If the biggest college football game of the year is happening more than 650 miles away, what do you do if you are an Auburn or Alabama fan? Throw a party.
Several hundred fans and alumni of both schools gathered at neighboring Midtown bars to watch the game Saturday that pitted the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1 in the nation and winner of the past two national championships, against the Tigers, who are having a dream season.
Bama fans got together at the Dogwood while Auburn fans packed the Midtown Drinkery for the game that ended with a miracle play when Bama missed a long field goal and Auburn's Chris Davis ran it back more than 100 yards with no time left for an unbelievable 34-28 win. An Auburn fan shot a video of the stunned and excited crowd at the bar as Davis scored.
"It was an extremely tense moment when they put the :01 back on the clock and we realized (Alabama) had a chance of scoring a field goal. There was a gut wrenching stillness amongst the Auburn crowd and our faces looked like we just saw a ghost. I don’t think anyone really saw Davis line up or even thought that was an option. We were only focused on Alabama missing the field goal so we could go into overtime," Auburn alum Peyton Gregory explained in an email.
"Once it was 'FINAL' mass chaos broke out. 'Started from the Bottom' by Drake came on immediately and the whole bar broke out in a chorus followed by our 2010 'tunnel video' song; 'All I do is Win.' ”
"So when he started running the ball back it was a complete 'Oh, my gosh is this really happening?' moment. Then there was the moment of 'Did that really happen?' 'Is there a flag on the play?' 'Did he step out of bounds?' 'Is the ruling on the field standing as a touchdown?'
"Once it was 'FINAL' mass chaos broke out. 'Started from the Bottom' by Drake came on immediately and the whole bar broke out in a chorus followed by our 2010 'tunnel video' song; 'All I do is Win.' That had every person in the bar screaming/shouting/singing every word at the top of their lungs. It was so loud that I was told the Alabama fans next door could hear us singing.
"It is definitely the greatest moment of Auburn football that any of us have ever witnessed and one we won’t soon forget. This is the kind of play that we will one day tell our children and grandchildren about and it will start with there was one second left on the clock…'."
On the Bama side, fans were understandably dejected. "It was an incredible game," Alabama alum Jared Cox said. "You can't win them all."
Because so many people in the state of Alabama have relatives and friends who attend both schools, fans of each team wandered back and forth between the parties. "The Alabama group was extremely gracious and displayed nothing but class. Their executive members came over and said a few words about what a great game it was and exchanged cheers with Alabama Slammer Shots with the Auburn exec team as the result of a lost bet," Gregory said.
Fans and alum of both schools also used the parties as an opportunity for some spirited competition for the Houston Food Bank. They were asked to bring in canned goods and the Houston Auburn alums donated group more than 1,500 pounds of food to the Houston Alabama alums' donation of 600 pounds.
Editor's Note: CultureMap editor Clifford Pugh's mother was an Alabama alum who once dated beloved football coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant, but two of his cousins graduated from Auburn. The most interesting tidbit that he noticed from watching the thrilling game was that the Auburn equipment staff had a a sewing machine on the sidelines to repair torn jerseys.