Recently I did something that I often do when bored. I watched the Kick Six.
It’s this version first, because local radio is our nation’s finest export. Then sometimes it’s from in-stadium or someone going bonkers in their living room. But this time, I realized I remembered exactly where I was when it happened.
On Nov. 30, 2013, at a BBQ spot in Gainesville, Fla., I was meeting friends in town for the weekend. With the second put back on the clock, wait staff and patrons all stopped. Kitchen staff came out from the back, and we all watched Chris Davis go down in football history.
So I asked the question.
The Kick Six is *THE* Kennedy shot moment of CFBTwitter. Where were you?— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) March 29, 2017
And you provided the answers. Folks fell into some distinct categories. Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
First, the poor souls who didn’t see it.
Paul Wiley (@pmwcville) I was pooping.
No one in our family had any connection to either school: we were just watching a damn good game together. I had gone to the bathroom just off the TV room when Auburn iced [kicker Adam] Griffith, figuring I had plenty of time. Next thing I heard, Dad starts narrating. "Kick's up. Looks wide, maybe short. Auburn is ... no way ... NO WAY ... HOLY SHIT."
Meanwhile, I'm furiously wiping my ass and trying to get back in front of a television.
Nathan (@Napier_Nathan) I was at a bowling tournament in Plano, TX. I misunderstood the cheering as people mocking me for the poor shot I had just taken. Boy, was I wrong.
Anthony Elias (@Anthony_Elias) I was waiting for my friend to pick me up as we're supposed to head over to my buddy’s house to watch some of the night games. Bama was lining up to kick the field goal, and my buddy was already outside in the car, and I told him, “why don't you come in, and we'll watch the end of the game, and then we can leave when it's over?”
However, my friend was really stubborn and said, "Hey, he's probably going to miss this field goal. If we leave now, we can be at our other friend's house to watch overtime." I begrudgingly agreed, and got in the car. I was tracking the score on my phone in the car, and I saw that Auburn scored a touchdown, but that couldn't be.
As I was trying to figure out how, we lost cell service in a rural area and took way longer than we expected to get there.
Dan (@danielfsweeney) I was walking to my car on Georgia Tech's campus after the UGA/GT game. My mom called my wife to get in touch with me (my phone had died). Wife answered the phone. Mom frantically said she needed to talk with me.
My mom described what had happened. My response to every detail: "Wait, what?" I'll never forget just shaking my head, laughing, and repeating my mom's words back to her like she was crazy.
Mike (@that_doughboy) I had watched the entire game at my house, but we were leaving as a family to go to my grandparents’ house for a post-Thanksgiving get-together. The last play I remember was something involving Sammie Coates. Then my dad turned it off and said Alabama would win because Bama always wins.
Bill Connelly (@SBN_Billc) I was tailgating for the biggest Mizzou home game in forever. We were sort of keeping up with the Iron Bowl, and on the way to the stadium, we were trying to find out if Auburn had tied.
“Wait, they WON??”
It was like the slowest game of telephone as everybody figured out what happened (with terrible in-stadium cell signal). And then they showed it on the jumbotron. Somebody in the student section scribbled “AUBURN” over their “We Want Bama” sign.
Kyle (@KyleParmley) I surprised my dad with tickets to the game, and things went according to plan, until T.J. Yeldon ran out of bounds at what was seemingly the end of regulation. My dad says, "I've got to pee" and runs off, thinking the game was heading to overtime.
He's not back when Nick Saban gets a second put back on the clock or when the kick return happens. The realization that Davis was going to run the kick back turned into me jumping into strangers’ arms and not knowing what to do.
My dad claims he emerged from the concourse just in time to catch the Kick Six from the entrance of the tunnel.
Jake (@erwinjake) I had to leave Thanksgiving weekend with my family because I had come down with the flu. I was alone in my sad bachelor apartment, wrapped in a blanket and trying not to die.
I am a Clemson grad, so I had already changed the channel to watch the beginning of our game against the hated Gamecocks. I missed the Kick Six completely, and only knew I had missed something historic when I saw Twitter erupt.
Also, Clemson lost.
Those who never lost faith in Auburn Jesus.
Geoff Parsh (@bgblutigerfan) It started with going to the UGA game two weeks prior and witnessing The Prayer in person.
We were pumped up. My daughter and I were watching at home in Columbia, South Carolina, saying our prayers to the football gods.
I told my daughter, as they were lining up, that a blocked or short kick could be returned.
Charley Collier (@ccollier64) I was in an Indianapolis sports bar after a Butler game. Before it happened, I said out loud, and everyone heard it, "He's gonna miss this kick, and Auburn is gonna return it for a touchdown.” Everyone there lost their mind.
