Sunday, December 1, 2013

And the Tide...stopped.

Ramblings Post #244
It ain't over, until it's over. The idea, notion, concept or whatever you want to call it. It's the mantra that one should always try the hardest, even when all seems hopeless. Because when all the little coincidences that need to happen all fall into's like magic happened.

Image from CBS - Screen capture

I've often screamed it at Tony Romo. The usual refrain is "You don't have to win it all now! Don't bet the farm on your arm! Omigod, what are you.....Arrrrgh!" Well, maybe not that exactly, but that's the general gist of it. That and the liberal use of the phrase "Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory." But this story is about Alabama-Auburn.

I watched this game from home, because I really wasn't ready to put up with the Crimson Tide's fan base after my earlier faux pas at a Clemson-Georgia game. After revealing I wasn't a Bulldog fan it was politely suggested that perhaps I'd have a better view through a window from the yard. And whereas that might have been a joke at that party, at a Alabama viewing function you'd have thought I'd suddenly claimed to be carrying the plague. Let's just say a few of my comments during the game would have gotten me a prime garbage can spot. So I stayed home.

And I noticed that the Crimson Tide reminded me a lot of the Atlanta Falcons of last season. By that, I mean that luck was on their side. After that slow and sloppy first quarter, just about every call, every bounce, everything that could seemed to go their way. This is not implying anything untoward, it's just that sometimes, you get on a roll. I watched a player make the cut at just the right moment, an arm tackle miss, a wrong defensive read that leaves someone open, a player pop up in just the right position and the like. They were just lucky, like the Falcons. Now, this isn't to say the teams don't have talent, as it can be argued that luck is product of preparation. It's just that it always seemed that only Alabama had come prepared.

I don't watch much Auburn football, so I was a little surprised to see so much running in this day and age of "excitement" football. I think it actually worked to their advantage as they made the few pass plays real surprises. But if running is your focus, it makes it hard to score points in a hurry, and when Alabama scored on a cartoon play (99 yards), Auburn needed points. 

Now, that moment as we'll call it. Auburn had scored with short time on the clock, and Alabama looked to driving back up the field to position for a Hail Mary pass. Or so we all thought. And when the guy stepped out and the CBS graphic popped up end of regulation, I was sure we were headed for a shoot-out. But then somebody channeled the spirit of Jason Garrett, and by somebody I mean Nick Saban. Early Garrett was good for the "let's make this thirty seconds count" mantra, leading to more mistakes than a soul should have to endure. Instead of letting the game end and going for the overtime win, Saban argued for and got one second back. Again, 'Bama was on a roll.

Seriously, I thought it would be the Hail Mary. Or a trick play. They'd already missed three kicks from much shorter distances. I said out loud, in my deepest low-country brogue, "it would be goody for them if he catches that damn ball and runs it all the way back" when I saw them trotting out the kicker for a Field Goal try. But I didn't think it would happen. Not seriously. In fact I turned the channel, expecting to come back to the OT graphic.

Clicked back and went, WTF?

I enjoyed the sights of the stunned Alabama fans. If you've ever met an Alabama fan you know why. The unusual silence is just so...deafening.

Barkeep, a little ice water...I'm just gonna sink into the quiet.     

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