On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 13, 2014 #471 Up next…A Great Game—almost!
After further review…Millions of college football fans watched No.1-ranked Florida State University Seminoles compete with the second-ranked Auburn University Tigers for the Bowl Championship game on January 6th. Whether in attendance at the Rose Bowl or watching on ESPN, fans were treated to one the best college football games of the 2013 season—almost.
The BCS, a creation of college football administrators, has now run its course. Beginning with the 2014 football season Division One colleges and universities will invoke a playoff system involving the top four ranked teams. But FSU and Auburn need to be applauded for wrapping-up the BCS with a great game—almost.
Here’s my take on “almost”. FSU was trailing Auburn 21-13 in the fourth quarter when FSU defensive back P.J. Williams intercepted Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall’s pass. FSU quarterback Jameis Winston (the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner) completed a pass to receiver Chad Abram, who hurdled an Auburn tackler and scored a touchdown to narrow the gap to 21- 19. Surely with FSU struggling to keep the score level, they would now go for the two-point conversion (“try-for-point” as it is officially termed). The usual place kick for a single point wouldn’t do it.
Then the unthinkable happened – here’s where the “almost” comes in. Just after Abram scored, an FSU player was flagged by an official for taunting. Taunting, by definition, is an abusive act or verbal expression directed at an opponent. The trash-talking in this particular infraction is a 15-yard penalty, meaning that FSU’s try-for-point would now be attempted from the Auburn 17. Feeling that 17 yards was too much of a gamble for a run or pass, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher opted to go for the point-after kick, leaving the score 21-20 in favor of Auburn.
What was that FSU player thinking? Athletes at every level of every game must remember that sportsmanship is your responsibility! No player or T*E*A*M wants an opponent to rub their face in the dirt with trash talk. A sporting contest is anything but sporting if it’s not played in an atmosphere of respect.
The FSU and Auburn teams gave their best effort in that BCS game (which FSU went on to win in dramatic fashion) and every player on both teams could walk away with pride in his effort—except one!
Will you treat your opponent with the same respect you expect him to show you?