The year is 1984 and in Texas high school football playoffs, Converse Judson had defeated Midland Lee for the class 5A State Championship by a score of 25-21, and Bay City conquered the class 4A title with a convincing 30-0 win over Lubbock Estacado.
The Houston Cougars had finished that season with a SWC title and had a Cotton Bowl date with the Boston College Eagles on January 1, 1985. Boston College was led by All-American QB Doug Flutie and a receiver named Gerald Phelan. Press prior to the game in Dallas was brisk and a story broke out in the Dallas Morning News that the Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Selection Committee, Hoss Brock from TCU said of the Cougar faithful: "On the day of the game their fans drive up and eat at 7-Eleven's or rob them." The next day it was all over the two Houston papers and on the local TV news reports.
Normally we would go up for a 3 day stay and visit with some of my friends in Dallas-Ft. Worth area, however, this time I decided to make this a 5 day trip and have some fun on this Brock character. I was steaming hot about his verbal abuse of the Houston Cougar fans!
I had a new 1984 Lincoln Town Car and my wife painted a sign on a poster that we would wear the entire trip to Dallas. The sign said: "Where's the 7-Eleven, We're hungry." To us it was a hoot and we had fun with it. Little did we know we would be so popular on the streets of Dallas. People would honk and wave in laughter and others would honk and point at a 7-Eleven and we turned it into a fun thing and would pull in every single time they pointed. We laughed our fool heads off the entire time. Wow, that town is full of 7-Eleven's.
Photo restoration by Ken Sheppard
Well, we stayed in the Marriott on LBJ Freeway in North Dallas and it was a fine motor hotel with a hopping club downstairs. We enjoyed many night caps in that neat little club and the stay was great as three other couples were in our company the entire trip. One evening out to dinner we ran into some Boston College players at my favorite Dallas restaurant named Campizie's. We were wearing our colors and we had a brief friendly visit with Doug Flutie and a couple of other BC players including Phelan. It was fun. They were class and were respectful of our fans.
Game day was approaching and a cold front had moved in with ice and snow and we were scrambling around for heavier clothing than we had packed for the trip. Weather reports called for a hard freeze new years eve, and we ran out to K-Mart to get some more clothing as the plan was to layer starting with long johns, jeans, T-shirt, sweat shirt, and coat with insulated socks.
Game day arrived January 1, 1985 and I went downstairs and took a look around early that morning and figured it was going to be one very cold day in the Cotton Bowl. Later that morning my wife would declare to be a no show for the game and I couldn't talk her out of leaving the warm hotel room. Everyone else in our group was still game.
The ceiling was low overcast and we would not see the sun that day. Thankfully, the wind was only a slight occasional breeze and the temperature at game time was about 37 degrees. Boston College came out and stormed to 31-7 lead and the Cougars would score with less than a minute left in the half to make it 31-14 at halftime. Typical of a Bill Yeoman coached team the Cougars stormed back in the 3rd quarter and pulled within 3 points at 31-28. However, we would not score again that day and Boston College would walk away with the Cotton Bowl trophy after a 45-28 victory. We were proud of our team for fighting back that day even though we lost in the end.
The following morning we would pack up and head on back to the big city. Of course, a couple more 7-Eleven stops were in order.
Where's the 7-Eleven we're hungry.