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Weekend TV provides plenty of good sports

By By Stan Torgerson / sports columnist
Oct. 27, 2003
First, I'd like to thank those television pioneers who some 70 years ago or so worked out the electronics that eventually led to TV as we know it today.
Second, my thanks to the person or persons who developed the remote control that allows you to hopscotch from channel to channel without jumping out of your chair whenever you'd like to go from viewing one game to another.
And third, and most important, my thanks to Ole Miss, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, the Yankees, the Marlins and even Mississippi State and Kentucky for providing one of the most mermerizing and exciting Saturdays ever spent in a recliner watching spoprts on television.
Lunch at my house was served on a TV tray. Dinner too, bless that wife of mine.
Thank goodness for the commercials. A man has to go to the bathroom occasionally, you know.
For sheer keeping you on the edge of your chair nothing was better than the Alabama-Tennessee five overtime effort. In truth the Tide had the best and the most opportunities to winand they didn't. It's been that kind of year for Mike Shula and his kids. The game reminded me of a story I've told before so forgive me if you have a long memory.
It first appeared as one of the famous Peanuts cartoons that appeared in countless newspapers probably 10 years or more ago. A very excited Linus was telling Charlie Brown about a game he had just seen on television. The last play of the game the team which was behind completed a long pass which resulted in a miracle catch and turned defeat into victory. Linus said the people were literally going crazy, screaming, jumping and rolling on the ground. Never had little Linus seen anything like it.
Charlie Brown gave him a thoughtful look.
I've thought of that cartoon many times when watching a miracle-like finish, and five overtimes is a miracle-like finish. As the Vols screamed and jumped and rolled on the ground the camera turned to the Tide players and coaches. There was no need to ask myself how did the other team feel. The look on their faces said it all.
The Ole Miss game was notable for the continued improvement they show every week.They're not there yet, not with South Carolina, Auburn and LSU still in their way, not to mention Mississippi State who will be trying to win one for Jackie Sherrill as he coaches his last game on Thanksgiving day. But remember just six weeks ago the Rebels were a team with no secondary defense and no running game. Now they have both. Some writers have referred to their three tailback combination as a running game by committee. Sounds a bit disparaging to me but Rebel fans don't care. It works.
Auburn continues to be the puzzle to which no one knows the answer. They couldn't get out of their own way the first two games of the season. Then suddenly they found themselves and crushed five straight opponents. Carnell Williams scored six touchdowns against Mississippi State, ran for almost 500 yards in three games and started getting mentioned as a leading candidate for the Heisman. Then against LSU he gets only 61 yards in 20 carries, the team actually ends up with only 53 yards net on the ground and LSU literally runs them out of Baton Rouge.
We're not the only one looking for answers where that bunch is concerned or didn't you see the look on Coach Tommy Tuberville's face as he left the field.
Earlier in the day when Mississippi State jumped ahead of Kentucky 17-0 we found it unbelievable. As the game went on to its 42-17 finish we found that final score equally unbelievable as well. That is a very disappointing football team.
Trying to bounce back and forth with those three later games was hard enough, but including the World Series at the same time as that trifecta almost wore out my clicker. This was the one time I envied people whose television set has the capability to show two pictures at the same time, although even that wouldn't have been enough.
Then the icing on the football cake was seeing the Southern Miss-South Florida score come across the bottom of my screen from time to time.
There have been many memorable Saturdays on television, but this Saturday was the full package.