It comes from Paul Powell’s book titled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Retirement (Baptist General Convention of Texas, 2000). Enjoy…
He Was Running For His Life
Alabama and Auburn were playing in one of the most crucial games of the year. Alabama was leading by five points. Two minutes were left in the game. Alabama had the ball twenty yards away from the goal line. On first down, the number-one quarterback was injured. Coach Bryant sent in his number-two man.
Before sending him in, Bryant gave him strict instructions. He was not under any circumstances to throw the ball. He was to run the ball three downs, even if they did not gain a yard. By that time, the game would be almost over, and the defense would hold them. On second down, Alabama was stopped dead. On third down, they gained a yard.
Fourth down. The quarterback turned to hand off the ball, but missed the hand off. He began to run, and when he did, he spotted a receiver open in the end zone. What a chance to lock the game up. He could not resist the chance to be a hero, so he lofted a pass to his open receiver. What he did not notice was the safety for the other team only a few yards away.
This all-American safety happened to be the fastest man on the field. As soon as the ball was in the air, the safety cut in front of the receiver, pulled the ball in, and headed for the other end zone. All of a sudden, like a flash of lightening, the quarterback caught up with the swift safety and tackled him on the two-yard line, just as the clock ran out. Alabama won.
After the game, the Auburn coach asked Bear Bryant, “I’ve read the scouting reports. That quarterback is supposed to be slow. How is it that he caught up with the fastest man on the field?” Bear Bryant replied, “It’s simple. Your man was running for a touchdown. My man was running for his life!”