My father had this iconic painting of the winning touchdown in his office. My father had this iconic painting of the winning touchdown in his office. touchdown run to start the fourth quarter to get Texas back in the game, the local ABC affiliate was late in getting back from commercial, so all we saw was him crossing the goal line.

As you might expect, the place went nuts, but confused. When they showed this mysterious instant replay of the entire run, it was pandemonium.

It was outright euphoria when Street found Randy Peschel for the famous Right 53-veer pass play on fourth-and-three that set up Jim Bertleson’s short blast and Happy Feller’s boot for the win.

This time, my dad lit up a victory cigar, not to be confused with the lucky cigar that caused them to win the game.

Because my father was Exes president, I had special access to these guys I was watching on television.

Each year, the Louisiana Exes had a fund raising golf tournament in Lafayette and these national champion players would show up and play.

I remember big Bill Atessis accidentally walking through a closed glass door at the hotel one year.

One year I caddied for Jim Bertleson. Another year I caddied for a guy named Charlie, but we all called him Cotton.

He even let me hit a couple of shots.

Cotton kept in touch with me for years after I carried his bag.

I will never forget those guys or the experience of hanging out with them as long as I live. I was in the presence of greatness. I was having a conversation with Cotton Speyrer. I watched these guys on TV!

Watching the game again reminded all of us what made James Street, well, James Street.

His fearlessness and gutsy play is what won that game for the Longhorns–20 straight games as a matter of fact.

And I’ll tell you this, you can have your Vince Youngs and your Colt McCoys.

I’ll jump up on Mac Brown’s coffee table right now and swear that James Street is the best quarterback in Texas history.

Somehow, just retiring his jersey or building a statue in his honor is just not good enough to exemplify the spirit of the man, the icon.

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2013-10-10 digital edition

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