STANFORD -- As soon as the Stanford Stadium scoreboard flashed No. 7 on Thursday night, the sold-out crowd of 51,545 readied to applaud legendary Cardinal quarterback John Elway.
The man who played from 1979-82 joined No. 1 Ernie Nevers and No. 16 Jim Plunkett as school's only players to have their jerseys retired. (Elway's number will be retired after the season although the ceremony came during halftime of the Stanford-Oregon game).
The player who made No. 7 iconic beamed while a montage of Elway's spectacular collegiate career played on the scoreboard. His famous 60-plus-yard scramble-pass against USC received the biggest response as Elway was flanked by four family members wearing No. 7 Stanford jerseys.
As he began to thank the crowd his microphone malfunctioned but the nonplussed quarterback didn't flinch. He eventually thanked the school in a brief speech.
"I enjoyed my four years there so much, living in the track shack with Ken Margerum between my freshman and sophomore year," Elway said earlier this week.
His favorite moment?
"When we beat Washington when I was a senior and they were No. 1 in the country," Elway said.
An All-American out of Granada Hills High in Los Angeles, Elway chose Stanford although his father Jack became San Jose State's coach.
"Ultimately, I went to Stanford because it was a quarterback school," he said. "Dad was a going to throw the ball, too," but Stanford won out because of the academics.
Elway ended his thank yous with a crowd-pleasing cheer for Cardinal success in the second half against the second-ranked Ducks.
Ty Montgomery, the last Stanford player to wear No. 7, opened the second half with a 57-yard kickoff return to Oregon's 38. The Cardinal scored on Jordan Williamson's 34-yard field goal for a 20-0 lead.
"It's not exactly an epidemic," he said before the game.
Scott hopes league coaches police themselves. But if they don't he said he could hold out all injured players for a designated period to make it an incentive not to fake it.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.