It was Nov. 30, 2019 About 90,000 people were crammed into Jordan-Hare stadium on Auburn’s campus for the annual Iron Bowl. It’s billed as the best college football rivalry in the land. The state of Alabama goes into lockdown the day of this game each year
The 2019 game was a classic with the score seesawing back and forth.
Auburn led 48-45 with two minutes left in the game. On fourth down Bama lined up to attempt a field goal to tie the game.. The ball was kicked from Auburn’s 20-yard line. But instead of splitting the uprights, the ball clunked into the left upright and bounced back on the field. Auburn fans went crazy. They still led by three points.
All they had to do was make one first down to run out the clock and go roll Toomer’s Corner.
But that was easier said than done. Bama used their timeouts wisely and with 1:09 still to play Auburn faced fourth down needing four yards to maintain possession. This was plenty of time for Bama to get the ball back and get in position to try another field goal or score a touchdown.
But instead of going into their regular punt formation, Auburn had its punter lined up as a wide receiver with the quarterback still on the field. The Alabama team was confused and tried to get a different group of players on the field, one better prepared to stop Auburn’s offense..
The players on both teams got set. Then suddenly a penalty flag fluttered to the ground. In the confusion, Bama had 12 men on the field, one more than allowed. The 5-yard penalty against Bama gave Auburn a first down and allowed them to run out the clock and win.
Bama coach Nick Saban, acknowledged by most as the best coach in college football was livid. He couldn’t believe what he had just seen. But there it was on the scoreboard. Auburn 48. Bama 45. No time left on the clock.
I’ve thought about the end of that game many times lately as I’ve watched with dismay the actions of Donald Trump since the Nov. 3 election.
Nick Saban went to the middle of the field after his team lost and shook the hand of Auburn Coach Guz Malzahn. It had to be a long and bitter walk. But he did it because he has class and understands the rules of the game.. He didn’t go on TV and say that he was going to demand the legislature or the governor overrule what happened on the field and declare that Bama won.
He didn’t act like a spoiled brat and pitch a fit.
He demonstrated that he has dignity and is worthy of the respect he has earned during his career.
Donald Trump can not say this..