Last Monday night, fans of college football across America and around the world were treated to easily the greatest game of this young century, and surely one of the best of all time.
The thrill-a-minute, 43-42 overtime victory by Boise State over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl was the ultimate victory for the underdog, the best of David vs. Goliath, the little guy vs. the corporation and the best part was twofold: that the little guy showed guts and grace even when the chips were down, and they took a huge risk to win it all.
We'll all remember the winning Statue of Liberty play, with quarterback Jared Zabransky handing the ball behind his back to Ian Johnson, who raced into the end zone for the two-point conversion, but what led up to it may have been even better.
The game in its entirety was brilliant. Boise State raced to a 14-point lead, then blew an 18-point lead in the 4th quarter, and actually fell behind 35-28 when Zabransky threw an interception which Marcus Walker returned for a touchdown. But Zabransky and his teammates never quit and tied the game on a critical 4th-down hook and ladder pass from Zabransky to Drisan James at Oklahoma's 35. James pitched the ball to Jerard Rabb, who scampered into the end zone with the tying score with 7 seconds to play. That was gusty.
Lost in all of this was the 25-yard TD by Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson on the opening play of overtime. Peterson, the personification of the polished big-college corporate running back stands in stark contrast to the spit-and-hellfire Zabransky and his Bronco teammates.
It really was a game of contrast and comparison. One pundit - I believe Conan O'Brien - said the game, Oklahoma vs. Boise State was between two places where nobody lived. Funny, for sure, but his remark couldn't have been more incorrect. I don't know much about Oklahoma except that it's flat and there are plenty of ranches there.
I probably know a little less about Boise, the capitol of Idaho, but having been out West last year, I know at least this much: the air is clean, the water in the lakes and streams is blue, the people are friendly and the mountain views are spectacular. It is a marvelous place to live, raise a family or retire.
To find out more about Boise, visit Boise homes and follow the links, check out the Boise blog and breathe deeply. Thanks to the Broncos, the air has the distinctive smell of victory.