That line above was uttered by Yogi Berra and the Erie Community College men's basketball team proved it at Jamestown CC 26 years ago.
Former Erie player Brian Brown will never forget it and now he returns to the ''scene of the crime'' once every year as an assistant coach for the ECC women's basketball team.
The game he'll never forget was on Dec. 8, 1987, and JCC was leading the Kats, 75-73, with two seconds left. Charles Jordan of the Jayhawks was at the foul line to shoot a one-and-one, so it pretty much looked like JCC had the win locked up.
Former Erie Community College men’s basketball player Brian Brown reads a clipping about his team’s memorable win at Jamestown CC in 1987.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
''That was the thought at that time,'' Brown recalled last Saturday while at JCC with the Lady Kats.
However, Jordan missed the first free throw, Brown grabbed the rebound and was fouled. So the teams went to the other end of the court and Brown had a one-and-one and a chance to win the game.
He'd been in that position before.
''That bug bit me in high school,'' he said about being on the free throw-line with a chance to win a game. ''I had an opportunity for the city championship when I was at Emerson High School in Buffalo. We played against Grover Cleveland and I had two free throws with no time left on the clock. One would have put us in overtime and the second one would have won the game for us and unfortunately I missed both of those free throws. I remember the headline the next day in the Buffalo News saying, 'Brown Chokes At The Free Throw Line.''
However, Brown said he wasn't thinking about that in 1987 at JCC.
''I'm a person who tries not to make the same mistake twice, so in my mind I was going to make these two free throws and win this game,'' he said. ''I never reflected back to those two free throws in high school. That was two years ago.''
Things looked good for Erie when he sunk the first foul shot for his team-high 23rd point. And how did he feel about the second one to tie the game?
''There was no doubt in my mind I was going to make it,'' Brown said. And when he put up the second free throw, he recalled, ''It felt good, it really felt good.''
It didn't look good as the ball bounced off the rim, but Gerald Walls of the Kats tipped the rebound.
''I couldn't believe it,'' Brown said. ''He just jumped out of nowhere.''
Walls tipped the ball onto rim where it rolled around twice while the buzzer sounded and then it dropped through the hoop to give Erie a miracle 76-75 win.
''That was a relief for me because that took the pressure off of me to answer any questions or see any headlines about me missing free throws again,'' Brown said.
Walls had just entered the game and it was his only two points, but Brown wasn't surprised his teammate got the tip-in.
''Gerald was about 6-2, 6-3, but he was very husky, very strong,'' he said.
And Walls was in the game because Erie coach Chris Fuller played a hunch.
''He said the reason why he put him in the game was because he saw a glow around him (Walls),'' Brown said. ''So he put him in the game and it worked out to our benefit.''
Brown still remembers it like it was yesterday.
''It was a great win for us because it was a road win,'' he said. ''Anytime you can go on the road and get a win, especially in conference play, is always a great win.''
But it was a brutal loss for JCC and coach Jay John. I recall he sat stunned in his office for nearly 15 minutes after the game before finally opening his door for an interview.
The big question was why he had his players lined up for the free throw instead of in the backcourt.
In JCC's previous game, an overtime win over Hilbert College, there was a similar free-throw situation for the Jayhawks at the end and other than the shooter, John had his other four players in the backcourt.
''Obviously, that's the first thing I thought of,'' he said after the stunning loss to Erie.
John was banking on his team getting the rebound on a miss and Fuller said he agreed with the strategy.
''I don't know what the rebounding totals were (JCC led 37-20), but they rebounded well on the offensive board tonight, so given the situation in his shoes, I probably would have done the same thing,'' he said.
It was an unforgettable game in the history of JCC men's basketball, but one the Jayhawks would like to forget.
It was an unforgettable season for Brown, who was named the NJCAA Region 3 most valuable player and then went on to play for two seasons at Canisius College. But the game he won't forget in Erie's 1987-88 season was a miracle win over the Jayhawks and the memory is refreshed every year when he returns to the JCC gym.