Former Chadron State receiver Beebe recalls Super Bowl glory

2012-02-03T23:30:00Z 2012-06-06T18:19:18Z Former Chadron State receiver Beebe recalls Super Bowl gloryBy JASON BAILEY / For the Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
February 03, 2012 11:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS — Whatever his role in Super Bowl XLVI, it will be difficult for Patriots running back Danny Woodhead to upstage the last Chadron State graduate to play in the Super Bowl.

Wide receiver Don Beebe, who graduated from the then-NAIA school in 1989, played in a record-tying six Super Bowls and produced one of the most memorable plays in the event's history.

He got the chance to show off his blazing speed — he reportedly ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine — on a national stage in Super Bowl XXVII. Buffalo was heading toward its third consecutive title defeat, trailing Dallas 52-17 in the fourth quarter when Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett picked up a fumble and rumbled toward the end zone.

Out of nowhere, Beebe streaked into the picture with Lett 40 yards from paydirt.

"I was thinking to myself as I was running, 'How in the world am I going to tackle this guy? I'm not going to bring him down,'" Beebe said in a phone interview this week. "I was literally going to jump on his back. Now, that would have been funny. But he made my job easy by sticking the ball out."

Beebe closed the gap just in time, slapping Lett's right hand inches before the goal line. The ball squirted through the end zone and a touchdown quickly became a touchback.

Chadron State offensive coordinator Chris Brien, who played tight end alongside Beebe in college, said he isn't surprised by the play because it epitomizes Beebe's attitude. Brien also sees physical similarities between Beebe and Woodhead, who both returned kicks in the NFL.

"You can't fake speed. That's the biggest thing," Brien said. "You can't fake what those two guys do, and that's run and run tremendously fast. That's definitely going to get you noticed."

Because Super Bowl XXVII was a rout before Beebe's sprint, it remains a quintessential hustle play in NFL lore. It has become his identity to many fans, and that's OK with Beebe, who played in four Super Bowls with the Bills and two with the Green Bay Packers.

"You never know what play is going to make or break you within the game," said Beebe, now the head football coach at Aurora Christian High School in the western Chicago suburbs. "What you need to do is make sure you're well-prepared and give it everything you got.

"There's no better example of that than that play, for both me and Leon. Did I know it was going to get that notoriety it has today? No way. But I get to live with the good and he gets to live with the bad."

Reach Sports Editor Darnell Dickson at ddickson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7320.

 

Copyright 2015 JournalStar.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest scores and more from all sports

MLB:  News | Scoreboard NFL:  News | Scoreboard NBA:  News | Scoreboard
NHL:  News | Scoreboard NCAA FB:  News | Scoreboard NCAA BK:  News | Scoreboard
Golf:  News | Leaderboard Auto Racing:  News | Results Tennis:  News | Scoreboard
Other: MLS  |  Womens NCAA BK  |  WNBA  |  CFL  |  Minor League Baseball  |  NFL Draft  |  NBA Draft
Activate subscription button gif

Stay Connected

LJS Sports voices

Steven M. Sipple | Lincoln Journal Star

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

Ken Hambleton | Lincoln Journal Star

Ken grew up in Chicago and is a Doane College grad. His Mr. Sportsknowitall column appears Sundays, and he covers a variety of beats.

Brian Christopherson | Lincoln Journal Star

Brian graduated from UNL and has covered Husker football since the Solich years. He's in his seventh year as the NU football beat writer for the Journal Star.

Brian Rosenthal | Lincoln Journal Star

Brian is a Hastings College grad and has covered NU sports for the Journal Star since 2001. He also had stops at the Hutchison News and York News-Times.

Ryly Jane Hambleton | Lincoln Journal Star

A Scottsbluff native, Ryly Jane graduated from UNL and started at the Journal Star in 1974. She covers prep football, boys basketball and baseball.

Ron Powell | Lincoln Journal Star

Ron is a long-time prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers prep volleyball, girls basketball and tennis in addition to Husker and pro tennis.

Brent Wagner | Lincoln Journal Star

Brent is a York native who started at the Journal Star in 2002 while attending UNL. He covers Stars hockey, NU volleyball and prep soccer and cross country.

Lori Griffin | Lincoln Journal Star

Lori is a Lincoln Southeast and UNL grad and has been at the Journal Star since 1985. She covers NU gymnastics, softball and bowling and prep softball.

Sports Calendar

June 23
@ Winnipeg
1:30 p.m.

June 24
@ St. Paul
  7 p.m.

June 25
@ St. Paul
7 p.m.