RHETA JOHNSON: Auburn 17, Alabama 16: ‘Punt, Bama, punt’

November 16, 2014 - fall Denim

RHETA JOHNSON

RHETA JOHNSON

It’s been a pleasing tumble day. we am healthy, pretty intelligent, have good friends and a roof, despite rusty, over my head. But we burrow, downcast, on my denim cot underneath a tiger throw, wondering since we feel so terrible about dual football games.

Auburn has mislaid to Texas AM. Alabama has beaten LSU in overtime. Separate though equal disasters.

It’s generally annoying since a new crony from California has watched me watch a games, watching my skirmish into an abyss from that we won’t stand until during slightest subsequent week’s games, if then. She doesn’t get it.

When we was an Auburn student, we went to a few games, felt a brush of a chrysanthemum flowers underneath my chin, though we don’t remember structuring my life around football. But a comparison we get, a some-more college football matters. Why is that?

A football actor of my selected died of cancer final April. His name was David Langner, and in photos online he looked like any other aging boomer, bespectacled and a small thick around a middle.

He wasn’t like any other mortal, however, and we and thousands of others witnessed a changed few mins when he shook a shackles of normalcy and became a God in cleats.

It was 1972, Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala. It was so cold my faux-fur maxi-coat indeed done sense. When we spoke to my date, a difference came out in manifest puffs, like suspicion balloons in a animation strip. But there wasn’t many talk.

Auburn was trailing No. 2, dominant Alabama 16-3 with reduction than 6 mins to play. Then Bama had to punt. Auburn actor Bill Newton blocked that punt. Feisty, smallish David Langner returned a blocked round 35 yards for an Auburn touchdown.

Alabama’s possession finished in another punt. Newton blocked it again. Langer ran it behind again for another touchdown. It was a gridiron “Twilight Zone.” The diversion finished 17-16, though Auburn fans didn’t leave. We stayed in a track screaming, “Punt, Bama, Punt” until we were sepulchral and exhausted.

Langner’s son Brad is a crony of mine. He’s an intelligent, large immature male who introduced me to a integrate of musicians we didn’t know and now love, James McMurtry and Justin Towns Earle. we felt bad for Brad when his father died young. Oh, though what a legacy.

I consider David Langner entirely accepted how many his long-ago opening mattered to so many of us, and how many times we’ve replayed that cold afternoon in a heads. we gamble he did, too.

For those of us who were there, and many who weren’t, time hasn’t managed to erase 17-16. And it never will. There have been other fantastic wins – see Auburn-Alabama final year – though for my income nothing transcend Punt Bama Punt. David Langner gave us something we don’t get mostly in life: a permanent victory.

So when Auburn loses, or Alabama wins – or both, as happened final week – I’m down for a while, it is true. we pout, we pour, we gait a room and vouch never to watch another foolish game. But we will. I’ll spend a tumble Saturdays we have left looking for a euphoria that a endless, dangerous, overhyped diversion of college football affords each once in a singular while.

Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s many new book is “Hank Hung a Moon … And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts.” Comments are welcomed during rhetagrimsley@aol.com.

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