Many of football’s most famous or infamous endings involve a kick. And while there are plenty of missed field goals in that canon, none stack up to the combination of dramatic circumstances and on-field “WHAT?” that ended Alabama-Auburn in 2013.
With seconds remaining in the Iron Bowl, Crimson Tide kicker Adam Griffith was brought on for his first kick of the day: a 57-yard field goal attempt.
Every college football fan in the country remembers what happened next: Auburn’s Chris Davis caught the ball at the back of the end zone and returned it 100 yards for the winning score. Pandemonium ensued. What seemed like the entire Jordan-Hare crowd sprinted onto the field to celebrate. A legend (the “Kick Six”) was born.
A goat (Griffith) was born, too.
Two years later, the junior is still forced to explain himself.
“I didn’t kick that kick very well,” Griffith told AL.com‘s John Talty. “It wasn’t a good kick. I got under it.”
Talty writes that Griffith, who was smoking cigarettes in a Polish orphanage as a 6-year-old, has a little bit more perspective than other college kickers.
“I probably get criticized every week,” Griffith said. “I have a good game, then I have a bad game, and everyone is going to criticize.”
For his part, the specialist is in the midst of a career year. Despite an 0-for-4 start, he’s now made 14 of 21 field goals for a career-high 66.7 percentage. That includes a beautiful 55-yarder to end the first half against LSU on Nov. 7.
But he’ll need several more moments like that to outweigh the “Kick Six,” which will probably follow him for the rest of his life.
“I don’t care what people say or think about me,” he told Talty.
Given Griffith’s situation, that attitude will go a heckuva long way. But then again, so might a game-winning kick against Auburn on Saturday.