The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

BCS Championship

January 7, 2013

40 years ago, Irish-Tide played game for the ages

(Continued)

It does matter to Bill Davis.

He was the Alabama kicker on that '73 team. He was the one who missed the extra point with 9½ minutes remaining after the Tide reclaimed the lead, 23-21, on a 25-yard pass from Mike Stock to quarterback Richard Todd, who handed the ball off to his halfback going right and then broke free along the left sideline, the Notre Dame defense totally caught off guard when Stock pulled up and threw back the other way.

Now a dentist in the north Alabama town of Athens, Davis no longer remembers if he missed the kick to the left or the right.

Maybe he's just learned to block it out.

"I felt bad about it at the time," he said Monday morning in a telephone interview from his office during a break between patients. "I still do."

Fortunately for Davis, who followed two older brothers into the Alabama kicking job, he didn't face the sort of Bill Buckner-like scorn that would bedevil others who faltered on the biggest stages. He still says "Roll Tide" at the end of phone conversations, still has mostly fond memories of his football career and playing for the man everyone in Alabama calls "Coach Bryant" to this day, nearly 30 years after his death.

Davis built a successful business, which he shares with his daughter, and welcomed his first grandchild just last Friday.

"It's a girl," he said proudly.

But, come Monday night, he'll be tuned in and pulling extra hard for his beloved Tide. There's still a score to settle.

"If we win," Davis said, "that would put a lot of that other stuff to rest."

For Parseghian, the '73 Sugar Bowl put to rest his reputation for playing it safe, which he had carried ever since his decision to settle for a 10-10 tie in an another epic game, the 1966 contest against Michigan State.

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