In the extra period Dallas' six-point lead shrank to 105-104 with one second remaining. That is where Moody unveiled its Madness, in the form of a 14-minute second.

After a Mavs timeout, Motta instructed Jay Vincent to simply throw the ball off Chambers, reasoning the one second would run off the clock. Chambers actually caught the ball, turned and fired a half-court shot that missed, and referee Mike Mathis whistled the game over. The jubilant Mavs left the court.

It would be a premature evacuation.

Former Mavs coach Dick Motta led his team to its first NBA Playoff series win, clinched by a wild finale against the Seattle Supersonics on April 26, 1984, in Moody Coliseum.
AP Photo/Betty Kumpf
Former Mavs coach Dick Motta led his team to its first NBA Playoff series win, clinched by a wild finale against the Seattle Supersonics on April 26, 1984, in Moody Coliseum.

For over the next 14 minutes, Mathis and co-officials Jake O'Donnell and Tommy Nunez discussed and dissected the conclusion. Ruling that the clock never started, Mathis eventually ordered the final second re-played, with the ball awarded to Seattle. With players forced to put their uniforms back on, Dallas grudgingly returned to the court, where Aguirre foiled a lob-pass attempt to Chambers at the buzzer, setting off a second wild celebration.

"I've never been a part of an atmosphere as frenzied as that one," Sullivan says.

Less than 48 hours later, the emotionally bankrupt and physically drained Mavs lost Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the Los Angeles Lakers by 43 points en route to a 4-1 series loss. But the weird one-night stand had been a success. The Mavs' playoff cherry had been popped.

"It's the one game that still comes up," says Stone, the voice of SMU basketball the last 15 years. "For a whole lot of strange, weird reasons, Moody Madness resonates."

Classic moments that ooze character and sprout organically are rare in our city of pre-fabbed boobs, leased BMWs and over-everythinged Victory Park. Fitting that to most SMU students Moody Madness is the latest emo band. Sad that only a handful of artifacts from the game survived the Mavs' relocation from Reunion to American Airlines Center.

"I hope it lives forever," Blackman says, "because it galvanized a city."

And transformed 9,000 in the building that night into about 900,000 who wished they were.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...