The Band is on the Field: ESPN’s E60 Relives Memorable Cal-Stanford Play on 40th Anniversary


The Band is on the Field: ESPN’s E60 Relives Memorable Cal-Stanford Play on 40th Anniversary

Former Stanford Band Members, Coaches and Players From Both Teams Speak in One-Hour Program

The Band is on the Field Debuts Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+

ESPN E60 will relive what has been described as “the most amazing, sensational, dramatic finish in the history of college football” – the play that came at the end of the 1982 Big Game, the annual showdown between the University of California – Berkeley Golden Bears and the Stanford University Cardinal.

E60 marks the 40th anniversary of “The Play” with Jeremy Schaap taking viewers on a historic journey through the experiences of Cal and Stanford players, coaches, band members, announcers, mascots, officials and former students. The Band is on the Field will debut Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, streaming afterward on ESPN+.

When Stanford band members believed their team had won the game, they began to rush the field, but the game was not over. At this same moment, Cal was lining up for a desperate kick return, which against all odds the Bears would keep alive, with five laterals and the most unlikely comeback in the annals of football.

E60 travels the country to speak with more than 40 people intimately involved with “The Play”, including Stanford trombone player, Gary Tyrrell, who was famously knocked down in the end zone by Cal’s Kevin Moen, who scored the winning touchdown. Moen is also interviewed.

As is Joe Starkey, the Cal Radio announcer, whose six immortal words, “the band is on the field,” are etched into college football history.

The 23-second moment represents more than just a fantastic football finish. It’s about how a few seconds on a football field changed lives forever. “The Play” continues to represent hope when all hope seems lost.

The Band is on the Field is produced by Simon Baumgart and Michael Sciallo.

Other ESPN platforms will also contribute to the presentation: excerpts from The Band is on the Field will be featured in segments on Outside the Lines in SportsCenter; and the story will be explored in an upcoming edition of the ESPN Daily Podcast.

After the premiere on ESPN, the program will be available on ESPN+ and will re-air multiple times across ESPN networks.


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Bea Panitz

I joined ESPN in 2022 as a member of the communications department working on SportsCenter, ESPN News Platforms and E60. My athletic “career” began at a VERY young age, thanks to my dad who threw me into a swimming pool when I was only a few months old. Swimming gave me the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level for Michigan State. After continuously watching the Spartans take home the Paul Bunyan Trophy, it was in East Lansing that I realized my energy and passion for sports and competition. Though I am a Westchester County native, I firmly believe Connecticut has the best pizza.
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