Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eight seconds

Author's note: The title of this post does not refer to the 1994 movie about rodeo legend Lane Frost. Although in my opinion that was Luke Perry's best, and come to think of it, only decent acting performance.

Well, my weekend involved golf and football. Hmm, I think I'm beginning to notice a trend here. Not that I'm complaining. It's much better than that Gilmore Girls phase I went thru.

Saturday I was in my happy place, as Renee refers to it, Tuscaloosa. That really is my happy place. I look forward to football season from January to August. And even during the season, I'm looking forward to watching the next game either in person or on TV.

This weekend, my beloved Crimson Tide took on their first ranked opponent of the young season, the highly touted Hogs of Arkansas. The game got off to a rousing start for those clad in Crimson, as Bama jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the 1st quarter.

But as the sun set on Tuscaloosa and the first touches of autumn coolness spread across the night, the tide turned. Thanks in part to three turnovers, a 31-10 lead quickly evaporated and then became a 38-31 deficit.

The once jubliant crowd was stunned and growing more concerned by the second as the clock ticked under 5 minutes to play. Then, the Tide turned.

A field goal cut the lead to 38-34. That was followed by a defensive stand which gave Bama the ball back with only 2:13 to play, 73 yards from the end zone, and with no timeouts remaining.

The final drive was tense, exciting, and a thing of beauty. When the final touchdown catch was secured, only eight seconds remained on the clock. And I guess the old stadium was as loud as I've ever heard her.

I assume the band played the fight song like they do after every score. But I couldn't say for sure.

Final score: Alabama 41, Arkansas 38.

We stopped off at a convenience store after the game to load up on junk food for the two hour drive home. The cashier was helping an older man in front of us. As she completed the transaction she told him to have a good night.

In a friendly Southern drawl, he replied dryly and sincerely, "I've already had one."

I could tell he'd been in his happy place, too.

"From Carolina down to Georgia, smell the jasmine and magnolia. Sleepy sweet home Alabama, Roll Tide Roll..."

20 comments:

  1. Love the title :)

    We all need a happy place… you’re just lucky enough to have one that lasts a fairly long time! :)

    But as the sun set on Tuscaloosa and the first touches of autumn coolness spread across the night, the tide turned.

    That’s a GREAT line, Bone. Wow, just brings a little bit of chills when one reads it. The imagery comes alive, and even those of us who have never set foot in Tuscaloosa are able to imagine it as you lived it.

    The final drive was tense, exciting, and a thing of beauty.

    Can you ask for anything more? Final drives, especially game-winning drives should always be a thing of beauty, don’t you think?

    And I guess the old stadium was as loud as I've ever heard her. I assume the band played the fight song like they do after every score. But I couldn't say for sure.

    Those are those moments in time that you never forget at a game, when the routine is interrupted by the magical, and even though you know it happened, you can’t speak of it because of everything else that happened at the same time.

    It’s good to know that you share a happy place with thousands of other people, huh?

    Beautiful post. It never fails to show when you are writing about something you really love: everything seems to come to life.

    Congrats on the big win :)

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  2. Congratulations to 'Bama... it sounds like an interesting and very tense game.

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  3. You see. You just need to be psyched about something to make it come alive

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  4. It's been a while since I spent any time in my happy place.

    Wait... what was this post about again...

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  5. Glad your team made it exciting for you and that you had a great time. Party on dude! ;)

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  6. TC: Thank you. It was the first touch of football weather we've had this year.

    Well, ideally, they'd all end like that :)

    I simply couldn't hear the band because the stadium was so loud.

    Sage: Thanks. It ranked right up there with the most exciting games I've witnessed in person.

    Pia: I guess that is true. Thanks. I'm glad to know my passion for the subject came thru a bit in my post.

    Scarlet Hip: Football. What are you talking about? :)

    Renee: Well, I would have preferred them to just stay ahead by 21 the whole game and not caused me so much stress :)

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  7. I simply couldn't hear the band because the stadium was so loud.

    I got that... obviously what I was trying to say didn't come across in my comment as well ;-)

    And yes, all games should end with an exciting last-second drive, thus making the paramedics work overtime taking care of those people who about go into cardiac arrest waiting to see the results 8-)

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  8. But it was Arkansas :)

    Where's the challenge...

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  9. I seem to remember last year's game being exciting as well.

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  10. uh I thought we became friendly because you watched the Gilmore Girls :) And I'm sure Luke Perry was good in something

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  11. You were at that game? Had I known I would have shouted "Bone! How ya doing?!" Think you would have heard me? lol

    Man that was a great game. It was pretty intense. And when we scored the winning TD...it was so crazy at the stadium!

    Now it's time to get ready for Georgia. I can't wait...I'll be there screaming my head off...again!

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  12. TC: Oh, OK. I wasn't sure if you got that or not :)

    Shelby: Hey, they were #16 and defending SEC West Champs. Hmm. Your team, by chance, wouldn't have been playing Mississippi State this past weekend would they? ;)

    OK Chick: Yeah, it was. It went into double overtime, I think.

    Pia Savage: We did? Oh right, we did. I mean, I'm not ashamed of that part of my life. It helped mold me into who I am and led me to this point. Or something.

    Joe: I'll try sneaking in a "www.littlenibbler.blogspot.com" banner this weekend :)

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  13. LOL! Shameless advertising huh? I love it!

    Where were you sitting for the game. I was in the student section. After we scored that TD that area went nuts! One guy broke out his flask of whiskey and passed it around for all to enjoy. It was crazy...it was great!

    Also, Auburn lost to MSU this week. Oh man...poetic justice at its finest! I loved it!

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  14. Wow, great description of the game!!! I almost felt passionate about the game just reading your post!
    And the old man...so cute :-)
    You make me smile J-Dizzle!

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  15. Nice post. I've managed to watch football for years without ever really knowing what's going on. Happy football season!

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  16. " It's much better than that Gilmore Girls phase I went thru"
    I like your optimism big guy! hehehe


    Its interesting to me how into college football you southerners all are! I guess I may have to have a go at this! lol Nawwwwww I'll stick with the Gilmore Girls (is that even still on??? lol I dont think I watched even one episode! Never saw the Sopranos either... gosh what the heck do I do with my time????)...

    Happy Wed!

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  17. Glad the home team pulled out a win! Those last-second wins do play on my heart and my stomach though. I don't deal well with anxiety. But it's definitely better than watching the Gilmore Girls.

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  18. Joe: My seats are in the southwest corner, section A. I just remember at least one person hugging me at some point.

    Arlene: Thanks, Brizzle. When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

    Actonbell: Hmm, sounds like you've developed quite a talent there.

    Kate: Oh, come on. One game, maybe two, and I'd have you hooked :)

    Lass: It was about two hours of anxiety and an hour of elation :)

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  19. That sounded pretty exciting to me even, and I've never been to a game in person.

    And cheers to your happy place :)

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  20. GirlFPS: Thanks. Aww, you need to go to a game at least once! :)

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