It happened last year when Alabama made it to Pasadena to play for a crystal football, so it's no surprise that it's happened again now that Auburn has advanced to Glendale to do the same: a scheduled trial in the most college football-mad state in he union has been delayed by a federal judge so that one of the lawyers involved can attend the BCS National Championship Game. As the Birmingham News reports:
Michael Mulvaney, one of the attorneys representing the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. in a civil case in federal court in Mobile, filed a motion Wednesday requesting that a trial scheduled for January begin on Jan. 17 or be continued to February in light of the championship game.There are many remarkable details included in the story. A few of them:
"As a life-long Auburn fan, I am asking the Court for grace and mercy to allow me to take my family (wife and 3 daughters) to the game, which is set for January 10, 2011 ... " Mulvaney writes in his motion ... "Since the last National Championship Game for Auburn was 1957 (and I was born in 1965) it is fair to say that this is a once in a life-time opportunity," Mulvaney wrote. "Without Cam Newton (or Nick Saban as our coach) it is hard to imagine this ever happening again."
1. Mulvaney included several photos of his daughters wearing Auburn clothing as part of his argument. The ruling judge cited "Exhibit A," a portrait of his youngest in an Auburn cheerleading outfit, as reason to delay the trial.
2. As an Auburn fan herself, the judge claimed a "unique understanding" of Mulvaney's complaint.
3. The mention of Nick Saban as a coach more likely to take his team to the national title game was included, Mulvaney said, "in case the judge was an Alabama fan."
4. The other lawyers involved in the case -- one of which was an Alabama fan who acknowledged that a similar request was granted last year -- seemed universally in agreement that the trial should be delayed.
It seems reductive and stereotypical to say "only in Alabama" ... but until the legal system starts taking its cues from the college football schedule somewhere else in the country, it's also probably only fair.