Three seasons before they would be united as teammates with the Dallas Cowboys and embark on a remarkable 1990s run that saw them win three Super Bowls, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith were on opposite sidelines.
Aikman had transferred from Oklahoma to UCLA where he got a starting opportunity. The Bruins were the nation’s fifth ranked team in 1987, a talented squad that just had to beat rival USC in the final game of the regular season to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Aikman struggled, though and the Bruins stumbled. Exiled to the Aloha Bowl instead, they would meet a resurgent Florida Gators program on Christmas Day. While Hawaii is nice, it wasn’t where the Bruins wanted to be, but they held off Florida to end the season on a high note.
The Gators’ star that day? Freshman running back Emmitt Smith. The future teammates and Hall of Famers met for the first time that day, in a live post-game interview with Mike Adamle on ABC-TV.
The white Bruins road jersey includes two huge Aloha Bowl patches and, according to Heritage, “hit marks, scuffs and multiple team repairs,” possibly having been worn in previous contests that season.
Aikman had a breakout season in 1987, connecting on 65% of his passes for 2,354 yards and 18 touchdowns. In the Aloha Bowl, he was 19 of 30 for 173 yards in front of a small holiday turnout. You can watch the entire game–and the postgame interviews with Aikman and Smith below.
The jersey is expected to sell for at least $10,000.