Bowl Season Shenanigans: Boise State Quarterback Sent Home For Allegedly Peeing Off A Balcony
To this day, it still might be the most famous finish to a game of the BCS Era.
A decided underdog in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, upstart Boise State built up a huge lead over Big 12 champion Oklahoma before the Sooners came storming back to take a late lead, only to have the Broncos tie the game up thanks to a hook and lateral play on 4th and 19 with just seconds remaining.
The game went to overtime and it was in the extra session that the name "Ian Johnson" became etched in bowl game lore.
After answering an Oklahoma overtime touchdown with a score of their own, Boise State's head coach Chris Peterson famously called for a Statue of Liberty style handoff to Johnson who carried it in for the winning two point conversion. Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42.
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It wasn't enough, though, to just score the winning points. Johnson decided to run up the fairy tale score by making a beeline for his smoking hot cheerleader girlfriend, Chrissy Popadics, and asking for her hand in marriage, right there, on the sideline. (She said yes!)
So in the blink of an eye, Ian Johnson got the win, the game ball, the girl, and the glory. Collectively, those two minutes were possibly the most magnificent end to an individual college football season ever.
Seven years later, Boise State is responsible for the other end of that scale, the "magnificence of an end to the season" scale. Or in the case of Joe Southwick, the lack thereof.
Meet Joe Southwick.
Up until Sunday, he was the senior quarterback for Boise State's 8-4 2013 football team, all set to take on the Oregon State Beavers in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. Certainly, Oahu is a long way from Tempe 2007, nevertheless the game was seen as a chance to close out the season on a high note and an opportunity for Boise State interim head coach Bob Gregory to raise his profile in the wake of longtime head coach Peterson's leaving for the head job at Washington.
Well, Boise State's chances for another happy chapter to its bowl history certainly took a hit over the weekend when Southwick was sent home Friday morning for allegedly urinating off of a hotel balcony on Thursday night. The team booted him, and dropped him off at the airport on Friday morning (presumably, they stopped the car to let him out, but who knows) where he waited nine hours for his flight home.
For Southwick's part, he is in vehement denial over his role in Urination Abomination 2013, going as far as to take a lie detector test, the results of which were favorable to Southwick's contention that he is indeed innocent of these discharges:
"It's really important for myself and my family to get this cleared up," Southwick said. "There was no process to properly adjudicate what happened. It's really disappointing that it had to come to this."
"Really, this gives me a leg to stand on," he said of the polygraph, adding that he went to bed after the incident and learned the next morning at the team's breakfast that he'd been accused.
Further clouding the meting out of justice is the fact that there was indeed urination occurring, however, Southwick contends he witnessed the peeing, and there indeed was a second whizzer (possibly on another balcony, maybe even a grassy knoll). In fact, Southwick spent most of the nine hours sitting at the airport having the Boise State coaches hit IGNORE on his attempts to reach them via cell phone.
Once back home, Southwick did this interview with KTVB:
If there is a polar opposite to closing out your Boise State career by upsetting Oklahoma on a trick play and then immediately proposing to your cheerleader girlfriend, I'd say that getting suspended for taking a whiz and then waiting all day at the airport bar is pretty damn close.
As close as you can get without involving illegal drugs, a hooker, an underaged teen, or a murder weapon, at least.
Starting January 3, 2014, listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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