And I’m not talking about the new 3-D movie version that will try to resurrect the eighties cartoon on the big screen. (I hope it does better justice to the little blue guys than Scoobie Doo and Josie and the Pussycats did for their respective cartoons!)
No I’m talking about THE SMURFS. Before the 1986 Fiesta Bowl, Michael Irvin of the Hurricanes joked about the size of Penn State’s defensive backs, jokingly calling them Smurfs.
Miami’s Irvin walked over to Penn State’s undersized safety, Ray Isom. “You’re Isom?” he said. He was laughing; all week, Miami had been ridiculing Penn State’s defensive backs, likening them to Smurfs — they were too small and too slow to cover Irvin and Brett Perriman and Brian Blades.
In another old article, Conlan talks about the DBs:
Conlan felt that Ray Isom, Duffy Cobbs, Marques Henderson and Eddie Johnson intimidated Miami ‘s receivers.
“They kept talking about how little our defensive backs were,” said Conlan. “I told them they better not forget how tough they are. Our little guys knocked them around those Miami kids didn’t want to catch the football.”
They may have been small, but they were certainly not slow (it had to be the shoes) and they could close quickly and hit hard. Even without intimidation, they often physically separated the receiver from the ball.
And I miss those Smurfs.