Smith still convinced it was a Music City Mirage

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
9:48
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

CANTON, Ohio -- Bruce Smith's final game in a Buffalo Bills uniform was a doozy. He broke the NFL record for most postseason sacks. It was the last time the Bills were in the playoffs.

 
  AP Photo/Wade Payne
  Kevin Dyson and the Tennessee Titans broke the hearts of Bills fans everywhere with the Jan. 8, 2000, "Music City Miracle."

The game also went down as the Music City Miracle, when the Tennessee Titans broke the Bills' hearts on a trick kickoff return.

With the Bills and Titans meeting Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game, reporters from Nashville are in town and stopped by Friday afternoon's interview sessions at the McKinley Grand Hotel.

A Nashville television reporter asked Smith what he remembered from that game.

"I remember it was a forward pass," said Smith, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night along with Bills owner Ralph Wilson. "That's all I remember."

The game shouldn't have been Smith's last with Buffalo. In the first round of the 1999 playoffs against the Tennessee Titans, Steve Christie kicked a field goal to put the Bills ahead by a point with 16 seconds left.

Then came the infamous kickoff return known as Home Run Throwback. Fullback Lorenzo Neal fielded the short kick and handed off to tight end Frank Wycheck fired the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson, who ran for a 75-yard touchdown to stun the Bills.

To the naked eye, it appeared the ball traveled forward. Replays were inconclusive. The ball looked like it might have traveled on a perfectly parallel line from Wycheck to Dyson.

Smith had a polite smile on his face Friday, but he didn't seem to pleased to be asked about the Music City Miracle.

"Certainly, it's something that's worth a conversation," Smith said. "But it's in the past. It's history."

For Bills fans, who have endured nine straight years without the playoffs, that kick-in-the-gut game must feel like ancient history.

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