By now, we’ve all seen it. The University of Auburn’s improbable 109 yard (100 in the NCAA’s eyes) field goal return to defeat the defending BCS National Champions, Alabama. Thanks to ESPN, I can see the return every time I close my eyes, and it’s because of that evil empire (ESPN) that I get to watch Tiger fans reveling in their team’s epic win, by rolling around on the floor and possibly committing child abuse.
Most people get to dance with destiny but once in their lifetime, with some people never even getting on the dance floor; not Auburn. The War-Eagle-Tigers have been courting that beautiful lady the entire season, and if tonight’s BCS National Championship game goes their way, then Auburn might as well be crowned the winners of Dancing With The Stars as well.
I don’t have a crystal ball, nor do I claim any soothe-saying, clairvoyant powers, but I imagine the title game going a little bit like this…
It’s the 4th quarter with nigh but a single minute left on the clock. Florida State has kicked a field goal (their second of the quarter) to take a six point lead. Auburn takes the ensuing kickoff and decides to run the ball out of the end zone, only to be tackled on their own five yard line. Auburn’s QB, Nick Marshall takes the snap and tries to scramble, giving his receivers time to get open, but is sacked back at his own one yard line. Second down sees the Tigers get 5 yards back to make it 3rd down and 9. Auburn coach, Gus Malzahn, dials up a pass play only to have the FSU secondary nearly intercept Nick Marshall’s errant pass; it is now fourth down, and the clock reads 15 seconds remaining.
By now, the Florida State sideline is at a near boiling point, with the players excitedly jumping around, already digging into the boxes of hats proclaiming the Seminoles the champs; the Noles’ fan base, both in the stadium and at home, are prematurely celebrating. Auburn has one shot left, and it’s a long shot at best. From his own six yard line, Nick Marshall takes the snap and takes three steps back, handing the ball off to SEC Championship MVP, Tre Mason. He grabs the ball in full stride, cutting left and blasting through a hole made by his offensive line.
Florida State, who has been playing cover-safe defense, begins to rapidly close in on the Auburn running back. By now, Mason has reached the Auburn 30 yard line, and the Seminole defense is starting to play catch-up as Mason is now kicking it into high gear, leaving everyone else behind. The Auburn sideline erupts along with the crowd, as there is nothing but wide open field and only one Florida State player left that can possible catch Mason. The FSU deep safety is running diagonally on a collision course with the now full on sprinting running back.
The Florida State safety is behind Mason now, as the two have reached the Seminole 35 yard line. The Auburn fans in attendance are on their feet, screaming at the top of their lungs, Kristi Malzahn is on her knees praying to Xenu the space god, and Paul Finebaum is thinking if Mike Tomlin can get away with almost tripping a player, then so can he.
The two players have reached the 20 yard line, and it seems that time has come to a stand-still. Mason cuts left toward the Auburn sideline, as Finebaum who has been lurking in Pat Dye’s shadow, much like Gene Chizik did his entire tenure on the Plains, sticks out his foot. Mason, containing some sort of other worldly sixth sense, hurtles PAWWWL’s foot, but the FSU player is not so lucky. The Seminole safety trips over Finebaum’s outstretched foot, tumbling to the turf as Tre Mason high steps into the end zone. The Stadium explodes in a cacophony of cheers, tears, and blank looks of disbelief as the point after attempt is good, Auburn has won the game.
Gus Malzahn has chewed through his trademark chewing gum, and has now chomped his teeth to nubs. When Mason crosses the goal line, Gus pumps his fist into the air so hard, that he dislocates his shoulder, and Anthony Swain automatically falls down without ever being touched; such is the power of the Gus fist pump. Paul Finebaum, who has bet the deed to his home in Tuscaloosa, quietly slips out the back entrance to the stadium where he is promptly run over by a bus driven by Bobby Bowden. The next day, a parade is held in honor of the Auburn Tiger’s destiny filled win, where Gus Malzahn announces he will be taking over as head football coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Auburn is truly a team of destiny.