Replay and Three Moments in Missouri Sports History
Three infamous events in Missouri sports history would have been changed by today's replay rules. We'll go through this chamber of horrors in chronological order.Event 1. October 26, 1985. Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.
Cardinals lead the series three games to two and they have a 1-0 lead going to the bottom of the 9th inning. Pinch hitter Jorge Orta leads off the inning and is credited with a single when Don Denkinger blows an out/safe call at first. MLB's current replay reverses that call. The chances of Todd Worrell retiring the next two hitters and nailind down another Cardinal World Series Championship was very high.
Event 2. October 6, 1990. The Fifth Down. Missouri vs. Colorado at Faurot Field in Columbia.
Colorado squeaked by Missouri 33-31 when C.U. backup quarterback Charles Johnson was awarded a touchdown on a fifth down. The trouble started when the down box wasn't changed by referee J.C. Louderback's crew after a second down play. I remember hearing play by play Bill Wilkerson briefly question what down it was and then apparently decide that the down was indeed correct. It is here where replay could have first caught the problem, but replay wasn't an option. On top of that, video seen casts considerable doubt as to whether Johnson actually got into the end zone on fifth down. It's also a good bet that Colorado's go ahead score is negated by the current replay system. The Buffaloes went on to win a share of college football's 1990 national championship.
Event 3. November 8, 1997. The Flea Kicker. Missouri vs. Nebraska.
Husker receiver Scott Davison caught a deliberately kicked ball in the end zone for a touchdown to allow the top ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers to tie Missouri on the final play of the fourth quarter. Another play that gets reversed on replay. As was the case seven years earlier for Colorado, the win helped Nebraska bring in another national championship.
Another event in Missouri sports history resulted in the first talk I ever heard about using replay. That was the Mel Gray "Phantom Catch" against Washington in November of 1975. Gray caught the ball in the end zone. Both feet hit the ground and then a hit by Redskins cornerback Pat Fischer dislodged the football. The officials huddled, ruled it a catch and the Cardiac Cardinals won in overtime on a Jim Bakken field goal. There was a lot of howling from Redskins fans over the next several days including the first demands I can recall for use of replay.
Overall, I like the idea of using replay. The idea is to get it right. But with replay over the last 30 years, Missouri's sports history would not have three of it's most talked about, and bizarre events.