Monday, November 14, 2005

Saturday Was One For The Ages

By Jay Coulter
Football Saturday In The South

Somewhere around 2:35 Saturday afternoon I made my decision. There was no way I could pull for Alabama. I didn’t care if an Alabama loss meant we stayed home during bowl season. There was nothing in my heart that could get me to pull for the Tide. From that point on my day was magical.

Watching Alabama fall in the late afternoon was special. A person shouldn’t get that kind of enjoyment from someone else’s failings. I loved every single second of it.

That moment, the play in which Alabama lost it all, set in motion one of the most magical evenings of my life. My wife cringes every time I make such a statement. She says that special moments in life shouldn’t come from football. For me, Saturday night was as special as they get.

Last year’s Auburn team was a once in a lifetime experience for the team and its fans. But I tell you, this year’s bunch is becoming mighty special itself. What a gritty bunch of players we have on both sides of the ball.

I was too young to remember The Amazin’s of 1970’s. But this 2005 bunch is pretty amazing in my book. Where do you start when talking about last night’s performance?

You have to start with Kenny Irons and his complete domination of the Dog defense. But for me, the credit lies with that incredible offensive line. I cannot remember a more dominating performance from an offensive line in a game this big ever.

We all know about the untimely death of offensive line coach Hugh Nall’s brother last week. I can’t imagine the incredible concentration it took for Nall to put a game plan in for this contest. His players showed his love to him by giving a performance we’ll never forget.

What about Brandon Cox? Is there a calmer, cooler under pressure quarterback in the country? Don’t forget, this guy is just a sophomore. D.J. Shockley was something on Saturday night. Give me Brandon Cox over him or anybody.

And how about John Vaughn? If we made a movie about his season would anyone believe it? If you like good guy finishes first stories then Vaughn’s your man. You can say that a 20 yard field goal is nothing. I’m just glad I didn’t have to try it.

So now we head into the biggest week of the year. Auburn-Alabama. It doesn’t get any bigger than this one. Who has the edge? I’m not sure. I’m a believer in the Alabama defense. I think it’s the best in the country. There’s no doubt in my mind. I also believe that Brodie Croyle and Kenneth Darby are great. There offense is much better than they’ve been given credit.

With that said, Auburn is more than capable of winning. And honestly, should win. It was popular a few weeks ago to call Alabama a team of destiny after the Tyrone Prothro catch against Southern Miss and its last second win over Tennessee.

I think there’s a team of destiny in Alabama. I just happen to believe they reside in Auburn, Alabama. What a special two years this has been. I hope you are taking in every single moment of it because unfortunately it doesn’t last forever. Let’s just hope it last’s one more week. War Eagle!

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