So, without further ado, my running diary of this past Saturday's Alabama-Ole Miss game.
2:30 PM (Central Time) -- OK! And welcome to the diary. Alabama is favored by 15 today, which of course means we will play down to the level of our opponent, make a slew of mistakes, and win by a field goal. Let's get it on!
2:33 -- CBS just finished a nice montage highlighting the football history and tradition of Alabama and Ole Miss. The actual subliminal message of desperation was this: "Sure, these teams suck this year. But they used to be good! Please don't change the channel!!!"
Also, besides the Archie & Eli Manning, does anyone know anything about Ole Miss football tradition? Tradition of what? Losing?
2:36 -- I always sort of thought the funniest multiple-name in sports was that of Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni (three first names ... Mike. Dan. Tony.). However, he may have been eclipsed by Ole Miss Rebels' running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Two first names. Two last names. Were his parents unable to settle on a name & decided to just compromise?
2:38 -- 3 and out Ole Miss. Lately, freshman linebacker Prince Hall has been out of position & chasing running backs from behind. Here on third down, he stuffed a running play on 3rd & short. Good sign.
2:40 -- DJ Hall catches a short curl out, turns it back toward the middle, heads up-field untouched, and ... TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA. 39 yards. This might be an easier day than I first thought.
2:46 -- Ole Miss QB Brent Schaeffer just scrambled for a first down (after a couple missed tackles), and Alabama safety Rashad Johnson slung him to the ground about two yards out of bounds resulting in an additional 15 yards for Ole Miss. Just when it appears that we're about to put our foot on any opponents' throat this season, this team has an uncanny knack for letting them right back in the game.
No wonder I chew my fingernails.
2:52 -- Touchdown Ole Miss. This is an offense averaging 118 yards per game, and they just drove all the way down the field on us for a score. There are no words ...
2:54 -- Not sure I care for this new wave of Vonage commercials. Just thought you'd like to know ...
2:59 -- Alabama drives to midfield, stalls, and is forced to punt. I should say fortunate to punt. Alabama QB John Parker Wilson nearly threw two interceptions on successive plays. You know, sometimes this kid looks like Tom Brady, and other times he looks like an underclassman first-year college starter.
3:05 -- CBS just showed former Alabama quarterback Scott Hunter describe the 1969 Alabama-Ole Miss game. He and Archie Manning combined for over 700 yards passing as Alabama squeaked out a victory in a shootout. Here is Hunter:
"After the game was over with, I was looking for Archie and I found him. And he had tears in his eyes. I didn't even know what to say. I reached out, shook his hand, and he looked me in the eye and I looked him in the eye. We didn't have to say a thing to each other. We just knew what we'd had ... together ... that night."
My sister Katie: "That sounded sort of homo."
3:09 -- An update from College Station. Missouri 7, Texas A&M 3. Hold the rope, Aggies!
3:10 -- 3rd & 15. John Parker scrambles and finds Will Oakley for a first down. There's Tom Brady.
3:14 -- Katie: "Ole Miss' coach has man-boobs."
3:20 -- The announcers just let us know that Alabama has only 9 touchdowns in a conference-leading 28 trips to the redzone. Thanks CBS.
3:21 -- Alabama is forced to settle for three points. Really, CBS. Thanks for that.
3:32 -- Fran and A&M are still losing. Despite the fact that Ole Miss seems to be running at will on our defense right now, Alabama fans everywhere are high-fiving.
3:41 -- Brent Shaeffer's numbers for the season entering today: 55 completions. 122 attempts. 8 interceptions.
Today: 7 completions. 10 attempts. 0 interceptions.
The lesson, as always: We suck.
3:43 -- For those of you who don't know, Alabama has a field goal kicker, Jamie Christensen, whose nickname is "Money." He hit three game-winning field goals last season. He has plenty of leg strength.
So, of course, when faced with 4th down & longer than a yard at the 27 yard-line, Shula decides to go for it. Mr. Hyde, errr, John Parker Wilson overthrows the tight end.
File that one away for later. Score is 10-10.
3:44 -- Awkward exchange:
Katie: "Wow, that Ole Miss guy just got hammered by a white guy!"
Me: "He's black."
Katie: "Number 20?"
Me: "Marcus Carter. He's like a light brown, but he's black."
