One final win for the Gipper

The late Ronald Reagan was a sports fan throughout his life.

He started his career as a sports announcer in Davenport, Iowa.

When he became an actor, Reagan played two roles he is remembered for.

He played George Gipp in "Knute Rockne All-American" and Grover Cleveland Alexander in "The Winning Team."

Many of the greatest moments in sports took place under Reagan's presidency from 1981-1989.

While a lot has already been written this week about Reagan, I would like to mention just a few great sports moments during his presidency:

• Super Bowl XXIII, the San Francisco 49ers' comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Trailing 16-13, Joe Montana drives the 49ers 92 yards and with 0:34 seconds remaining hits John Taylor for the winning touchdown.

The 49ers won their third Super Bowl (1982, 1985, 1989), becoming the first NFC team to achieve this feat.

• Brigham Young University went 13-0 during the season and then defeated Michigan in the Holiday Bowl.

BYU became the only school (other than Notre Dame) not affilated with what would become the BCS to be crowned football national champion.

• The L.A.

Lakers – Boston Celtics NBA Finals.

The two legendary franchises met three times in the Finals (1984, 1985 and 1987) and combined for seven titles.

• Jack Nicklaus at 46 years old came from behind to win his 18th and final major championship at the 1986 Masters.

Nicklaus was the face of golf for three decades, joining the PGA Tour in 1961 and winning the 1962 U.S.


• College football's most memorable play took place in 1982.

Trailing 20-19 with only eight seconds to go, California fielded the kickoff from Stanford.

Five laterals, 57-yards and a tackled Stanford trombonist later, the Bears shocked everybody and won 25-20 over Stanford.

•In 1987, NFL players went on strike for the second time in five years.

The strike lasted for only 24 days during the season and inspired the 2000 movie "The Replacements" with Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman.

The NFL hasn't been on strike since.

If players do threaten a strike, we should threaten them with another Reeves' football movie.

• The United States competed in four Olympics during the Reagan administration: the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, the Summer Olympics in L.A., the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary and the Summer Games in Seoul.

The '84 Summer Games are best remembered for the U.S.S.R.

boycott after the U.S.

boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow.

•The 1984 NBA Draft was probably the greatest ever in terms of talent.

The No.

1 overall pick was Hakeem Olajuwon, No.

3 Michael Jordan, No.

5 Charles Barkley and No.

16 John Stockton.

• And finally, my favorite sports moment from 1981-1989.

No person or team dominated its competition in the Eighties like supermodel Elle MacPherson.

She graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 1986,1987 and 1988, earning the rare three-peat.

President Reagan lifted up the United States and brought along a great decade of sports history.

It was one for the Gipper.

Brent Hinckley is the Daily Miner's sports writer and can be reached by e-mail at