The 1999 Bills lost a playoff game on the Music City Miracle, a trick play that the Titans used to return a last-minute kickoff for a touchdown. That play changed the fortunes of both franchises and resulted in Bills head coach Wade Phillips firing his special teams coordinator, Bruce DeHaven.
Now DeHaven is coordinating the Panthers’ special teams and Phillips is coordinating the Broncos’ defense, and their teams will meet in Super Bowl 50. Although there was a time when DeHaven despised Phillips for making him the scapegoat of the Music City Miracle, DeHaven says he and Phillips buried the hatchet.
“Any problems I had with Wade, I got over,” DeHaven said. “It took me almost 10 years, but I talked to him before a ball game down in Houston a couple years ago and we ended up embracing. I don’t think he had a problem with me, but I had a problem with him and I think he was very happy that I reached out to him, approached him. That’s just the way the business is and I am now old enough and experienced enough to understand that.”
DeHaven, who is battling cancer, is letting bygones be bygones. He had every right to be upset that he was given an outsize portion of the blame for the Bills’ playoff loss, but he and Phillips are no longer on bad terms.