When God invented college football he had a day like Nov. 16, 2013 in mind. It was another game in the South’s oldest rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Georgia. By the time the clock hit 0:00 at the end of the game, 87,451 fans had witnessed one of the more improbable games in the series history..
One that soon came to be known as the “prayer at Jordan Hare.”:
It was a glorious day with the temperature 70 degrees at the 2:30 p.m. kickoff.. Auburn was rated number 7 in the nation, Georgia number 25. My son and I were in the north end zone, decked out in orange and blue.
Georgia scored late to take a 38 to 37 lead. And with 30 seconds on the clock, Auburn faced 4th down and 18 yards to go. All seemed lost for the home team.
Then AU quarterback Nick Marshall threw in the direction of Ricardo Louis far down the field. Two Georgia defenders waited to bat the pass away. But instead of the ball falling harmlessly to the turf, it fell into the arms of Louis who scored. The play covered 73 yards,
All hell broke loose. About 10,000 Georgia fans were in disbelief, as were the Auburn fans. But for totally different reasons. Suddenly what seemed like a 38-37 upset win for the Bulldogs was a 43-37 win for the good guys,
I share this memory because this country is caught up in a time when nearly half its citizens refuse to acknowledge the truth about the results of the November 2020 election for president. Former president Donald Trump set this scenario into motion last summer when he began claiming this if he lost to Joe Biden, it would be because the election was rigged. With Trump trailing in the polls, he began a bogus defense.
Since then he has worked hard to spread what he calls “the big lie.” The only problem, try as he might, he can not come up with any supporting evidence Some 60 law suits contending election fraud were all thrown out of court. Recently a Republican report from Michigan said their election was not flawed. And just today (June 24) the New York state Supreme Court suspended the law license of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliana for endlessly repeating lies about the election.
No doubt there were 10,000 or so Bulldog faithful leaving Jordan Hare on Nov. 16, 2013, They did not like what happened. But they did not question it because the truth was irrefutable. Nor did their coach, Mark Richt. start shouting from the rooftops that the long pass Auburn completed at the end of the game never happened. That it was all an illusion. Or that the clock malfunctioned and the game should have been over a minute earlier. Or that the referees cheated or Auburn had too many players on the field.
No, Richt took it like a man. He did not try to rewrite history..
Something our former President and his radical followers can not do. And this unwillingness to accept reality is eating away at our democracy.