So I've been asking myself, "What makes this one so special?" At the risk of overanalyzing, I've come up with this: All the great games on my list contain at least some key elements that make a game memorable. Elements like:
- An exciting finish, with the outcome in doubt until the final horn,
- Tremendous intensity from both sides throughout the course of the game,
- A handful of plays from both sides that were turning points,
- Multiple changes in momentum,
- A refuse-to-lose mentality from both teams,
- High stakes, and
- A packed house and an amazing atmosphere from the the fans.
As I look back on all the games I've attended, a few stand out - as I mentioned in the previously linked post. But as I looked over the list, I noticed that most of them were amazing because of some of the items on this list. For example, the 1985 Georgia game had everything except the high stakes - there were no championships on the line. Or the 2009 SEC Championship Game: it had the high stakes and will always be a wonderful memory as a Bama fan, but Florida did not do their part to make it an all round classic like this one.
But this one...wow! Everything on that list - everything! - was there. Back and forth, back and forth. Big plays. Turning points. Teams in the brink of disaster but somehow rising up to fight again. A finish that will be talked about for decades. And stakes up there with the highest - the championship of the sport's best conference and a chance to play for the big prize.
And finally, one of the best examples of mutual respect I've ever seen between two fan bases.
What a day! Roll Tide! And, because they earned it...Go Dawgs!