Steve Young might be the only player in football history to get a call because a referee wanted him to make a call.
In the Hall of Famer's new autobiography -- a section of which showed up in Peter King's MMQB column this week -- Young describes an incident early in his NFL career that is quite literally hard to believe.
Partway through the second quarter I'm in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. "Can I talk to you for a second?" he says. I step away from the huddle. "Hey, listen, my daughter's going to BYU," he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. "I'd like you to take her out," he says. I cannot believe this. We're in the middle of a game! "Oh, okay," I said. "What's her name?" He tells me and I return to the huddle.
If that was the end of it, it'd still be an excellent tale worthy of inclusion in any life story. But Young has a kicker that takes things to the next level.
Late in the game we're down 31-23 and I'm trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I am lying on the ground when the defense recovers the loose ball, all but sealing our defeat. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down, Tampa Bay. I get up and brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.
After consulting the ever-valuable Pro-Football-Reference.com, we can say the game in Young's story took place on Dec. 15, 1985. Even with the mystery official's assistance, the Bucs still lost 31-23 on their way to a 2-14 finish.