Some highlights from my interview with Frank Reich on the comeback game.
"You realize how special it was. Every time I see a game in any sport that gets completely out of hand, where get the feeling you should turn it off or turn the channel or do something else, you think back to that game."
Reich felt the camaraderie and the competitive bond of that team, forged over several years and many close games, helped make that win possible.
"Yeah, no question. I mean, there's no question that it was the quality of the athletes, but also the quality of the people and the quality of the chemistry we had. I've done a lot of things since then, in and out of football. You think of all the characters we had. You can't explain it. Even though we were all different in a lot of ways, when I see those guys I think it's mutual. You do feel like there was something special there, some kind of mutual respect, chemistry, whatever, an appreciation. I really think you can't have a comeback like that without having that to a strong degree."
"Just a couple things stick out. One, Marv's comments about just going out and playing like men during halftime. It wasn't any rah rah, hey we'll come back and win. It was like, you need to be a man, you need to be a man and go out and do your job. From the offensive perspective, I remember saying, 'One play at a time. Hey, I don't know what will happen, let's just execute one play at a time."
"Of course, I'll always remember Gale Gilbert coming up to me at halftime and saying to me, 'You were part of a comeback in college (Reich led the greatest comeback in Division 1A college football at Maryland). I still rememer it like yesterday. I was sitting in my locker and he said, 'I know you were part of a comeback like this in college, so you know it can be done.'
"I do rmember the shock of seeing our defense come out in the second half, we're playing this run and shoot that was on fire. We were in a 34 defense and they go four receivers. Conventional wisdom says you play a nickel or dime. I said, 'What's going to happen here, are we going to get blown out even more?'