Thoughts from the West Texas observatory – Georgia

photo by Scott Filmer

photo by Scott Filmer

1992. We haven’t done anything all day. Pat Dye is in his last Georgia game but no one knows it. I’m 13. I’m in the West Stands. We’re down 14-10. It’s dark. It’s cold. No timeouts. We’re on, like, our own one. Suddenly, God boards Stan White’s manhood and he becomes a machine. Stan steers us down the field like some crazy-ass angel. It’s obvious we’re going to win. The Bulldogs are puddling into little girls, and the fans scream for what’s to come. Victory. 100 years. Eagles are flying overhead and collapsing in orgasm. We scream for the moment. Holy holy holy! We’re down to their goal line! Georgia is butter! They are women! We cannot be stopped. Twelve, eleven, ten… everyone’s lined up, we just have to hike it, we’re going to punch it in, we’re going to punch it in, we’re going to punch…

The Georgia Bulldogs, women that they are, are sitting on the ball.

Squatting.

They will not get up. Our guy, Bostic I guess, or maybe it was even Stan himself, on some glorious keeper, or maybe I think we bobbled the snap and Stan falls on it and the refs say “Auburn ball” and Stan has shot up like a vampire and is back on the line waiting for the refs to place it. It’s all just a formality. Go ahead throw your hands up and put the points on the board. Wait, why is the clock still running. Dad… Dad… the clock… we’re ready… why… are… they….

Stan is beside himself. He’s pleading with the refs to do their jobs. But there the Dawgs sit, lounging like Parisians … per the instruction of their “coach” … until the clock hits zero. Then they spring up like bacon’s on the stove in the locker room. They all sprint off the field, all our guys are still in our stances, pinching themselves. Stan is freaking out – I love you Stan. Dye is freaking out – I love you, Coach. The stadium itself is literally booing. Bloody arrows of puberty are screaming from my throat and into the soft necks of the refs. But there the game ends. 14-10.

“Dad,” I said, in tears, “I thought this was America.”

We walked the eight or so miles back to the car – Dad was always obsessed with parking, like, hours away. We drove back to Grandmama’s. I retreated to the soft glow of my grandfather’s office. I got out a piece of paper, I put it in his type-writer, and – fire with fire – preceded to describe the scene I had witnessed.

“Dear NCAA,” it began… “tonight I saw money change hands…”

Dad told me not to mail it. I can’t remember what I did.

***

Years later, out to eat, I see Housel for the second time in like, a week. First at Ruby Tuesdays, now Niffers. And so for the second time in a week, I scrawl a War Eagle or something on a napkin, hand it to a waitress, and try to stalk a friendship out of him. Maybe I even buy him a beer. He waves and he comes over. His wife, he says, is genuinely creeped out. But he’s not, War Eagle. It’s the week of the 2005 Georgia game. I tell him the story.

“I was there David, I saw it, I had good seats, West side, I had the perspective.”

He smiles.

“I think those feelings come from the perspective of your Auburn heart,” he says, poking my chest. “And mine, too.”

***

That’s what I was thinking about yesterday. As my gut turned. As my throat swelled. As my legs couldn’t get comfortable. My Auburn heart hurt. My Auburn heart hurts. We were supposed to win that game. Everyone saw it and felt it and saw it and knows it.

To the Auburner comments:

* Way to bring the refs, Georgia.

* Need some extra holiday cash? Officiate a Georgia game.

* We were lucky in the first half because Georgia dominated us but got no points. Georgia was lucky in the second half because the refs ran out of flags so they decided it was ok to play however they wanted.

* PLEASE someone find out who ref #11 was today and let me know.
post it on here.
give us his personal information.
i just want to send him a fruit basket or something.
and by fruit basket i simply mean hate mail and other various things representing how much i hate him and want him to die… whoops.

* For the first time in a LONG time I truly feel that the Refs cost us the game. I am normally not that kind of fan but damnit….

photo by Scott Filmer

photo by Scott Filmer

[see more photos from the game here…]

A week after that Niffers thing, Housel replied to my “nice seeing you” e-mail.

“Did you really see money change hands?”

***

Bama will be number one going into the Iron Bowl.

We are going to bludgeon them.

War Eagle.

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4 Comments

Filed under Post-Game

4 responses to “Thoughts from the West Texas observatory – Georgia

  1. WarDamnAdam

    Lord. I was sitting in the west section yesterday. Section eight, 30 yard line. The whole day i had this feeling of hope and belief in our Tigers; we were going to win, to shut-up those barking dawg fans. We had this game. Then, the final drive played out right in front of me. Words fail me,except….War Eagle.

  2. Joe

    Guys, quit feeling so bad. The Dawgs were at least 2 TD’s better than AU and only let you hang around to let you feel better about how pitiful you are this year.

    Do not be upset. You just are not very good. It happens.

  3. Shut up, Joe. You think we don’t know that this is not Auburn’s best year, after having so many great ones in a row? sheesh. Get your head out of your, um, dawg bowl.

    Yes, GA was a better team than AU. But they didn’t win by those 2 TD’s, did they? So, maybe AU isn’t as horrible as you’d like to think. Or maybe GA’s not as super-duper as the polls say. Or maybe the refs they support are just that good…

    I was there for the ’92 game. Student section. And saw the whole, shameful thing. Refs like that (and this weekend’s game) should be in jail. If they were in another job, they’d be under investigation for fraud.

  4. Thanks for the plug… I had to take that shot of the refs as they walked by, pass interference call was one of the worst in a long time

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