On the 30th anniversary of 'The Play', game announcer Barry Tompkins and long-time Bay Area columnist Ray Ratto describe the experiences of being on the field.
Machine Generated Transcript
I'm joined by Barry Tompkins Cerrato on the thirtieth anniversary of the play. There was covering the game and announcing yet for cal TV. -- rattled was covering the game for the peninsula times Tribune. To the crowd defunct operation at -- but not because you guys were with them that's not why we know we killed we took it down Owens. Very announcing that game. At the end of the game -- on the field always losing. They thought he had one. What was it like being part of it watching it and announcing. It was surreal I'm never think about it was -- the man being on the -- was surreal the fact that that Kevin Brown ran into the trombone player was surreal the fact there was have a lot of rules with some real. So that was a big games always surreal and there's the -- what you will about the big game -- and I know it's not literally in the big game as a rule but strange things always seem to happen in that game that was not the first time. Something strange happened in the big game. So yeah that was the message board that I would use to describe it would be would be some really really that I feel that. In my own call the game and there were four calls of that game if you remember people even did did for Stanford television Ron Barr. Did for Stanford radio jump start you corset for calorie. And I did for cal television and -- is the call -- here. As you should you know that I've always said. In my career that's a call I'd love to have back but I saw the flag fall. And -- get very excited about it that was just that's way I don't know we'll see where is Joseph Louis went right through with it as he should have done as he should that is the hometown guy. And it's a call for the -- Step -- -- -- on the field and start you've lost his mind right away what was it like covering that camera. Well the game was was oddly disjointed because it was almost like John Elway. Was under wraps for a lot of and it really wasn't until. Whatever he thought was the winning drive that L way either was allowed to be Elway or -- -- to -- -- throwing the ball crisply finding guys or. Marched down the field in no time at all and you think well that's it it's done. And then the play happens. And the first thing I thought of was. I'm not gonna wait for the elevator I'm running downstairs to get them and I get down on the field and I had right for Paul Wiggins. Stanford coach. And he's running around essentially like Jim -- -- -- through in the national championship only he's trying to get an answer to how was that a touchdown. And I ended up. Basically on his heels following him into the officials who you're with him as -- I'm behind him because if I'm within he's gonna hit. I'm behind him. I get into the officials room. We didn't let you in there with them all they didn't know that nobody had any concept of decorum at that point and nobody knew anything occur. But wouldn't follow the Cleveland right into the room. And he starts -- what not and then they ushered him out and I ended up backing out too so he never got any answer. I'm talking to him. Right after that he doesn't have any answers I don't have any answers. All I know is. At Cal's home field. Cal gets a call we get isn't raged about it and probably to these days enraged about it. I know don't play as well yeah LA by the way kept him from going to a bowl -- never went to Morgan very a couple of things for us all. John Elway calls timeout with eight seconds left under the instructions of -- right -- waited till four different cats play would have been a kick out. One of the -- there was seven at least one they said the plan was downright. That's -- that's why I asked kind of stopped right and it stopped the call but. You know I saw that and I saw the flag go down -- I thought some maturing to do something wrong. Yet they thought on one of a lot of holes I think Dwight Garner that said his knee was around right right so that was one. Then there's interference because the bands on the field which according to rule back in the -- even. Given cal touchdown because it was interference and different so there was so many. Things going on I was that you say -- real Olympic Games a big game that this was this was like these play for the ages that's why it's just called the place it -- Last -- -- situation -- remember was chaotic because personally got both rooting section is all up in arms and both teams think that they won the game I'm not sure the referees had to complete handle on what they were doing either somebody threw a flag but the flag was four. The band being on the field right you know solid it was it was awesome and that I I just think -- You know finally agreed OK this is a touchdown here we go let's get out of here. Yeah no I mean essentially. The officials wanted to get a Berkeley with their clothes on. Cal wasn't gonna come back on the field Joseph Kaplan died and we're not playing this play again we're done. Right we win the game. Right and because he would have done that have without hesitation oh yeah and and win in his running around demanding answers that no one either could or would give. So. You know. To call it chaos is to. Do this injustice because nobody left the stadium there fully sure of what happened and why and may -- to this day. Nobody's quite sure. Yes in fact I remember after the game that we've got to be good together I can't remember we -- to I would trader -- an army bill to have dinner after the game. I was not invited you were out there -- -- I want to I was probably would have to sit at circle. And everybody was and all the people from the game were in there and it was that exact just what you said woods and scratch and dancing and -- that what happened I don't know you know that was going on in the -- four hours after the game and -- -- and what happened I don't know what happened what happened. Everybody I think in the press in the -- in the press box afterward expected. That the conference would step -- and say well we're gonna do that again. But the conference trade away from it -- so basically it was lord of the flies. Cal wins because. Nobody wants to. Get in the way of this train whatever it is it's. And Tim -- standing cal wins the game that's how that's how it is Stanford people who remember that game will still deny it happened so basically it's the civil war. You know then you know it's either the civil war the war of northern aggression and nobody's gonna change -- -- -- As a broadcaster where we're running out of time but as a broadcaster bury him and and I think one of the best -- have you thought in your mind. Man if I knew that was gonna how I wouldn't call that yeah I think I it's a call like this and I would love to have back again Joe's call was exactly the right call I give -- all the credit in the world. It was a great call right up there Russ Hodges the Giants in the pennant. Why are you looking so funny because the thing that made two great calls affected heat it was incomprehensible but that's it. Finally had no idea I mean at one point he sounded like Oscar Robertson back. Yeah yeah. Okay -- listen on the radio I completely understand what's going. Up up up up up up that's what it's a great golfer and -- right thank you for your memory thanks to --
Buck. And of course the great Russ Hodges went in 1980 and lots of winning ..... you you talk about Lon Simmons or Russ Hodges . The great voices of the Giants ..... to mind where when Lon Simmons Russ Hodges and Willie needs. And whip and
again Joe's call was exactly the right call I give all the credit in the world. It was a great call right up there Russ Hodges the Giants in the pennant. Why are you looking so funny because the thing that made two great calls affected heat it
the way that okay and I could you got a little Russ Hodges in there. You nailed the of the great enthusiasm ..... what I would've had. Queued up and ready was Russ Hodges the beginning of Russ Hodges call. Bobby Thompson's home run you know
which meant that. All the countries in the in the world could tap into these broadcasts. Every headline and buddy Russ Hodges and I had. And we did the skiing in the figure skating and we don't know anything about figure skating. And they