College football people are a tortured lot. Fans never really get over some games and coaches frequently admit to being haunted by certain loses for their entire career. Even the likes of Urban Meyer looks like he lives and dies on every play and when he loses *whistles* looks like he wants to commit Seppuku.
In the ESPN 30 for 30: Trojan Wars documentary, former USC running back LenDale White talks about being stopped on 4th and 2 in 2006 during arguably the greatest national championship game of all time. On a play that he “has thought about every single day” of his life and in an article from the LA Times in mid September 2017, more than 11 years after the fact, he is quoted as saying, “I’m depressed about football every day.” Since Halloween is approaching, it’s important to remember that a team’s season is a lot like a horror movie, fun to watch from the outside, total nightmare when you’re in one.
2007 and the Curse of #2
On the low-budget-more-funny-than-scary end of the genre, there is the weirdness of the 2007 season. A season where, amongst a shit load of other things, a Nick Saban Alabama lost to cupcake opponent Louisiana-Monroe, a two loss team won the national championship for the first and only time in the modern era, and a national championship bound West Virginia lost to “the shittiest fucking team in the fucking world.” One of the main story lines, though, was the weakly murder of the token hot chick (aka whomever was ranked #2) that week by an often unranked serial killer. In week 6, #2 USC lost to Stanford (a 41.5 point underdog in some betting lines). The following week, #2 Cal loses to unranked Oregon State WITH the ball, IN field goal range, BECAUSE TIME EXPIRED. Later on in the season, #2 Kansas would fall to #3 Missouri…that one’s not so much weird and scary because #2 loss, but because at some point in history, Kansas was a ranked.
The Cigar Curse
The horror movie that hits closer to home. In 1999, a one Tommy Tuberville decided, prior to playing LSU in Baton Rouge, that his Auburn Tigers were going to do two things on his birthday; beat down the Bayou Bengals and smoke cigars afterwards. They did both. However, it would be the last time Auburn would win in Red Stick. In a streak that continues even into this very season, in game that comes out as frequently as a damn Saw movie, Auburn fans watch the umpteenth sequel knowing damn good and well it won’t be good.
Fuck. Knew we all should have just gone and watched Blade Runner like everyone else.
Kentucky vs Florida
If you haven’t seen “Anti Christ”, DON’T. Why not? Here’s some of the (SPOILERS) things it contains: Decaying animals, genital mutilation, Willem Dafoe full on penetration scenes, blood ejaculation. I bring up these descriptions because it’s important to understand that that’s probably the kind of imagery that flashes through a Kentucky fan’s head while he watches, for the 30th some odd year, the cats go down on some kind of fluke last second play, where a one-legged UF kicker nails a field goal from his own 2 yard line while the stadium actually hears God laughing. The last game was so close and probably saw Kentucky with it’s best chance to end the Gator’s streak in years, that even Florida fans admitted they wanted to throw up after witnessing the final minutes of the game unfold. I can only assume that some fans didn’t even leave the stadium until the sun came up the following day. Hours and hours of just sitting there, starring off a thousand yards away, knowing that not only will it never change, but that they’ll never learn that it’ll never change. The night may be over and the sun may come up, but Halloween will be here again next year. Same time. Same game. Same ending.