As part of ESPN’s season-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football, we collected 150 stories from those who know the game best (check out ESPN starting Aug. 17 to see more). Here are some of our favorites:

Desmond Howard

1991 Heisman winner

“Going into the ’91 season, I was dating a gymnast. And I had this girl teach me how to do a backflip because I thought it would be the coolest thing to break out down the field, stop at about the 1-yard line and do a backflip into the end zone. As I became the front-runner for the Heisman, fast-forward to a game in late November, and Michigan is playing the Buckeyes. This is my golden opportunity: Catch the punt, race down the sideline, pass the punter. At this point I’m thinking, ‘Am I going to do this backflip?’ I was probably around the 8-yard line, going in, and I kind of chickened out because I figured if I didn’t do it right, then I’m on ‘SportsCenter’ for the wrong thing. And I did that Heisman pose. Which I think turned out to be better than doing a backflip.”

Billy Sims

1978 Heisman winner

“I told coach Barry Switzer I had already committed to Baylor. At the time, I didn’t know he was turning up the Sooner magic. I was pumping gas one weekend. You guys probably don’t remember the pay phone, but the pay phone rang, and one of my co-workers said, ‘Hey, Sims! Coach Switzer wants to talk to you!’ I’m thinking they’re pulling a joke on me! I go to the phone. It’s Coach Switzer-at halftime! He said, ‘We’re up pretty good, and I was thinking about you.’ So we talk, and I can hear the referee come in and say, ‘Coach, you gotta get back on the field. We’re getting ready to kick off.’ He said, ‘I’m gonna promise you two things if you recommit: First of all, I’m gonna make sure you get your degree before you leave.’ Which I did. ‘And two: You’re gonna win the Heisman Trophy.’ Which I did.”

Mark Schlabach

ESPN Senior Writer

“It was a dreary, rainy day. Tim Couch was Kentucky’s QB, playing Georgia; there wasn’t a lot of action. I look down at the 50-yard line in Sanford Stadium, and my chocolate Lab, Tubby, was standing in the middle of the field. I lived about five blocks from the stadium. He had followed the Redcoat Marching Band into the stadium. Nobody could catch him. After five minutes, he took off down the sideline, and Larry Munson, Georgia’s legendary radio announcer, was saying on the radio, ‘The dog’s at the 40! He’s at the 30! He’s at the 20!’ He stepped out of bounds at the 10. I got three tickets from animal control. I show up in court with an attorney, and the judge asks me, ‘Were there any witnesses?’ I told her there were 86,117.”

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