I'm a sucker for YouTube videos, and I'm a sucker for anything involving Jim Harbaugh, so naturally, anytime these two passions of mine find a way to cross paths, you know there's going to be a post about it.
But before you go and hit that play button, it's important to establish some context to the video you're about to see. The year is 1996, and it's the closing seconds of a Week 3 match-up between the Colts and Cowboys. Indianapolis, a year removed from a campaign that brought them to the AFC Championship has a 25-24 lead over the Cowboys, who are the defending champs and winners of three of the last four Super Bowls.
Troy Aikman has driven the Cowboys down to the edge of field goal range, and now Dallas has a chance to steal the game at buzzer. Chris Boniol is lining up for a 56 yard field goal to win the game. Dick Enberg and Jim Gray have the call:
A few thoughts:
- As much as I hate to admit it, Jim Harbaugh reminds me of Philip Rivers. He has a confidence that can rub people off the wrong way, but he knows how to inspire the people in his locker room. As you probably noticed during his post game interview, he felt the Colts were a Super Bowl caliber team. After knocking off the Cowboys, you can be sure he had everyone in Indianapolis believing it was possible at that moment.
- The shot of Sammie Burroughs on his hands and knees after the win tells you everything you need to know about how important it was to beat America's Team in their own house. That's why when teams beat the Colts at The Luke, I can't fault them for getting a little excited about winning. Taking down Goliath is always a big deal, whether it happens during Week 3 or the Playoffs.
- I believe you can find Barry Switzer's polo shirt from that game at your local Salvation Army, on the same spot on the rack where it has been for the last 14 years.
- Sadly, this was the high point of the 1996 season for the Colts. After starting out 3-0, the Colts would go 6-7 the rest of the season and wound up getting thumped by the Steelers 42-14 on Wild Card Weekend.
- The Cowboys didn't fare much better. Dallas went 10-6, making it through the first round of the playoffs before being ousted by the Carolina Panthers. Who was the General Manager of the Carolina team, who in their second year of existence, knocked off the defending World Champs? Bill Polian, of course.