It’s the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, maybe you’ve heard. Auburn won the first game in 1892. We should have won the game in 1992. We didn’t. Dad and I stood there a long time waiting for the refs to come back out on the field and reimburse us for the miracle they stole, and let us win it. They didn’t. (Can’t see the video? Try here.)
Nineteen seconds. Georgia 14, Auburn 10. Auburn’s about to score the winning touchdown. We’re on their two. There was a fumble, sure, but we recovered. We didn’t have any timeouts. But we did have plenty of time for another play. That is, we would have had time for another play had the damn Georgia players not just sat there, sat there, sat there.
“The clock is running…”
Of course, they were just doing what their coach told them to do. The cameras cut to the Georgia sideline and there’s Ray Goff flapping his arms, signalling the Dawgs to stay down, stay down. But surely you can’t do that. Surely the refs will call an official timeout or stop the clock or do whatever justice dictates so as to unpile everyone and find the ball.
Five seconds. Auburn is lined up. We’re ready. But the Georgia dudes are just kind of hovering over the line of scrimmage like they don’t know what it is or something, and crowding and bumping into the refs, who for some reason can’t seem to bend over and set the ball.
“The clock is running…”
And then the clock stopped running.
The announcers were dumbfounded. Stan White went ballistic. My innocence was lost.
The ending to that freaking game so ravaged my 13-year-old sense of fair play that when Dad and I got back to Grandmama’s, I ran into Grandaddy’s study and sat down at his desk and typed out a letter to the NCAA alleging I’d seen money exchanged between Georgia coaches and the refs. Who knows… maybe I did? There’s part of me still out there in those stands, with binoculars, scanning…
I never mailed the letter. But I did put it in an envelope. And I sure did tell people about it.
I told David Housel about it the first time I met him. He laughed. Then he got serious: “Did you really see somebody give somebody money?”
Let’s beat the hell out of Georgia.
Related: Burn The Bulldogs, 1972.
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