Nikko Tan (@TheNikkoTan) I napped during the entire game and woke up for the last play.
I literally turned on the TV in the living room in my parents' home in Ocala, Florida while Alabama was lining up. As soon as Davis cut left, I knew it was a touchdown. The football gods woke me up to watch the Kick Six.
Chad Gibbs (@chad_Gibbs) Because of our angle and low seats, the field goal looked good, and I remember flinching hard when it crossed the crossbar, because I thought it went through. Then Davis runs toward the sideline, and we lose him behind the Auburn bench.
At some point my wife and I tumbled into an Indian family sitting below us. Introductions were made later, after the reverse “Rammer Jammer,” and randomly enough, we served the same family communion at church the next morning.
Trevor Flack (@Kodak_FlackMy) I didn't go too wild because I’d remarked to my friend, "I just hope if he misses, it goes through the back, because if not, it has a good chance of being returned."
John Carl Hastings (@jchastings09) I had flown from North Carolina to attend with my family in the seats we've held since before I was born. But at the last minute, a friend offered me a chance to sit in the scholarship seats on the 25-yard line, right in front of golfer Jason Dufner.
I sat next to a man I did not know. He carried himself in a way that communicated that he’d seen some stuff, man. But hoo boy, did this guy have a knack for calling plays. In the first half, he would just mutter to himself, "Nick's about to break one." Boom; 50-yard Nick Marshall TD run. In the third quarter, when it felt like the game was beginning to get away from us, he leaned over and said, "Watch for C.J. here." Touchdown, C.J. Uzomah, on the next play.
I leaned to my friend and said, "What's with this Oracle over here?"
He replied, "I've never seen that guy in my life."
Based on The Prayer at Jordan-Hare from two weeks earlier, I had a feeling I was dealing with a peculiar Barn Jesus situation, so I just let it ride.
On Auburn's last drive, I was convinced that Gus Malzahn was about to run the clock out through dumb playcalling and/or not taking a timeout, but The Oracle leaned over and said, "We're gonna be fine." Next play: Marshall to Coates to tie it up.
Now, I'm a pastor, but I was then convinced that I had no frame of reference for what kind of supernatural wizardry I was dealing with. Had we slipped through a portal to an alternate plane where Auburn didn't cause me crushing disappointment?
When Alabama drove just past the 50, my 26-year conditioning as an Auburn fan took over, and I came to the harsh realization that the cheatin' Tide had just set us up for another monumental heartbreak. I leaned over to my friend and said, "Boy is it gonna suck to lose this game like this."
As a roar erupted like I'd never experienced before, I turned to the Emissary from the Otherworld to my left. He gave me a wry smile, slapped my hand in the highest of fives, and disappeared.
The people who wisely said to hell with professionalism.
Ethan Brady (@EbradyAU) We were standing on roughly the 20-yard line with Auburn AD Jay Jacobs and fellow athletics media staff just in front of where Davis caught the missed FG. By the time he turned up the sideline, the majority of Auburn’s admins, coaches, and players were unable to see the play develop, resulting in us standing on the field by the numbers, trying to catch a glimpse. Just by the sheer noise, everyone knew what’d happened.
Auburn media staff with years of not celebrating at games were crying, hugging, and cheering.
During Coach Malzahn’s postgame interview, I was with his wife, Kristi, where I normally saved her a stool against the wall. He was asked if this was his greatest win ever and tried to answer with his famous coach speak, and I whispered, “Just say yes,” to no one in particular. Kristi Malzahn, whether she heard me or not, had the same thought and yelled, “Say yes!”
His excited reply that yes, it was his biggest win was priceless, genuine, and will always be my favorite memory of Coach Malzahn.
Richard Stephens (@rastephens_82) Was at the scoreboard console in the press box, since I am the scoreboard operator.
Before the play, I had the scoreboard all set up for overtime. Then the referee asked me to put one second back on the clock, so I did, and reset it to the fourth quarter. Fixed the timeouts remaining and all.
Then when the kick was short and Davis was running the ball back, he got to around midfield, and it looked like the coast might actually be clear. I jumped out of my seat.
Once he scored, I scanned the field for penalty flags, scanned the field AGAIN for flags in disbelief, sort of convinced myself that it really DID happen, and pushed the "Home Score +6" button.
Then I jumped up and down cheering, just like most of the rest of the stadium.
“It was so good, my family cussed.”
Spencer Hall (@edsbs) My dad, a Bama fan, stood up, laughed, paused, and said, "Well ... SHIT, what are you supposed to do with THAT?"
