Monday, July 7, 2008

Retro: Hell to the Redskins, Hell to D.C

It was Superbowl XVIII, which came to be known as “Black Sunday”, where a young Raiders running back started to the left, reversed his field, and sliced through the Redskins defense. 74 yards later, in the defining moment of his NFL career, Marcus Allen was standing in the end zone. That play ripped the hearts out of the favored Skins, as the underdogs built a 35-9 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Raiders would add a 4th quarter field goal to complete the humiliation, and with the 38-9 final score, Marcus Allen became a Superbowl MVP.

Allen ran for 191 yards on 20 carries, while scoring twice. At the time, it was a record for single game yardage, until it was later broken by Timmy Smith. The 74 yard Superbowl scamper was a standing record for many years, until Pittsburgh’s Willie Parker broke that dash by a single yard. Allen dominated, and his Raiders denied the Skins consecutive Superbowl wins. In all, Washington could only manage 283 total yards as a team, while Allen accumulated 209 all purpose yards on his own. For some NFL followers, Allen's arrival was an eye opener. But to the folks in Southern California, it was just all in a days work.

Marcus Allen was recruited to USC as a High School quarterback and defensive back from San Diego. The Trojans originally slotted him as a tail, but in his sophomore year became the blocking fullback for Heisman Trophy winner Charles White. After White’s graduation, and being moved back to his original position, Allen exploded on the scene, leading the nation in all purpose yards as a junior. His senior year was record breaking, rushing for 2,423 yards, recording 8 games rushing for 200 yards or more, with an overall average of 212 yards per game. He was the 1981 Heisman Trophy winner, denying Georgia’s Herschel Walker the opportunity to win his second.

19 years after embarrassing the Washington Redskins, Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His contributions on the collegiate and professional levels left a mark, and he is arguably one of the 5 best Trojans of all time.


*1981 Heisman Trophy
*1982 NFL offensive rookie of the year
*Superbowl XVIII MVP
*6 time Pro Bowl selection
*1985 NFL offensive player of the year
*1993 NFL comeback player of the year
*College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2000)
*Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2003)

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