Thursday, October 19, 2006

'What a [Expletive]'

Perhaps nobody embodied the spirit of the renegade Miami Hurricanes of the 1990s quite like Lamar Thomas. From the swagger to the trash talk, Miami became the most hated team in the land, backing it up by winning and winning big. So when the former Hurricane receiver turned broadcaster was fired this week because of his comments during the brawl between Miami and Florida International, many people took interest, including Heath Bray, a former safety whose Arizona Wildcats played and lost to Thomas and Hurricanes, 36-9, in 1991 at Tucson. Early in that game, quarterback Gino Torretta caught Arizona in a blitz and found the speedy Thomas in one-on-one coverage. Torretta lofted a pass to Thomas, who beat his defender and raced down the sideline. But as he reached the goal line, Thomas stopped completely, put his toe over the goal line and placed the ball in the end zone. "I had blitzed from the right side and hit Gino in the mouth as he was throwing the ball," Bray told the Tucson Citizen. "We're both on the ground on our backs ... and we see him running down the field and just place the ball in the end zone. Gino turns to me and says something to the effect of, 'What a [expletive].' " ... Bray and Torretta maintain a friendship today, but the former Arizona player still burns over Thomas' antics. "That play colored the way I have thought about Miami for 15 years," Bray said. "It will take something monumental to change it." The photo of Thomas' 1991 touchdown against Arizona was taken by Xavier Gallegos of the Tucson Citizen.

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