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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

1 Second of Regulation




I'm confident that the end to the 2013 Iron Bowl will be one of college football's "where were you when..." moments. I write this as much for myself than I do for anyone reading; I need to capture the memory before it fades with time, and at least for now, it's as fresh as it was two nights ago.

So where was I? A hotel room in Staunton, VA.

My wife, daughter, and I were splitting up the trip from Thanksgiving in Baltimore back home to Greensboro and checked into our hotel as the game was in progress. I actually missed nearly all of what I hear was a great game all around; as we settled in, my wife tuned the TV to a movie that was somewhere deep in our Netflix I'll-get-to-it-eventually list, I had plugged in my laptop and was looking to get a lay of the land of the end of the 3:30 games/start of the evening games when Twitter's eruption at the tying play led me to CBSsports.com to watch the remainder of the Iron Bowl. I tuned in just in time. I saw the game almost end. I saw the countless angles, the review that seemed like it took forever, the one second returned to the clock, the audible disappointment from the Auburn faithful at Jordan-Hare.

And then I saw The Play. I don't know if the college football intelligentsia have named it yet, but there's no doubt a name is coming. I watched it all unfold completely incredulous at what I was watching transpire. I said something in utter disbelief, probably "Oh My God," which prompted my wife to ask what happened. There was a full beat before I could gather myself enough to break down what had just happened, and even longer before I could put into words what had happened, how it came into being, and what it meant. This is as close as I can probably come to a stream-of-consciousness of my experience with the game.

He didn't get out in time. We're going to overtime.

They're taking a look at it.

No, it looks like he did get out in time. But one second? It'll be an improbable Hail Mary, then probably overtime.

Field goal? Sure whatever. He'll make it, and Bama'll win, just like we thought, or, more likely, he'll miss and we'll see overtime.

Hey wait, there's a guy back there.

Ah well, they'll get him, and the game's going to overtime.

See there. He stepped out. Overtime.

Wait he didn't step out. He's still going. They've got nothing but big guys out there. He's going to... he just... HTRAFGROAHTEROGJA

That last big was my brain shorting out.

Of course, my wife wasn't nearly as enthused as I was, and I had to share the moment with someone. The tweet above and an accompanying Facebook post was all I could must at first, and frankly, the truth. Then the phone came out.

First text was to my friend James, a Florida State alum dating an Auburn alum. I'm headed to the ACC Championship game with James this weekend.

HOLY SHIT. Tell Julia I say War damn Eagle. Do we lose y'all to Atlanta or do we have a week to figure out how to get a tv to the tailgate?

Thankfully, Saturday's plans are intact. My next text was to my friend Kathleen, an Ohio State fan.

War. Damn. Eagle.

Her Buckeyes, of course, should be in the driver's seat to the national championship game with Bama out of the way. Turns out, she was working an event and hadn't even seen the outcome yet.

How amazing did I think it was? I was too in awe to even take note of the reverse Rammer Jammering I can only assume took place at the hand of the Auburn University Marching Band - unless they were on the field as well. I make no claim to be a sports historian, or even have a vast history behind me, but that has to be one of the top finishes of all time. It would have been amazing in a vacuum, but given that it also altered the course of the SEC and national championship races, it was all the more epic. Perhaps Buster Olney put it best:




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