Was the OBNUG Hall of Fame built with Marty Tadman in mind? Quite definitely, yes.
Anyone who spends five minutes with us knows that we are enthralled with Tadman up to and over the point of obsession. We feel that he was one of the greatest Boise State players of all-time, and he is a close, personal friend (in the alternate reality in which we live). Tadman's heroics over the course of his career speak monuments to his ability, leadership, and smarts, and picking just one Tadman moment for our first OBNUG Hall of Fame class was difficult.
But not impossible.
The Fiesta Bowl was one of the greatest moments in Boise State history, and it was fitting that one of Boise State's greatest players had one of his biggest games. Tadman showed up when it counted most, and without him, our collection of Fiesta Bowl t-shirts would be much less cool.
His solid, all-around play served merely as context for his two spectacular, timely, heads-up interceptions. The first stopped a drive; the second gave the Broncos breathing room (Jared Zabransky, obviously, hates breathing room).
After the Broncos jumped out to a 14-0 lead, Oklahoma started its comeback. The Sooners cut the lead in half, and on their next drive, they looked poised to strike again. Tadman, however, had other ideas. He picked off Oklahoma QB Paul Thompson in the end zone to kill the drive.
Later, with the Broncos holding on to a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter, Tadman struck again. A Thompson pass headed for the flat was tipped by Korey Hall and picked by Tadman, who ran untouched into the end zone. The pick-six gave Boise State its biggest lead of the game, and it put the Broncos in great position to win.
Tadman's Fiesta Bowl picks were things of beauty, and his overall play spearheaded an aggressive, unheralded defense. The beauty of Boise State's victory was not in the trick plays or gimmicky offense. The real value was that the Broncos belonged on the same field as a Big XII team in every facet of the game.
We have Marty Tadman to thank for that.