Gifford Nielsen was a Heisman Candidate QB at BYU 1975-77, whose college career ended when he blew a knee late in a game at Oregon State in Corvallis OR. On Wednesday of that week, I had an impression to drive from Provo to Corvallis to shoot the game ( I worked for the BYU campus paper, The Daily Universe) – and 3 of us made the drive on Friday, returning on Sunday to print for the Monday AM “Monday Magazine”. But I never saw the guy in person again until last night in SLC, UT where he spoke to about 900 people.
I had my picture of him coming off the field (which was pretty well known in it’s day…) – and he was gracious enough to autograph it and another.
He played for the Houston Oilers for 6 years and then worked for KHOU in Houston for a couple of decades… He’s now a full-time leader in the LDS Church, covering the Pacific Area presently. Anyway – I was amazed that when I walked up in line, he stopped and said “You really look familiar…” and I said I was the only one in the room who was present at his worst moment in college football – to which he responded “Corvallis”.
My connection to BYU football moments in history.