Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Twas the night they'll remember . . .

Just what is it that inspires poets? Well, lots of things, including the occasional jaw-dropping miracle. Take this little gem that's been making the rounds, for example:

'Twas the night they'll remember
      by Chuck Porretto

'Twas the night after Auburn, and all through the land
Not a "Roll, Tide!" was uttered by a Crimson Tide fan.

They used to be boisterous, they used to be loud,
they used to be boastful, and cocky and proud.

But they lost all their swagger, they lost all their swing,
For one little second had changed everything.

The score it was even, the clock had run dry,
When Nicholas Saban then started to cry.

He demanded a second be put on the clock.
The worst that could happen? A miss or a block.

But fate it is fickle, and greed has a price,
And what happened next just wasn't too nice.

The previous kicks, wide left and wide right.
So he put in a rookie--'twas not very bright.

The kick was a boomer of 56 yards,
But the extra yard needed was not in the cards.

And back in the end zone a lone Tiger stood.
He caught that ol' football, he caught it real good.

He started to run, he heard the cheers grow.
The Crimson Tide offense? Too fat and too slow.

One hundred and nine he ran for a score.
If needed he could have run one hundred more.

The crowd it erupted while storming the field.
The Crimson Tide's season was settled and sealed.

A cry of 'War Eagle!" soon echoed the plain.
Nick Saban's expression was one of pure pain.

And up in Ohio they shouted "Go, Bucks!"
It gave hope to many except Gators and Ducks.

And in Tuscaloosa you could hear a pin drop,
And in Tallahassee a tomahawk chop.

For the night after Auburn the Tide does not roll.
The new boss in town wears garnet and gold.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Buddy's Football Follies

If you care to know how Mike's beloved Florida State Seminoles ended their 12-game football season yesterday, I'll let quarterback Jameis Winston help me give you the executive summary:

The 'Noles whupped the University of Florida Gators 37-7, finishing the regular season undefeated. Next Saturday they'll play the Duke University Blue Devils for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. If they win that game, they'll get to play for the BCS National Championship in January. I don't know who their opponents would be--possibly the Ohio State Buckeyes, currently the only other undefeated team in the Top 10. Yesterday morning another team was also undefeated, and in fact was ranked number 1, just ahead of FSU. That team is the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.

But a funny thing happened last night, which illustrates an old saying about being careful what you wish for. The Tide was playing their arch-rivals, the Auburn Tigers. As time ran down in regulation play, the score was tied 28-28, and it looked like they'd probably have to go into overtime until somebody won the game. But Alabama was driving for a score in the last few seconds. Just as the game clock appeared to reach zero, an Alabama player carrying the ball stepped out of bounds.

That ended the run and should have forced the overtime. But the Tide's head coach asked for "further review," as he thought his player went out of bounds with one second left, which would give his team enough time to try to kick a 57-yard field goal and win the game by three points. The officials looked at the tape of the play alongside another one of the clock winding down, and sure enough, it turned out they still had one second left to play. So instead of going into overtime, they lined up to try the field goal.

What happened next brings to mind another famous principle that M calls the Law of Unintended Consequences. (Click here for the original clip on YouTube.)

M says that somewhere in a parallel universe, the Crimson Tide could be celebrating a 31-28 victory right now. But in this one it's the Tigers by six.

I'm not going to try to predict whether FSU will win or even play for the National Championship next month. However, I'm pretty sure Alabama, the champs for the past two years, won't be going for three in a row.

By the way, I could have caught that guy.

Just sayin'.