Journalism practice. I took a Journalism class in high school; I anguished while attempting to write sports articles for the school newspaper. I was uninspired, as were my efforts. Late in the game. What could I do now?
A small challenge entertained after I witnessed a remarkable football game:
The Auburn football team had been enjoying a most remarkable season. After finishing in last place in the SEC West the year before, their record stood at 10 wins and one loss going into their rivalry game with Alabama. And that year Alabama had dominated the Tigers by a score of 49-0. Now, Auburn was ranked number 4 in the nation. But the Crimson Tide of Alabama was the two-time defending national champion, undefeated this year and again ranked number 1 in the nation. For Alabama, a victory would almost certainly assure a return to the BCS Championship game.
With Auburn down 28 to 21, late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers stopped one Tide advance deep in Auburn territory. And again, later, with 2:40 left on the clock, they stopped another by blocking a field goal attempt that could have sealed a Tide victory.
Now this: Auburn ball at the ‘Bama 40, 33 seconds remaining on the game clock: QB Nick Marshall, runs the triple option. He sweeps left and is about to cross the line of scrimmage when he tosses the ball to receiver Sammie Coates, who runs it in for a game tying touchdown.
After the ensuing kick-off, Alabama quickly advances the ball to their 39-yard line. As the final seconds tick off, Tide quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist AJ McCarron hands the ball off to running back T.J. Yeldon, who picks up 22 yards before he makes it out-of-bounds at Auburn 39-yard marker. Game officials rule that regulation time has expired signaling the end of regulation play. Alabama coach, Nick Saben, argues that when Yeldon stepped out, the clock signaled one second remaining. An official reviewal confirms Saben’s contention, and Alabama has a chance for one final play to win the game. Alabama fans look pleased.
Adam Griffith — a highly touted red-shirt freshman placekicker, is called in to make a long 57-yard attempt. Play-by-play announcers are incredulous. Indeed. Fans of the rivalry remember Alabama kicker Van Tiffin had making a series-record-tying 52-yard field goal as time expired to snatch victory from Auburn in the 1985 game. Griffith, who had converted on only 1 of 2 attempts all season, had been making 60-yard field goals in practice. But this time, the kick is short. Auburn cornerback and return specialist Chris Davis, 9 yards deep in his own end zone, fields the football, sprints left, eludes tacklers, and scrambles up the field for the game-winning touchdown. Game over. ‘Bama fans are stunned. Auburn fans are jubilant: they pour out onto the field in in wild celebration.