Chad (@Chad_Floyd) I was at my parents' house. My dad, a man of the Lord, uttered, "Holy fucking hell, is that even legal?"
This was the first and, to this day, only audible f-bomb uttered by my father in my presence.
Chris (@CABush11) When it sank in that, yes, THIS JUST HAPPENED, I lost control, jumping and screaming and hugging everyone in sight, not because that's what you're supposed do, but because it's all I could do.
My uncle, standing right behind me, whom I'd never heard curse, yells, "Shove it up your ass, Saban!"
My dad and I bear hugged my mother, brother, and sister-in-law between us, and continued screaming. At one point, I think my knees went out from under me. We didn't make it onto the field from the upper deck, but we stayed for at least 45 minutes.
The Alabama fans.
Jonathan Waldrop (@JonathanWaldrop) My Dad and I were waiting for the kick (we both assumed it was going to be missed, based off, you know, every game) and kinda resigned ourselves to, "Shit. Overtime." I was sitting on the ottoman stool next to my dad's chair (the closer the game, the nearer my proximity to the television gets).
As Griffith booted it, for a split second, I thought it had a chance, but it came up short. The next 10 seconds I initially thought were illegal (I still do, tbh), and I kept looking for that yellow graphic below the televised score.
Gabe (@GJGXXV) I was with my mother, a University of Alabama alumnus, AFTER she had gotten out of the hospital for a surgery. Room went silent, and she said, "I'd re-tear my ACL running faster than those losers to tackle him." She was pissed for a good month.
Daniel Mote (@daniel_mote) I, an Alabama fan and an Auburn student (the most despicable of fans), was standing in the Auburn student section, staring in disbelief and horror.
Jeremy Hudson (@jermkeith) I and my wife, who is also an Alabama alum, were watching at home, having just finished decorating our apartment for Christmas. We knew Auburn was talented but believed we had the better team and were on our way to being three-peat national champions.
I opened the door and prepared for a victory sprint down the stairs and around our apartment complex. I had total confidence the ball was going in and we would win. And, when it left Griffin's foot, it looked good, so I was slightly disappointed when Davis caught the ball.
This quickly became confusion and then, even quicker, dread. About the time he crossed his own 20, I muttered out loud, "He's gone." It was too obvious. His blockers were set, and we didn't have anyone on the field capable of catching him. My wife and I sat there in stunned silence as we watched him race.
Finally, I shut the door, and we watched the end of the telecast, trying to digest the disaster we'd just experienced.
Restaurant and food memories that far exceed mine.
Payne Walker (@Payne_Train18) I was at Outback, and a brawl broke out on the other side of the restaurant five minutes later. Food was free. Best. Night. Ever.
Andy Boulle (@Theandyboulle) I was at a crazy burger place and debating whether to get the two-pound burger. Once I saw Auburn do a miracle, I thought I could, so I ordered it. I threw up.
Coleman Bahr (@ColemanBahr) I just finished my shift at work and went to a Mexican restaurant with my family to watch the fourth quarter.
I actually fell out of my seat. Then some family started yelling at me. I didn't know what they were saying because, one, I don't speak Spanish; two, I was in awe of what I’d just witnessed.
Alexander Kilpatrick (@alexhatesdogs) Watching at my father's house. Threw a bowl of trail mix in the air, which then broke, to make fruit, nut, and shattered porcelain trail mix.
Mike (@mikelaskey) When Alabama seemed to have the game in hand in the middle of the fourth quarter, my wife — who doesn't watch football at all — came into the living room and said Auburn was going to win. I bet her and gave her good odds: if Bama won, she's have to make us popcorn; if Auburn came back, I'd do her least-favorite chores for a month.
We both ended up shouting at the television for different reasons.
Clisby Wilson (@Crispy_Goodness) I was working for a pizza place in Auburn. I was already disappointed that I wouldn't be able to attend after just witnessing the Prayer at Jordan-Hare a couple weeks earlier.
So I came prepared to listen, any way possible. I had my phone hooked up to the Tune-In app, radio on at work, and game on the TV in the lobby; there was no way I would miss any moment of it.
I remember the fourth quarter specifically. I had just went out for delivery and got to listen to the Marshall-to-Coates touchdown. I was banging on the ceiling of my car, trying not to crash. After I delivered the pizza, I was trying to get back to the store in time to see the rest, but I knew I wouldn't make it. So I pulled over on the side of the road, sat in my car, and listened to radio.
