That's so Auburn
If you like daytime drama and nighttime reality TV, you have to love Auburn.
If you're a fan of hair-raising, jaw-dropping endings that go down in the most unthinkable, improbable ways, you should paint your face orange and blue, warm up your toilet paper throwing arm and scream "War Eagle!" at the top of your lungs at every opportunity.
Nobody makes sports worth watching quite like the Tigers.
In victory and defeat. In football, basketball, baseball, secret plane trips and every kind of athletic activity imaginable, with the possible exception of equestrian. In the regular season, the conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament.
Auburn doesn't need a reason to defy logic. It just needs a place.
The latest addition to the Only Auburn collection happened Thursday afternoon during the SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met. The Tigers managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the most Auburn way possible.
They let two LSU runners score the tying run from third base and the winning run from second on one play - without LSU putting the bat on the ball. It went something like this:
A wild pitch kicked away from the catcher, not all that far away, but the catcher couldn't find it for a couple of critical seconds. Here came the tying run.
The first baseman, coming to the rescue, slid, snatched the ball and whipped it toward the plate to try to cut down that tying run. His throw went wide right toward the dugout, allowing the winning run to score.
Leave it to the Tigers to provide "A Series of Unfortunate Events" with its latest plot twist.
LSU's Paul Mainieri is 61 years old. He's been coaching baseball for almost four decades. This was a new one even on him.
"Every day you show up to the field, you're liable to see something you've never seen before," Mainieri said. "I can't recall in 37 years that I've ever seen that."
The minds of everyone familiar with The Kick, The Prayer in Jordan-Hare and the Kick Six immediately raced back to April and the Final Four, to Auburn basketball's excruciating loss to Virginia in the national semifinals, to a final, fateful double dribble by the Cavs that wasn't called and an Auburn foul on a 3-point shooter that was.
The Final Four loss registered much higher on the Auburn Richter scale, of course, because it robbed Bruce Pearl and his Tigers of a shot to play for the national championship. Unlucky in Hoover, Butch Thompson and his baseball bunch can look on the bright side and feel fortunate that they get some extra rest before playing in an NCAA regional next week.
The rest of us, no matter our favorite colors, should simply be thankful for Auburn and its continued contributions to our memories. Good, bad or ugly, when you least expect it, expect the Tigers to do it.