Reid McMillian’s blood-in-the-snow heroics were apparently peripheral to Auburn’s crucial road victory over Arkansas in 1993, at least according to acclaimed crime writer and former Auburn defensive end Ace Atkins [whom Young Bartley recently wrote a great story you haven’t read but should about]. And no, the real secret has nothing to do with a half-time inspiration from a rosy-cheeked, first year head coach.
A Sports Illustrated piece on the game credits a Terry Bowden pep-talk about someone stepping up to make a big play, as well as a talk about Eskimos having to work all day at the Alaskan pipeline from secondary coach Jack Hines (who had a master’s degree in psychology), as the spark that gave life to that remarkable, radio-only second half.
Atkins, however, lays it all at the mouth of Otis Mounds, the Auburn strong safety with the troubled past who made national headlines while a redshirt freshman in 1990 for being paged to the playing field from the stands during the season opener against Fullerton State. Eight years later, Mounds landed a gig as LL Cool J’s stunt-double on the set of Any Given Sunday. (He later briefly coached cornerbacks for Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech).
“It’s funny how the truth vs. the myth is always confused in football stories,” said Atkins, who knows a little something about blending truth and myth himself.
“Someone told me… that it’s a famous story of how Terry Bowden came to the locker room at the Arkansas game and said you guys can be 8-1 or 9-0, or something like that,” Atkins said. “Anyway, it’s told as that being the turning point of that game.”
“The turning point came when we had been berated the entire first half by the Arkansas homecoming queen — yep, we were so bad in ’92, we were picked as homecoming — and finally… Otis Mounds had had enough,” Atkins said.
The Homecoming Queen’s name?
She was a varsity cheerleader. She cost her team the game. Because Otis Mounds had had enough.
“He turned around to the young lady – decked out in a fur coat and tiara – and yelled at her in the third quarter ‘Shut up, bitch.’”
“Now, that is what made the whole sideline pickup and we won the game,” Atkins said. “The girl was trying to get down to the field to slap Otis but she was held back by her court, her tiara falling off her head.”
Related: The Rise and Fall of the Bowden Empire.
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* Auburn buses still driving around Phoenix
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colder than a whore’s heart that day
private flight from Auburn was canceled, due to snow … long, LONG drive
Van P in Illinois says
That is an awesome story. I was at the game in 1990 when Mounds was called over the PA and I heard it, and I remember thinking, “What in the world?!”
(I still have the SI issue with Ace on the cover, sacking Danny W. of Florida. I remember everyone laughing at the thought of a backup DL for Auburn “writing a crime novel.” Guess who got the last laugh?)
The other story that came out of that game was that Reid McMillon would “overheat” in games, but playing in the Arctic-like conditions in Fayetteville allowed him to explode for ungodly rushing yards at fullback.
Quick trivia question: The other famous performance by an Auburn fullback came by whom, against which foe, that was quarterbacked by what future pro star, in 1983? And which B’ham radio hosts made a big deal out of it? 🙂
This gets my vote for “Most Epic Sentence…EVER!”
Agee! Agee! Agee!
Tommy Agee vs. the Maryland Turtles QBed by Boomer Esaison.
Scott Chocolate says
Van P – Tommy Agee, Maryland, Boomer Esiason, don’t know the radio hosts answer.
Van P in Illinois says
Agee and Boomer — yes!
Radio hosts: Mark & Brian. “The crowd was chanting AG for ‘Always ‘Great’ Bo Jackson!”
Great story. New Patron Saint: Otis Mounds.
I remember Howard Cosell doing the “Agee! Agee! Agee!” chant the following Monday night on MNF while Frank Gifford was plugging our game being televised by ABC the next Saturday.
Nick Saban says
Somebody should make a sign for saturdays game that says “Hey Mallet, Shut up Bitch!”
NOW THAT’S MY BROTHER-N-LAW!!! THE SOUTH FLORIDA CAME OUT OF HIM…HEHEHE
I call BS on this story, in 1992 we played Arkansas at home..
The story is about the ’93 game.
I remember that game well…my brother-in-law got married for the 2nd time that weekend, so we kept sneaking into the bar during the reception to catch up on the game. It was cold AND it was snowing…have to love Otis Mounds, because that would have been my exact response to her heckling…and I try to be a lady…and yes Kelly, it’s a true story… we were scheduled for their homecoming because of our previous seasons. No one expected 1993 to happen. 😀
Dakota Mosley as Eric Ramsey?
He's the Chiz and Nobody Beats Him says
When Keeping It Real Goes Right: Otis Mounds Edition
Tyler Wilson says
Otis Mounds is now my coach at Emmerich Manual. Great guy, very real, and even more so inspirational.