BERKELEY -- Growing up in Massachusetts, Cal tight end Richard Rodgers heard very little about The Play, even though one of its architects was living under the same roof.
"My dad doesn't really talk about it a lot," Rodgers said of his father, Richard Rodgers Sr., who made two of the five laterals on the kickoff return that beat Stanford 25-20 in the 1982 Big Game. "When we see it, we just laugh."
Rodgers saw The Play several times on TV as a kid before he even knew his father was one of the participants. "The first time I saw it, I didn't really know what was going on and I didn't know my dad was part of it until probably fifth or sixth grade when he told me," Rodgers said. "Then I realized it was a big thing."
But if dad was modest about his role in one of the most famous moments in college football history, his connection to The Play didn't stay a secret around the neighborhood for long.
Richard's friends inevitably found out from their fathers. "I became a cool dad," Rodgers recalled, laughing. "I was getting street cred from YouTube."
YouTube actually didn't come along until 2005 -- 23 years after Kevin Moen to Richard Rodgers to Dwight Garner to Richard Rodgers to Mariet Ford to Kevin Moen ruined John Elway's final college game and made the Stanford band infamous.
Richard Rodgers Sr., an assistant special teams coach for the Carolina Panthers, almost cringes at the realization The Play is 30 years old.
"That is a little hard to stomach," he said.
A defensive back during his playing days, Richard Sr. wants his son to create his own Big Game memories, not live it through dad's scrapbook. As a freshman last season, Richard II played only on special teams against Stanford.
Now he gets a chance as a starter to play the game in the same stadium his dad played.
"I don't know if I can explain to him the magnitude of the Big Game in terms of the crowd and how he's going to feel when he comes out of that tunnel," Rodgers said. "I'm just happy that's something he's going to be able to experience for himself."
Two weeks removed from a breakout game where he had seven catches for 129 yards, the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder is better positioned to have impact on the game now.
"He's only a sophomore, there's a lot of upside to him," his dad said. "With the way the tight end is re-evolving right now at all levels, he has an opportunity to be really good.
"He's a big kid, really athletic. He's a matchup nightmare. I think he can be as good as he wants."
Richard II said he talks weekly with his dad, and figures this week there will be discussion about the Big Game. "He'll probably talk to me about the traditions and stuff," Rodgers said.
The Panthers, coached by Rodgers' former Cal teammate Ron Rivera, play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, so Rodgers won't be able to attend the Big Game. "I wish," he said.
As usual, he will call and text his son during the week.
"I give him some words of encouragement or something he needs to work on. I don't think my message will be any different," Richard Sr. said. "For him, he has to stay focused and be able to do job."
But if there isn't constant reminiscing on The Play, there is a lasting, unspoken message.
"There was always that connotation every time we see it, that it's never over. That's why you keep playing," Richard Rodgers Sr. said. "Growing up, everybody's in the driveway shooting a last-second shot or making a diving catch.
"It's in the back of the minds of every kid -- the ability to make that final play."