Luck and the Blocked Extra Point

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Eric McDaniel #56 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates with teammates after the defense blocked an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 12, 2011 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue defeated Ohio State 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

I was sitting in my chair watching the 4th and 3 play and just knowing that the Buckeyes were going to score. Braxton Miller was being chased, and sort of stumbled, but of course he threw up a floater and (just like Wisconsin) the DB was too busy looking at him to keep an eye on the receiver who got behind him. Purdue was going to lose another game and we’d have to file this season with 2009 in the "should have been better" folder.

I was still trying to convince myself that Purdue could drive down the field and get a chance at a game-winning field goal, when the play-by-play guy said, "Basil's perfect on extra points this year." I was mentally preparing myself for crushing defeat. OSU would have a one-point lead, and I envisioned a Boilermaker drive ending when time runs while the team is in field goal range. I thought maybe Marve or Terbush (or maybe even Siller or Bolden on an ill-advised trick play) would just throw an interception and it’ll end that way. As these and other random doomsday scenarios played in my head, an amazing thing happened.

 

Bruce Gaston slid through a gap in the line, got his hand up and blocked the extra point. I was in shock. Could that really have happened? Did we just get a lucky break? Obviously it did happen, and I was still trying to figure out how we were going to lose in overtime (which also didn't happen).

 

When a play like Gaston's block goes your way, it makes being a college football fan worth it. After all of the bad things that have happened to Purdue recently, it's great to know that sometimes luck is on your side. And when your team capitalizes on their good fortune and wins the game, it doesn't get any better than that.

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