<— I was here. Though our seats were in the 3rd level of the Superdome, just to the right of MJ’s head in the pic above, I was there…as a witness to the birth of a superstar (Michael Jordan) and the heart break of a man (Downtown Freddie Brown). Both occurred in less than 20 seconds.
The play went down like this: After then freshman Michael Jordan drained a pressure packed jumper to put the Tarheels up by one, Georgetown head coach elected not to call a timeout and instead hope his team could catch North Carolina off-guard.
The college basketball national championship was on the line.
While setting up his team’s potential game-winning shot, Georgetown’s Fred Brown inexplicably passes the ball directly to North Carolina’s James Worthy, erasing a chance at victory. The Hoyas lose, 63-62.
The plan, apparently, was to get the ball to Floyd in the corner. But when Floyd was blanketed by Carolina defenders, Brown panicked, picked up his dribble, then threw the ball directly to Worthy, who was standing beside him.
After the game, an utterly dejected Brown told reporters he was trying to get the ball to Eric Smith.
“But it wasn’t him,” he said.
Worthy killed a few seconds off the clock before Georgetown defenders fouled him with two seconds remaining. Even though he missed both free throws, it didn’t matter. The Hoyas were out of time.
“That was the first game the whole tournament where Georgetown hadn’t worn white,” coach Dean Smith said. “I think Freddie just forgot and threw it to the first white jersey he saw.
Though Freddie was a part of the next years team that won the National Championship, he to this date has never recovered from his mistake. He can not forgive himself. And others won’t forgive him either.
There is a little bit of Freddie in all of us…thank you God for the Cross.
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