Let's suit up candidates and settle it on the field

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Advance Managing Editor
A week has come and gone and we are still wondering who will be president. I have come up with several ideas to settle this matter that could work if the two parties would agree to rules and terms.
At first I thought about a 40-yard dash – a race to decide the race. Or maybe doing potatoes – one potato, two potato, three potato, four.
But, these open to much room for debate. The Democrats would argue that Bush jumped the starting gun or the Republicans would cry that the potato-caller said you are not it' when he actually said you are it.'
Then, I considered how they would have settle this 200 years ago when our founding fathers created the notion of an electoral college. That's simple – a gentleman's duel. Ten paces, turn and shoot. This one sounded really good to me, but the gunslinger scene may be too violent for some. Instead we should settle it with our version of a gunfight at high noon – college football.
This is perfect timing. Let's put Gore and Bush in pads and find out who the best leader is by starting them at quarterback in this week's Iron Bowl.
Now, Florida fans will say the big game this weekend is FSU and the Gators and that it should be the deciding matchup. But, they are the ones who have gotten us in the mess.
The way I figure, Bush gets to start for the Tide (because he is from Texas, former home of Bear Bryant) and Gore gets the snaps for the Tigers (because he is from Tennessee and would rather lose the presidency than see Alabama win a ballgame.) Either way, it's an improvement for the Tide.
Granted, the game would be a low-scoring affair, but both possess some of the tools needed to play quarterback. Bush's father played collegiate ball and Gore was shown on the television news last week taking snaps with his family.
Here is how I see the game going:
Auburn would, seemingly, take an early lead as Gore goes deep for an 80-yard touchdown. But, the play is called back as there was a holding penalty along the line.
The score remains knotted at 0-0 until the third when Bush hits A.C. Carter on the post-pattern for a touchdown. The PAT is good and the Tide and Bush team lead 7-0.
As the game clock ticks, Gore tries to rally his Tigers by shaking their hands and shouting hysterically "Win one for the Tipper!"
With that, the Tigers start pounding the line of scrimmage as Gore hands the ball to Rudy Johnson and crosses his fingers. But, the Tide's defense stiffens at the 15-yard line and forces a field goal.
But, Gore's chances wouldn't last long as Bush comes out and oversees a drive that gets the Tide to the 30. Gore, realizing he must do something quick, brings in his secret weapon. Moments later Warren Christopher enters Bryant-Denny. From his linebacker position he sacks Bush for a loss of 5 yards. But a field goal gives Bush a 10-3 lead with only two minutes to go.
Auburn and Gore, with no timeouts, get decent field position after the kickoff. On third down, Gore takes the ball and runs for a first down. As he crosses the marker, and steps out of bounds, an Auburn defender hits the candidate well after the play.
Now, with only 30 seconds to go from the 28-yard line, Gore hands the ball to Johnson who gets to the seven and steps out of bounds with three clicks left on the clock.
Knowing his destiny awaits, Gore does what he thinks has to be done. He yells the snap count: "one Mississippi, two Mississippi, hutt!!" He takes the snap, fakes the ball to Heath Evans and then tucks it in the back of his shirt. But, he didn't fool Milo Lewis who is coming straight for him. Deciding the ball-in-the-back-of-shirt trick wasn't going to work, he pulls it out and puts his head down like a bull and runs straight toward the heap of bodies in front of him. Stepping on his center, he jumps into the air and is hit head-on by Alex Lincoln. Gore goes into a helicopter spin and lands somewhere under the pile of linemen.
The announcers agree that there is no way he got in and proclaim the Tide winners. But, just as Bama starts to lift Bush on their shoulders for the victory ride and Mike Dubose heads for the airport, the umpires signal touchdown. With no time left, the PAT is good and Gore manages to take Bush to overtime, 10-10.
The overtime periods march on as neither candidate can score. Finally, in the ninth overtime, Bush pulls out his GOP Playbook. He takes the snap, tosses it back to a wide receiver running across the back field who in turn hands it to a receiver crossing from the other side who then throws it to a running back waiting on the opposite side. In the confusion, Auburn loses track of Bush, who is by now standing wide open in the end zone. The running back lets the ball fly and Bush catches it just as it is about to hit the ground. He stands up, spikes the ball and runs to Gore and says "In your face, Democrat!"
Gore argues with officials that a forward lateral had been committed and vows to file a grievance with the SEC and NCAA as the divided fans cheer and boo from their stadium seats.
Bush proclaims the victory was legit and goes to celebrate at a kegger with the Delta Omegas. Gore keeps up the fight only to learn that there is too much red tape and the bureaucracy is too slow.

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