You can tell just how iconic an event is by positing a simple query: "Where were you when it happened?" If the respondent can readily respond, bringing a heightened sense of emotion with the response, you know you have a winner. The John Beck-to-Jonny Harline game-winning touchdown connection is just that kind of moment.
So, where was I when it happened? It may surprise you.
I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from January 2005 to January 2007. The final BYU game I attended was the 2004 loss to Utah, a coronation of Urban Meyer's Utes that I wanted no part of. So, a little over a month after seeing my worst nightmare comes true, I was off to Pennsylvania.
As the Bronco Mendenhall era began in full, my Dad would send me emails filled with updates from Cougarland. I remember tracting in Hershey, Pennsylvania during the Boston College-BYU game in 2005, as the member who was helping was was sure to inform me. I also remember getting two emails from my Dad, a year apart; one complaining about the officiating in a 51-50 loss to TCU while the other informing me that BYU had finally beaten a ranked team (TCU) in 2006.
Fast forward to November 25, 2006. I was one transfer from heading home. At the time, I was serving in close proximity to the Mission President. My Mission President was also a Utah grad, diehard fan, and big-money member of the Crimson Club. We had been going back-and-forth about college football for quite some time. On the day of the game, and in the midst of getting the final transfer ready, I asked him if we could swing by the Mission Home to finish our work. (IMPLICATION FTW!) The next day, after all, was my birthday. He gave me a dry look and told me to get back to work.
He called me back to his office about 10 minutes later, gave me a wink, and told me to meet him at the Mission Home. WOOOOOOOOO.
We watched the game while working on transfers at the Mission Home. He was not too keen on my companion and I cheering loudly for BYU. (Who were wearing uniforms too beautiful to behold! #RIPtanBYU) It looked like he was going to get the last laugh as Utah scored with just over a minute left in regulation. The trolling was incessant. And it was spiritually biting.
Then.....Beck to Harline. My companion and I ran around in a craze after the completion as my Mission President sat silently on the couch, staring blankly at the TV, probably wondering if this had all been a big mistake.
Relive the moment here, from the voice of the Utes, Bill Riley. I promise it will make your night better.
ALSO: Check out @PJMorgan11's twitter feed for other memories of Beck-to-Harline.