Minutes after Alabama won the Iron Bowl in a miraculous play, Joy Shaw of Spanish Fort got a text from her son, CJ Shaw.
It contained a photo of the miracle catch with Alabama's Isaiah Bond grabbing the throw in the back left corner of the end zone for the winning score. CJ asked his mom if she saw anybody she recognized in the photo.
It took her a minute of looking at the faces of the spectators to see it. There was CJ Shaw and his father, Chris Shaw, in the miracle photo. The two Alabama fans had a bird's eye view of the winning play.
The two were at the Iron Bowl at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium quite by accident. They were offered two tickets at the last minute. They accepted. With the outcome of the game and their seats right above the winning play, they are doubly glad they went.
And they were both captured in the miracle photo of the miracle catch. The son, CJ Shaw, is in the grey cap just above the football. The father, Chris Shaw, is in black to his son's left.
CJ Shaw is a student at Coastal Community College's Gulf Shores campus. Chris Shaw is the principal of Orange Beach High School. Go Makos.
What a finish they saw in a game they almost didn't get to. Alabama was behind arch-rival Auburn 24-20 in the waning minute of the fourth quarter. There were only 34 seconds left on the clock. The Alabama offense had muffed a snap and incurred a five-yard penalty. The Tide was facing fourth and goal at the Auburn 31—last chance with no room for error. Las Vegas oddsmakers gave Auburn a 99% chance of winning. Alabama produced the remaining 1%.
The Jalen Milroe pass has been described as a "Hail Mary." That is not accurate. A Hail Mary is a desperation pass thrown high into the end zone in the hope that one of the players will be able to catch it – one of your own players.
This pass was different. Milroe spotted Isaiah Bond in the end zone, heading toward the back left corner. The pass was not thrown up, hoping someone in an Alabama jersey would catch it. It targeted Bond. The pass was on target, and Bond did two things at once. He caught and hung onto the ball, then got his feet down before landing out of bounds. Bond in bounds.
The name is Bond, Isaiah Bond.
Milroe's fourth and goal from the 31 has already gotten a highway named after it in Alabama — Highway 431.
The Milroe Miracle.
The photo of the miracle reception will be a treasure in the Alabama family for years — and in the Shaw family of Baldwin County.
Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].