Monday, November 05, 2012

An ode to "The Rally in Death Valley"

One of the greatest things about sports is that the experience isn't always great.

Sports reflect life. And life is often filled with mundane; so much of it characterized by anticlimax. That is what we are delivered most of the time. You stand in line at Wal-mart; you watch your favorite football team's offense go three-and-out. You stare at the horizon as you fill up your car with gas; you watch a great slugger draw a 5-pitch walk.

But every once in awhile something magical happens. After the amazing experience of Game 162 in Major League Baseball last year, Joe Posnanski put it this way:

But then, every now and again, something happens. Something memorable. Something magnificent. Something staggering. Your child wins the race. Your team wins in the ninth. You get pulled over for speeding. And in that moment -- awesome or lousy -- you are living something you will never forget, something that jumps out of the toneless roar of day-to-day life.

The Braves failed to score. Papelbon blew the lead. Longoria homered in the 12th. Elation. Sadness. Mayhem. Champagne. Sleepless fury. Never been a night like it. Funny, if I was trying to explain (sports) to someone who had never heard of it, I wouldn't tell them about Wednesday night. No, it seems to me that it isn't Wednesday night that makes (sports) great. It's all the years you spend waiting for Wednesday night that makes (sports) great.

Alabama fans such as myself were blessed to have just such an experience Saturday night. At some point in that final drive -- probably as freshman running back T.J. Yeldon was breaking the ankles of LSU safety Craig Loston -- that moment changed. It ceased being a game. And it became a life experience.

Those experiences don't come around often. How grateful I am for that one!