This 4th quarter of the 1986 Rose Bowl Classic featuring the Pac 10 Champion UCLA Bruins coached by Terry Donahue verses the Big 10 Champion Iowa Hawkeyes coached by Hayden Fry was played on January 1, 1986 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA…..while being carried on NBC Sports with their legendary lead broadcasting team of Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen.
This edition of the Rose Bowl Classic was a high scoring game….which featured a UCLA freshman running back who ran for 227 yards and tied a Rose Bowl record by scoring 4 touchdowns….plus an Iowa Hawkeye QB Chuck Long who completed 29 of 38 passes for 301 yards….which ended in a victory by the Bruins of UCLA by a score of 45 – 28.
We often showcase the sportscasters who have brought so many events to our Imasportsphile video library….and none stand taller than Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen. Upon Olsen’s death in 2010….Dick Enberg was quoted as saying….“God doesn’t create perfect men, but he came mighty close when he brought us Merlin Olsen. He was athletically GREAT and just as GOOD as a man. He personified the Greek ideal of a ‘sound mind in a sound body.’ How privileged I was to call his games as an All Pro, Hall of Famer-to-be Los Angeles Ram, and then to work at his side in the broadcast booth for 12 years. He was meticulous and thorough in his preparation, lessons he had learned as an all A student in high school and college. He was perhaps the brightest to ever play his position in the NFL. He was just as generous as a broadcaster as he was tough as a defensive tackle. I was privileged to be his TV colleague and his friend. I seriously doubt that I shall ever meet another that will measure up to his complete character. He was every part of a gentle giant.” And that folks….is the kind of respect between partners in the broadcast booth or in any facet of life….that lends itself to becoming legends.
The sports world and we sports fans lost Dick Enberg on December 21, 2017….as we wonder what his sidekick might have said of him….as he welcomed his friend….and the man whom over the course of a 60-year career provided outstanding play-by-play for wide variety of sports on numerous radio and television networks….into Heaven….R.I.P. Dick Enberg.