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Distraction

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Fun football is a respite where our purest aspirations can thrive

Vanderbilt v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Howdy, gang. Been a while since I did a real post, and I apologize for that. Like most people, I’ve been keeping a pretty nervous eye on the news of the world lately, and folks...it’ ain’t great. Unlike most people, I’ve got a genetic heart condition that can compromise my immune system. Fun! But we’re not here to tell you how to feel or how to interpret a worldwide pandemic. We’re all adults here. We’re here to help you find a respite from all that, if that’s what you need. If your head is still in the sand, that’s your business too, and good luck to you.

Sports are a distraction. Maybe even the original distraction: a non-essential competitive endeavor with no real meaningful consequences beyond bragging rights (or perhaps financial gain in our current model). If all sports were permanently wiped from existence tomorrow, society as a whole would continue on, although it may limp a bit for a while, and it would be less exciting for lots of people. We don’t keep sports around because they’re a vital part of society. We keep them around because the vital parts of society are often so odious that we need to distract ourselves.

If the Internet is one giant, cursed open floor plan office, let GBH be the blissful huddle room where you self-quarantine when it all becomes too much. Today we’re distracting ourselves with.....

<INTENSE DRUM ROLL>

...the 2013 Vanderbilt game.

This game probably doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. It probably didn’t really mean much in the 2013 scheme of things. But lord, was it fun to watch Johnny in his prime running around his own personal Kyle Field playground.

To set the scene, the Aggies were fresh off a rough loss to Auburn (the horsecollar game, for you non-call penalty historians). To make matters worse, Johnny had dinged up his shoulder against the Tigers and we weren’t even sure if he’d be able to play.

Vanderbilt, on the other hand, was still leisurely digesting the bones of Mark Richt after a stunning upset of #15 Georgia, and would also go on to defeat Tennessee and Florida en route to a surprising 9-win season that catapulted James Franklin into the Penn State job. This was a solid Vandy team.

Unfortunately for that solid Vandy team, their own QB was a freshman starting his first game in place of their injured starter. He did not fare well. Sacked five times, with two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown by Howard Matthews). He also punted once, for five yards.

This was one of a handful of games I got to attend at Kyle in the 2012-2013 run. The weather was perfect. Johnny was almost as perfect, and sat out most of the second half. The Aggie offense was a fearsome machine, and even Snyder’s defense put together a respectable performance. There were turnovers, defensive scores, and plenty of vintage Johnny moments. It got scary, as it usually does, when Vandy reeled off 17 unanswered in the second quarter. Ultimately, the 2013 offense was so prolific that it could turn the ball over five times and still beat a nine-win team by 30+.

It was a clinic put on by a virtuoso in his prime, and it was meant to be enjoyed forever in moments of need. Here it is:

Got fond memories from this game or any other game? Lay it all on us in the comments. What was a game you remember that’s just downright fun to look back at?