Not many athletes can boast of having an iconic moment. One of those moments that will forever stand the test of time. A signature play that prompts fans to claim, ‘I was there, I saw it,’ even though that’s probably a stretch.
George Teague had two.
At least for Alabama football fans that’s true. Dallas Cowboys fans, too.
Teague, an All-SEC and second-team All-American safety in 1993, was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on May 8 in Birmingham. He was joined by Tuscaloosa’s Lillie Leatherwood and former Alabama golfer Steve Hudson.
Teague reminisced about his college and NFL career as he looked at his display case full of memorabilia at the ASHOF building.
“There is a lot going on in this case. Everything in here has some special meaning to it,” Teague said. “There is hidden stories behind these things other than just playing in those games.”
And those iconic moments?
“That’s a big, big piece,” he said.
The first one, every Crimson Tide fan knows, or should know.
For those new to Alabama football history: Teague had just returned an interception for a touchdown against Miami in the national title game at the Sugar Bowl in 1993. On the Hurricanes’ first play afterward, Lamar Thomas caught a pass and sprinted down the sideline for a sure touchdown.
Instead, Teague tracked down Thomas, who had world-class speed, near the goal line and stripped him of the ball. He gained a few yards on the return before being tackled.
The play officially didn’t happen. Alabama was flagged for offsides and Miami took the penalty to maintain possession.
“On social media it seems like something comes up about it daily about that game,” Teague said of the play, which is shown on the big screen before every Alabama home game.
The second moment? This happened when Teague was with the Dallas Cowboys.
In 2000, San Francisco 49ers receiver Terrell Owens celebrated a touchdown catch by running to midfield and placing the ball on the Cowboys’ star logo. He did it again later in the game, which sent Teague over the edge.
Teague gave chase, and decked Owens at midfield just as he planted the ball on the star for a second time.
“It was kind of unbelievable, shocking,” Teague said. “I was like, ‘Really, this is what we are going to do right now?’ So, those were two big moments that are still being talked about.”
Owens and Teague are forever linked on the field, but also in the ASHOF. Owens, from Alexander City, was inducted into the ASHOF in 2018.
They have never spoken to one another about the incident.
Those are just two great memories for Teague during his athletic career. He’s got many more, all which came flooding back while standing in the ASHOF.
“Seeing the case and the other guys and ladies (inducted), it’s becoming a lot more emotional seeing it all,” Teague said.
Teague was the 29th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 NFL Draft, and was on the 1993 All-Rookie Team.
Over a nine-year career he played with the Packers, Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.
“I had some ups and downs in my career,” he said as he scanned the items in his display case. “Miami was kind of a middle transition kind of piece. Then it was over to the Cowboys. The Cowboys is where I landed and that’s where my strongest ties are now in the NFL. When you think about what trials and triumph look like, this is it.
“Seeing all of this, it’s touching.”