July 16, 2014
Chris Davis runs toward history...and an ESPY
By Charles Goldberg
Chris Davis caught the missed field goal, ran out of his end zone and headed into history.
"'I can't believe this,'" he remembered thinking as he ran past everybody.
Believe it, Chris Davis. You returned that missed kick 109 yards on the final play of the game to beat Alabama 34-28 last November, and, Wednesday night, that game and the play were honored at the ESPYs. The Iron Bowl win was named the best game of the year, and Davis' return was named the play of the year.
The Kick Six was honored, and, somewhere, Rod Bramblett's "There goes Davis!" call is being replayed.
Davis was part of the Auburn contingent on hand at the awards ceremony. So was coach Gus Malzahn.
"It was a great game, the fact we were playing a rival, and also, going to the SEC Championship Game made it that much sweeter," Malzahn said on stage in accepting the award for game of the year.
Davis accepted the award for play of the year, saying, "I wish they had 10 more of these so I could give to my other teammates who were on the field at that time."
"Without them," he added, "I wouldn't be standing here today."
On stage were key contributors to the game, and the season: Malzahn, Davis, Tre Mason, Dee Ford, Ricardo Louis and Sammie Coates.
Malzahn also thanked "the guys back home, our coaches and our players, which did just a great job this year, getting our program turned around like it should be in one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of college football. And, lastly, I'd like to thank our fans, the best fans in college football. War Eagle."
Davis wasn't originally back to return the field goal. But Malzahn called timeout, you know, with one second left, to put Davis on the end line. He caught the ball as deep as he could be and headed out.
He ran all the way to Los Angeles and the ESPYs.
"Being nominated for an award is great, but winning one leaves an unbelievable feeling," Davis said. "I want to thank the Auburn family, everybody who helps support it and voted for me to win this award."
Said former Auburn kicker and teammate Steven Clark on Chris Davis in a tweet...
And the play that helped win it all...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine