This afternoon, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the University of Florida Gators and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide overlapped shadows to determine who would have the honor of being SEC Champions in 2008. Televised by CBS, the first quarter began with an amazing touchdown pass from the hands of Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s hands to those of wide receiver Carl Moore. Tebow threw the ball at a downward angle into Moore’s grasp (Moore was flat on the ground and had just rolled onto his back when the ball came to his bosom). Florida 7 and Alabama 0. The Crimson Tide quickly spat back with a TD as well, courtesy of running back Glen Coffee (he broke the goal line and made sure to keep his knees in the air as he tripped on his own treads and dove towards the end zone). Both teams tied with 7 a piece by the middle of the first quarter. The Crimson Tide took the lead with a field goal with about three minutes on the clock. Alabama 10 and Florida 7. The second quarter commenced with the Gators tying the game with a field goal. Both teams 10 points a piece. By the bottom of the quarter, Gators wide receiver David Nelson made a TD catch. Florida 17 and Alabama 10.
The third quarter ticked to about eight-and-a-half minutes on the clock and the Crimson Tide could’ve gotten another touchdown but quarterback John Parker Wilson’s pass went over the head of wide receiver Julio Jones. Running back Mark Ingram was able to get into the end zone a few plays later, tying Alabama with Florida, 17 points a piece. Alabama was able to maintain the tie when Gators kicker Jonathan Phillips missed a forty-two yard field goal attempt in the bottomish of the third quarter. The Crimson Tide’s kicker Leigh Tiffin made a twenty-seven yard field goal at the close of the quarter. Alabama 20 and Florida 17.
The fourth quarter sparked off with a mad dash and hurdle-leap into th end zone by Gators running back Jeffrey Demps. Florida back on top with 24 and Alabama 20. Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez jumped up swiftly and caught a high throw from Tim Tebow as the clock was approaching the four minute mark. And then, Florida coaches got too far onto the field and incurred a sidelines interference penalty, setting the Gator’s offense back five yards (according to the commentators, last year, the coaches would’ve gotten a warning. This year, however, they just get a penalty). Two plays later, Tim Tebow connected with his wide receiver Riley Cooper for a touchdown. Florida 31 and Alabama 20. Under two minutes left on the game clock, Gators defensive back Joe Haden intercepted John Parker Wilson’s pass. Did Florida basically have the game in the bag? Yes indeedy. Florida 31 and Alabama 20 final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. I wasn’t going to watch the SEC Championship game today…I was planning on going to see The Punisher: War Zone, but when I found out that my city was hosting the game,* well, how could I not watch it? I have no doubt that I’ve spent my afternoon in a much more fulfilling manner. On the topic of The Punisher, check out FilmThreat’s Scott Mendelson and his thoughts on all three existing films on the comic franchise.
4. The Gators were blue from neck to knee. The Crimson Tide was white from neck to knee.
5. The Crimson Tide defense was stupendously “on” after their offense made their first touchdown. If defense wins championships, it is also a significant generative mechanism for wonderful spectacle and drama.
6. Upon returning from the first commercial break in the top of the second quarter, Verne Lundquist informed Gary Danielson that Urban Meyer’s daughter, Nicki, will be going to Georgia Tech on scholarship and will be playing volleyball. Click here to read more about it.
7. Halftime featured a Dr. Pepper $100,000 scholarship football toss. Tina Hamshar and Erica Davis were the contestants. They probably had eight balls each in total. Neither of them got the first two balls into this giant Dr. Pepper can/barrel contraption. But Tina ended up throwing five in and Erica got six.
8. Tim Tebow’s touchdown pass to Riley Cooper in the bottom of the fourth quarter was quite amazing. Like his throw to Carl Moore in the first quarter, Tebow sent the ball through the air in a downward trajectory. He had surveyed his receiving options and Cooper was the only one who was in a position to be able to catch it. Cooper was quite low to the ground when he caught the ball and then took a couple of steps into the end zone.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
*A bit of typing and clicking revealed that my city has hosted the SEC Championship game since 1994, and, maybe, as a football fan, I should know this information. But I’m not quite that kind of fan. I haven’t memorized players’ or teams’ stats, I don’t know franchises’ histories like I know the back of my knees. As I explained to a friend a few weeks ago, I started watching televised football about three years ago but didn’t consider myself a fan until two years ago. Reducing it to the nitty gritty, I like football because it involves grown men in spandex and coveting a ball. The players display affection in ways that is seldom seen amongst straight males off-field, outside of a sports context. There is also a very nice mixture of athletic prowess (or strength), precision, and elegance of movement. Furthermore, cameras routinely pick up on these very tender moments between snaps–a running back might put the shoulder pad back under the jersey of the quarterback.
Here’s a well-written, touching article about Falcons head coach Mike Smith.