How about that Iron Bowl?
For those of you who don’t know – or don’t care – the “Iron Bowl” is the name given to the annual football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers. It’s one of the fiercest rivalries in college football, and in recent years it has taken on added meaning because one or both schools have been in the national title conversation.
It’s the last regular season game that each team plays, and it’s always the Saturday after Thanksgiving; as such, I usually end up watching it since I’m too tired and full of turkey to be doing anything else of substance anyway. Except this year, when my friend hosted a dinner and invited us all over to eat at his house where he doesn’t have cable.
So this year, I missed it, and of course it ends up having possibly the craziest ending of any game I’ve ever (not) seen. After Auburn tied the game in the final minute, Alabama attempted a 934-yard field goal (distance approximate) to try to win the game in regulation. The kick came up a yard short, sending the game to overtime.
Oh, wait, no, I’m sorry. Auburn’s Chris Davis caught the missed kick and promptly returned it 109 yards into history for the game-winning touchdown. The win put Auburn into the SEC Championship and gave the Tigers a chance at playing for the BCS Championship; possibly even more importantly to Auburn fans, it almost certainly ended Alabama’s quest to win a third straight BCS title.
It was a fantastic run by Davis, who had the wherewithal to stay inbounds the whole way, but it was also a great setup by Auburn’s special teams unit. It seemed like it never occurred to Alabama that the kick might get returned, but Auburn was prepared. And when it happened, the Tigers escorted Davis to paydirt with a series of blocks that allowed him to run the whole 109 yards essentially – if not completely – untouched.
What an incredible finish to a great game in a fantastic rivalry. Too bad I didn’t get to see it.