Tony Fay started working for the Dallas Mavericks in 1987 as the media relations intern; by the time he left in '99, he was director of communications -- which was no easy feat back then, given that was six months before Mark Cuban bought the then-struggling franchise just off a lockout season. These days, though, Fay has a considerably better gig: communications director for Super Bowl XLV, to be played at Cowboys Stadium February 6, 2011. "This is the greatest gig of all time," he says this morning, in part because next Tuesday he'll help assemble quite the collection of football greats at Woodrow Wilson High School to debut a "Nominating List of the 250 greatest gridiron moments" in North Texas history.
"For somebody that grew up here like I did, well, just look at this list of guys," he says. Among those scheduled to attend on behalf of the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee: Roger Staubach, Daryl Johnston, Craig James, Troy Aikman, Joe Greene, Billy Sims, Tony Dorsett, Tim Brown, Michael Irvin and Abner Haynes.
At the Woodrow event, the Super Bowl committee will present the list of 250 moments, which voters will be asked to whittle down to a top 100. "We will tell people how they can go about voting on what will be the 100 greatest moments for the first 100 years of football in North Texas." According to the host committee, those 100 years begin on October 19, 1912, when Oklahoma defeated Texas 21-6 -- the first time Texas-OU was played at the Cotton Bowl.
"There had been football here prior to that, but that was the first big football game that moved here," Fay says. "So it seemed like a good place to start, and it gave us a 100-year anniversary. TCU and SMU had played some games, there'd been some high school games, but nothing as big as Texas-OU."
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For Tim Brown, of course, the event will be a homecoming, which is precisely why the host committee chose Woodrow: It's the only public high school to produce two Heisman winners, Brown and Davey O'Brien. (Mater Dei High School in California, a private school, also counts two Heisman winners: John Huarte and Matt Leinart.)