as the West hall of famers beat the East29-28 in overtime. Allen ran for the two-point conversion as formerGrambling quarterback Doug Williams, who now coaches at the college, divedto pull the flag off Allen but instead grabbed hold of his belt momentarilybefore losing his grip.
Elway, Allen, Williams and the others also took part in the youth clinic,with Elway working with the youngsters on passing. Allen, working a runningdrill, picked up one boy who tried to run past him and told him, "Keepmoving your feet, keep moving your feet."
Instead, the boy tossed the ball ahead to a friend.
"Forward lateral, 5-yard penalty," Allen said as he wiped the sweat off hisforehead.
Elway said his one regret was that his father, Jack, who died April 15 atthe age of 69, wasn't there to see him enshrined.
"It breaks my heart because he was my mentor. He was my hero. He was my bestfriend. He was really one of the biggest reasons why I'm here today. Collegefootball was his love," he said. "He would have loved to have been here andwalked through the Hall of Fame. But I know he's here in spirit."
His father may have been instrumental in Elway becoming a great quarterback,but it was his mother, Jan, who decided he would attend Stanford. FormerUCLA coach Terry Donahue told about trying to recruit Elway, Allen andRogers to UCLA but losing out.
Elway said he thought about going to UCLA, but because his father had justbeen hired as the San Jose State coach he wanted to be closer to family. Sohe narrowed his choices to San Jose State and Stanford.
"The bottom line of it is, my mom wanted me to go to Stanford," he said.
Elway passed for 9,349 yards at Stanford, completing 774 of 1,246 passes for77 touchdowns and finishing second to Herschel Walker for the Heisman Trophyin 1982.
During Saturday night's enshrinement ceremony, Elway and Allen were amongseveral speakers who thanked their parents for making their careerspossible.
"When I was young, they filled my gas tank up with encouragement, love,support, and character," Allen said. "They were there every step of the way.I love them. Tonight this award really means that mom and dad, you guys didwell, and I hope I made you proud."
Others enshrined Saturday were Michigan offensive tackle Dan Dierdorf,Arizona State cornerback Mike Haynes, Oklahoma center-linebacker KurtBurris, Notre Dame end Bob Dove, Georgia defensive back Terry Hoage, Alabamahalfback Johnny Musso, Pittsburgh linebacker-fullback Joe Schmidt, Texasguard Harley Sewell, Arkansas defensive end Billy Ray Smith, Wyominghalfback Eddie Talboom, Maryland tackle Stan Jones, Navy end Dick Duden,tackle John Outland of Kansas and Penn, and coaches Donahue of UCLA, andForest Evashevski of Hamilton, Washington State and Iowa.
Among the players from smaller schools to be enshrined are Indiana ofPennsylvania defensive end Jim Haslett, who now coaches the New OrleansSaints, Holy Cross defensive back-halfback Gordie Lockbaum, Amherst receiverFreddie Scott, Occidental quarterback-defensive back Bill Redell, andcoaches Joseph Fusco of Westminster College and Ace Mumford of JarvisChristian College, Bishop College, Texas College and Southern University.