Jerry Tagge - Quarterback - 1977-79 - Nebraska
Jerry Tagge joined B.C. in 1977 after spending 1975 with San Antonio of the World Football League. Tagge had led Nebraska to a National Championship in 1970 and '71 under coach Tom Devaney. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 1972 draft. He spent three seasons with Green Bay leaving the team in 1974.
In 1977 with the Lions Tagge and the team were dubbed the "Cardiac Kids" under new head coach Vic Rapp. The team roared to a 10-2 record, winning four games in the last minute of play, then fell to 10-6. In the playoffs, the Lions defeated Winnipeg 33-22 for their first post-season victory since the 1964 Grey Cup. B.C. moved on to the Western Final with high hopes but were crushed by the eventual Grey Cup Champs the Edmonton Eskimos 40-1. Tagge was named the Western Division Most Outstanding Player, the first Lion to capture the trophy since Tom Brown in 1964.
The Lions struggled in 1978 as Tagge was unable to re-create the magic of his first season on the west coast. The club finished at 7-7-2 and missed the playoffs. Tagge returned to B.C. in 1979 but was injured in the second half of the season and the starting quarterback duties fell to rookie Joe Paopao. The injury would end his playing career but fans still remember the last second heroics of Jerry Tagge and the "Cardiac Kids" in the summer of 1977.
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