David Jaynes remembers the 1973 Liberty Bowl all too...uh, unwell.
"It's kind of a blur, really," Jaynes said. "That was a helluva long time ago. Twenty years. Amazing."
Amazing also describes the record-setting quarterback's last season in a Kansas football uniform.
In the two decades that have passed since Jaynes played for the Jayhawks, Kansas has had several pass-minded quarterbacks -- notably Frank Seurer and Mike Norseth -- but he still holds the school record for most career TD passes with 35.
No KU quarterback ever threw more passes (58) or completed more (35) in one game than Jaynes did, either. That was against Tennessee early in the '73 season.
The heavily favored Vols won, 28-27, but the narrow victory and Jaynes' one-man show put KU in the national spotlight and eventually led to a bowl appearance
In the process, it brought All-America recognition to one of the most highly sought prep players in Kansas history.
TODAY JAYNES, 40, is a successful commercial real estate operative in Dallas. Back in the late 60s, while a senior at Bonner Springs High, he was the focus of a national recruiting battle.
"Those were the days when the only rule was they couldn't give you money," Jaynes reflected by phone the other day from his Dallas office. "The recruiting process was intense. I can remember one night when my parents and I went to Kansas City and had dinner. Then when we got back home there was a coach there who wanted to take us to dinner. So we went back to Kansas City for another dinner."
Today a prospect can visit a maximum of five schools. In those days, Jaynes could have visited every school in America, if he wished...and he almost did.
Jaynes traveled to Stanford, Arkansas, Miami of Florida, Virginia, Princeton, Purdue, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Alabama. And, of course, Kansas.
Terry Donahue, then a young KU assistant coach and now head coach at UCLA, was assigned to Jaynes by head coach Pepper Rodgers. Alabama, meanwhile, sent in the heavy lumber. Bear Bryant made a couple of trips to Bonner Springs.
WHAT IF Jaynes had chosen Alabama over Kansas?
"I wouldn't have been an All-American," Jaynes said. "Bear Bryant said later that it was probably best that I hadn't gone there because, if I had, they wouldn't have switched to the wishbone."
With Jaynes, a classic drop-back passer, Kansas wasn't about to switch to the wishbone, although curiously that's the offense the Jayhawks were using two years after he graduated.
"I have no regrets about my college career at KU, none at all," Jaynes said.
Neither does Jaynes regret that he failed to emulate his college success in the NFL. Jaynes failed in the pros, he believes, mainly because he loved to throw a football so much that he threw too often.
"I threw in games, I threw every day in practice," he said. "I just think the bottom line is I threw the ball a lot and I just think I hurt my arm, and it just really never came back."
Warning signs surfaced after the '73 season opener against Washington State.
"I COULDN'T throw in practice all week," he recalled, "but we went down to Florida State and I played in the game and we beat 'em (28-0)."
Kansas returned home and Jaynes again had no problems, as the Jayhawks mashed Minnesota, 34-19. Next was that fateful meeting with Tennessee.
"My arm was OK in that game, but it didn't feel right," he said. "From that point on my arm always felt tired."
Nobody knew it, though. Even in his final game against North Carolina State in the Liberty Bowl, Jaynes looked like money in the bank.
Although the Wolfpack won, 31-18, Jaynes was voted the game's most outstanding offensive performer. He completed 24 of 38 passes for 218 yards -- all Liberty Bowl records at the time -- in bitter sub-freezing weather.
BOTH TEAMS had 10 points after three quarters when a controversial non-call gave the Wolfpack momentum. KU's Bruce Adams signalled for a fair catch at the Jayhawks' 19, but fumbled in heavy traffic. It appeared Adams had been interfered with, but no flag fell, and Lou Holtz' team took command, blowing it open with three quick touchdowns.
"You know, I never saw that play again until seven or eight years later," Jaynes said. "I was watching 'Colombo' -- remember that show? -- and in the background of one scene there was a TV set that showed a replay of Bruce. It was clear he was interfered with."