Chapter 3, Page 100

On Wednesday, Allen made headlines when he told reporters at a news conference that, yes, he had indeed charted the sun in the Coliseum, the better to prepare his punt and kickoff returners to deal with rays in their eyes.

On Friday, in his last meeting with reporters, Allen complained that "yesterday, we had 31 players in interviews for one and a half hours, and we had our worst practice of the week." He whined that he was meeting with the media instead of his team and that "this is the first meeting I'm going to miss with the team in 23 years."

Three days later, his team gave perhaps its worst performance of the season. Of course, Shula and the Dolphins had a lot to do with it, but Kilmer was mostly ineffective. The Dolphins halted the Redskins ground attack at every turn, and when Miami opened a 14-0 lead at the half, Kilmer went to the air with little success.

Watching all of this from a coach's box high in the Coliseum was Jurgensen, still on crutches but unavailable to provide advice to his pal Kilmer on the sidelines. Allen had banished him to the booth. Jurgensen never figured out why, except for the animosity the two men felt for each other almost from the start.

Before the game, Jurgensen had been allowed to walk on the field, and at one point Shula came over to him, shook his hand and offered a few words of encouragement. "He told me he was sorry I couldn't participate and that it would be a better game if I was playing," Jurgensen said. "What a wonderful thing for him to say. My own coach wouldn't even let me on the damned field. I was stuck up in the box, by myself. It really hurt. I found out they also took two pictures of the Super Bowl team that year, one with me in the picture, and one with me out. That wasn't necessary. I'd played early, I'd contributed. But that was George. That tells you everything you have to know about the guy."

Watching upstairs, Jurgensen saw two of the more bizarre plays in Super Bowl history. Halfway through the last quarter, the Redskins finally began to mount a drive. On third down at the Miami six, Jerry Smith was wide open in the end zone, and Kilmer saw him — but his pass hit a goal post, bouncing incomplete. Kilmer's next throw was intercepted by safety Jake Scott, and the threat was over.

The Dolphins took over and moved all the way to a first down at the Washington 37. With 2:10 remaining, Shula ordered a field goal, but Bill Brundige blocked Garo Yepremian's kick. A former soccer player and native of Cyprus who was new to American football, Yepremian picked up the loose ball and struggled to throw it downfield. But Brundige tipped the pass, and it was intercepted by Redskins cornerback Mike Bass and returned 49 yards for a touchdown. That cut the Miami lead to 14-7.

Page 100 | Next Page: 101

Other Pages in Chapter 3:
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112

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Names, Numbers
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