Wonderful Things That Never Should Have Happened: Central Michigan Defeats Oklahoma State on a Hail Mary-Lateral With No Time On The Clock

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As Providence would have it, there are things that happen and people that happen and blessings that just so happen to happen in your life that never “should” have happened. But they did.  You accidently bumped into a stranger who is now a lifelong friend; you were lost and somehow wandered and meandered to a now favorite place; and you stumbled across an ad for a job that has become your life’s work. Sounds like Destiny to me.

Everything that is good is not necessarily planned and primed and programmed; at least not by us. But it is planned for us by Heaven. And that’s the beauty of trusting and believing that all things work together for good to those who love God.

Upsets, comebacks and turnarounds are God’s modus operandi.  They are the meat and potatoes of God’s Playbook. And all of Heaven hopes and is hyped over endings like this. 

It’s sounds strange and it seems silly and it feels funny but it’s true; some of the best things in life never should have happened. They weren’t planned out or mapped out but they turned out all right for you in the end. And so it goes for the Central Michigan Football team after a stunning, exhilarating, mindboggling win.

It all happened on Oklahoma State’s home field in Stillwater. The officials made a doozy of a dinger –  and it cannot be fixed. The play that followed was even more astonishing. One of the oddest endings imaginable left Oklahoma State stunned and Central Michigan celebrating.

A misinterpreted rule extended the game when it should have been over and allowed the Chippewas to score a wild, winning touchdown on a Hail Mary and lateral — yes, both! — that covered half the field for a 30-27 upset of No. 22 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Here’s how ESPN reported what happened at the end of the Central Michigan, Oklahoma State game on Saturday, September 10, 2016:

“In one of the more improbable finishes to a football game, Central Michigan wide receiver Corey Willis grabbed a lateral from fellow receiver Jesse Kroll at the 12-yard line after a Hail Mary and raced into the end zone with no time remaining to stun No. 22 Oklahoma State 30-27 on Saturday.

It never should have happened.

Mid-American Conference referee Tim O’Dey — as well as the MAC and the Big-12 conferences — acknowledged after the game that Central Michigan was wrongly awarded an untimed down, which resulted in the miraculous Hail-and-lateral finish.   

With four seconds remaining, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph threw an incomplete pass to the left sideline to run the final seconds off the clock for what seemed to be a 27-24 victory for the Cowboys (1-1). However, no receivers ran a route, thus resulting in an intentional grounding penalty on fourth down.

‘That’s a tough one. Just so everyone knows, I was the one who called the passing play,’ Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. ‘To be honest with you, I never even thought of intentional grounding being called at that point in the game. As much time as we put into end-of-game situations, that never really crossed my mind. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult way to learn a hard lesson.’

And one team’s fallacy turned into another team’s fantasy. And in life, while we never want to win and another’s expense, sometimes and of times and most times, on the other side of a big win is a bad loss.  And that’s just how it is in life and in sports.

Why Aren’t You Watching The NBA Playoffs? (2016 Edition)

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I know that many of you don’t  really like basketball in general and detest the NBA in particular, but I’m telling you, if you aren’t watching the 2016 Playoffs, then shame on you. And that goes for me too.

The NBA Playoffs, for all they are not, are entertaining and intriguing and even inspiring. Yes, inspiring. The best player on the best team is out with an injury and yet his team hasn’t missed a beat. The Golden State Warriors are warlords on a war path en route to a 2nd Straight NBA Title. Or so it seems. So, no Steph? No problem! Clay Thompson and Draymond Green have stepped up to the plate and they’re hitting it out of the park, so to speak.

And in the other Western Conference series, the Oklahoma City Thunder got absolutely smashed in Game 1, 124- 92. Everybody, and I mean everybody didn’t see this coming. Not their humbling loss in Game one nor their exhilarating win in Game 2 (98 – 97). How do you lose by 32 points one night and then turn all the way around and win a nail biting thriller the next?

Their hero and soon to be free agent-leader Kevin Durant didn’t cry or wine or complain after the loss. He just came back and played Game 2 in the cauldron of the steamy AT&T Center with reckless abandon. And San Antonio is a place where the Spurs had lost only once this season — to the Warriors — the greatest regular-season team of all time, mind you.

So, for Durant and Westbrook and the Thunder to thunder back and win in San Antonio to tie the series when they did, how they did, the way they did, has got to be some sort of miracle. The win was instantly inspiring and encouraging and moving and motivating. And I didn’t even watch the game! But when I saw the final score, something in me just jumped up and basically broke down. I wanted to leap for joy and break down in tears all at the same time. OKC may have been down, but they’re not out.

It just goes to show that in sports and in life you can come back from the brink, and yes, even from the dead. When everyone and everybody everywhere puts you down and counts you out and  writes you off, and you STILL manage to mount a comeback and stage an upset and triumph in a turnaround, you know that Providence must be doing another great work.