Richard Rodgers Lateral Throw Similar to His Dad
(CBSSports) When a play is so world famous it's known as "The Play," it's hard to top. The 1982 Stanford-California game, a slew of laterals, the Stanford band on the field as and the "most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending ... exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football" is tough to beat.
Could the Hail Mary from Thursday night's Packers-Lions game really be better? It doesn't seem possible. But if there's one person to judge whether Richard Rodgers' 61-yard, walk-off catch from Aaron Rodgers is better, it's Richard Rodgers, Sr., the father of the Packers tight end who's a secondary coach for the Panthers and the man who called "The Play" in the Cal huddle.
"He had laterals and he caught the winning touchdown," Rodgers, Sr., told ESPN's David Newton. "I think he got me."
Rodgers, Sr., is referring to his son's dual role in the late-game antics. The Green Bay tight end lateraled the ball back to his quarterback to "set up" the questionable(?) facemask call preceding the untimed Hail Mary play.
On the other hand, Rodgers, Sr., was arguably more involved than his son on his famous play; he was the special-teams captain for Cal in 1982 who called the lateral play and he touched the ball multiple times (the second and fourth lateral) on that play.
It's a game that lives on in perpetual football lore, and yet Rodgers, Sr., still thinks his kid's play is a bigger deal.
"It's the complete scenario," Rodgers, Sr. said. "If you look at it from my perspective, Rodgers throws it to Rodgers, not Aaron to Richard but Richard to Aaron, to start the whole thing. The penalty gets called.
"And then Rodgers throws it back to Rodgers again. I couldn't write a better script than that."
Making it triply wild? Richard wasn't even the guy who was supposed to catch the ball from Aaron.
You'll hear lots of people say there's no way a Hail Mary -- even one of the wildest Hail Mary passes you'll ever see -- can compete with the insanity of a lateral-filled play to win a rivalry. But one of the guys involved agrees to disagree.
"I'm sure there are some people out there that would think ... it's just a Hail Mary," Rodgers, Sr. said. "But the Doug Flutie play was just a Hail Mary, too. It always rivals 'The Play.'
"Why not have my son be better than me?"