As soon as he said, “Auburn's gonna win the football game,” I lost it! I got out my car, ran around it a few times. I may have climbed on top; I don't remember. I was just happy we won after so many people had doubted us, including myself. As soon as I got back to the store, I screamed and hugged my boss.
But the best part of the night was seeing my sad co-workers who were Alabama fans being left speechless.
Isaac (@firejimmora) I was in Grand Central Terminal in NYC, walking to meet my mom and stepfather (a huge Bama fan) at a restaurant in the lower levels. I was early, so I was pacing around the upper levels, listening to the Auburn radio call on my phone.
The Kick Six happened, and I lost my damn mind. I literally sprinted through a crowd of confused and annoyed New Yorkers down to the restaurant with a huge, shit-eating grin and saw my stepdad, who was desperately refreshing his phone to see what’d happened with :01 left.
When I broke the news, he thought I was joking. When I showed him the video, he looked like he was having an aneurysm.
Assorted other hollering
Scott Bryant (@ScottBryant_10) Immediate reaction was to storm the field. No debate, no thought, just a reaction. Had no idea what I was gonna do when I got there either. Passed [ESPN’s] Tom Rinaldi in the crowd. He looked like he was about to cry, just like his GameDay piece.
Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) My little brother-in-law had died seven days earlier. We were in Kansas for a family memorial coinciding with Thanksgiving.
That Saturday night, I’d skipped a family photo to stay at my aunt’s-and-uncle’s house by myself and work. (I’m the college football editor here, and it was Rivalry Saturday. They would’ve let me off work if I’d asked.)
About 20 hours before my little brother’s memorial, I was already in a fragile state. Davis found the sideline, the words “everything just changed” went through my mind, Alabama was done, Auburn would play Missouri for a title shot, I stood and screamed, “Oh my god,” and sat down to this in our work chat ...
... and this on Twitter ...
Erin Smith (@e_k_smith) It was my senior year, my last home football game as an Auburn student. I was sitting in the end zone directly behind Davis as he caught it. I was in complete shock; the guy sitting next to me fainted and hit the ground.
Katherin Ward (@aukat1988) As soon as Davis cleared the 50, it was like a bomb went off in that stadium. I jumped into the welcoming arms of former Auburn football player Jamar Travis, who I did not know previously. I kissed my brother on the cheek and began skipping like a child up and down the concourse, screaming about how Bama's run to a three-peat was over.
My dad and brother had driven separate, and they hauled it to the car to try and get home to Birmingham. I, on the other hand, went to get on the field. Security was trying to not let anybody else on, so I ignored them and grabbed some of the shrubs from the field, which I have encased today.
Autumne Bennett (@autumnebennett) My first Iron Bowl.
My husband is an '00 alum, and we live in North Carolina. We didn't make it to the field, but we made it to Toomer’s, rolled the trees, got shirts from J&M hot off the presses (literally), and took one last selfie before our phones died from all the texting from friends and family.
Rode back to Raleigh with 'Gotta Second?' on the rear window, wearing orange and getting honks and thumbs up nearly all the way.
Tanner (@tannermunk) I was at my girlfriend's Thanksgiving with her dad's side. They were a super formal family. They rarely ever watched sports, so I did not ask to watch the game. We were all sitting around the living room when someone turned the TV on, and I asked to switch it to the Alabama vs. Auburn game (unaware of the game situation).
We flipped to the channel right as Griffith attempted a game-winning field goal. While Auburn was taking the kick back, the room remained silent, unaware of the impact. I politely asked to go to the restroom and ran outside, fist-pumping in their driveway (not a Bama fan one bit; Hook 'Em). One of the uncles saw me through the window but never brought up the incident.
Emily (@HereComes_Emily) I was in the stands. What makes my story different is that I'm a Gopher fan from Minnesota. My sister and I have a friend in Auburn, and for several years we'd tried to go to the Iron Bowl. This happened to be the year.
Time was up, and Auburn had upset the No. 1 team. Fans started rushing past us to storm the field. Now, as Gopher fans, my sister and I have never experienced this, and my sister had often said it was her dream. I looked at her and said, "This is your chance!" But she didn't move. She was excited, but said, "We can't." I assume it had something to do with it not being the Gophers. I wasn't about to run out there without her, so I spent five minutes convincing her that this was right.
That night, we were Tigers. I'm still not sure what did it, but she finally said okay. We found an opening (thread-bare gap, really) in the hedge and hopped onto the field. Suddenly we were on the 50-yard line, high-fiving strangers, and singing whatever words we knew of the school song.
I lost my voice and most of my hearing, and the line for the bus home was an hour long. It was one of the greatest nights of my life. War Eagle!