NFL legend Steve Young spent the first two years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before stepping into elite status with the San Francisco 49ers.
During that time, Young said at least once that an official threw a flag in hopes of setting up the quarterback with his daughter, who happened to attend BYU (Young’s alma mater), via SI’s MMQB:
“We play the Colts at home. Partway through the second quarter I’m in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. “Can I talk to you for a second?” he says. I step away from the huddle. “Hey, listen, my daughter’s going to BYU,” he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. “I’d like you to take her out,” he says.
I cannot believe this. We’re in the middle of a game! “Oh, okay,” I said. “What’s her name?’’ He tells me and I return to the huddle … Late in the game we’re down 31–23 and I’m trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I am lying on the ground when the defense recovers the loose ball, all but sealing our defeat. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down, Tampa Bay. I get up and brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.”
Young and the Bucs would go on to lose, 31-23. The quarterback threw for 251 yards, one touchdown and two picks. He also rushed for 49 yards and a score.
We don’t, however, know if he ever did take out that girl for some Italian. Young was traded for a second- and fourth-round draft choice to make room for Vinny Testaverde in 1987.
At the time, Young inked the largest deal in NFL history, which the LA Times estimated was at $40 million.