3:55 -- For the second straight week, Alabama goes to halftime trailing one of the worst teams in the nation. Rebels kick a FG. 13-10, Ole Miss. I'm gonna go bang my head on the wall for 20 minutes.
3:59 -- The BEST commercial on TV these days is the Yellow Wood commercial with Gene Stallings. I'm surprised it hasn't shown up on YouTube yet. When it does, I'll let you know.
4:13 -- Back from halftime. CBS does another "Tradition" montage.
"Please-Please-Please don't change the channel! Why didn't we get the Auburn-Florida game?"
4:17 -- Ruby Tuesday is about to change your perception of what a burger can be.
Nope. Pretty much what I expected.
4:25 -- I'll be honest. I'm bored. I look forward all year to Alabama football, and this game is boring. Both of these teams just aren't good. We suck. They suck. And it is boring the snot out of me.
4:30 -- How bad is Alabama playing today? 3rd & 25.
4:31 -- And there's Dr. Jekyll. John Parker Wilson completes a pass to DJ Hall for 36 yards. First Down Alabama.
4:37 -- Another Alabama trip to the redzone. Another field goal. For anyone keeping track, that's 30 trips to the redzone on the season & only 9 touchdowns. At least we're not losing to Ole Miss anymore.
4:40 -- OK, Alabama is +8 in turnovers for the season. Ole Miss is -3. No turnovers for either team yet in this game. As bad as Schaeffer has been this season, something's gotta happen here soon!
(Editor's Note: And the game ended with 0 turnovers for either side. Turns out I don't have ESP.)
4:46 -- Missouri just scored a safety against Texas A&M. Missouri now winning by 2. Alabama fans everywhere smile in glee.
4:47 -- Alabama running back Kenneth Darby just broke off a 35-yard run. Alabama's longest run from scrimmage this season is no longer held by a quarterback. Nice of #34 to finally show up this season.
4:53 -- Still bored. To the bulletin boards! Here's a post from BamaOnLine:
"This game is like two girls fighting in the back yard."
4:58 -- TOUCHDOWN 'Bama. 10:32 left in the game. That's the equivalent of a deep four-finger scratch down the other girl's back, right? Not a knockout punch, but pretty hard to recover from that.
Would you want to meet this guy in a dark alley?
She's right! Something about him almost looks thuggish.
5:07 -- Three and Out! Defense holds. Nice of you to show up, defense.
5:08 -- FAKE! Ole Miss lines up in punt formation, the punter throws out to a guy in the flat, and he barely gets the first down. Ballsy call by the guy with man boobs. I feel sick.
5:09 -- Touchdown Ole Miss. Long touchdown pass by Brent Schaeffer. And the other girl scratches back. It's times like this that I question why I invest so much passion into such a fivolous, meaningless hobby.
5:11 -- I may be in the minority here, but I enjoy the Sonic commercials with the people sitting in the car. Good stuff.
5:14 -- Ole Miss almost picked off Mr. Hyde. Phew!! [wipes sweat from brow]
5:16 -- 3rd & 5. Dr. Jekyll scrambles 10 yards for a first down. I love that guy. He could win a National Championship if we could build a good defense in the next couple years.
5:18 -- OK, this is where Alabama goes into their conservative shell. We're gonna run the ball, move the chains, milk the clock, put one through the uprights, and go home.
(Editor's Note: I still don't have ESP.)
5:22 -- 4th & 2 ... From inside the 30 yard-line ... AND WE GO FOR IT AGAIN! It must be that "Money" Christensen isn't 100% healthy, right?
5:36 -- After holding my breath for a world-record 14 minutes, we are headed to overtime.
CBS tells us that Ole Miss is 6-3 all-time in OT games. Alabama's record is 2-6. I feel great.
5:43 -- Ole Miss gets the first posession in OT. Alabama holds them on 3 plays, and the Rebels kick the field goal. You mean you don't have to go for it on 4th down?
5:46 -- Darby - 25 rushes for 162 yards. Nice to have him back in the offense. Probably the MVP today.
5:51 -- TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA!!! John Parker Wilson to Le'Ron McClain. 26-23, 'Bama.
And just as I predicted, Alabama edges the Rebels by 3. Turns out I might have ESP after all.