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2 on 5
THOMAS LAKE
December 08, 2008
One night in 1992, in a small town in Alabama, the North Jackson Chiefs won a game against seemingly insurmountable odds. Then came the crashes and the gunshots and one man's fateful choice
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December 08, 2008

2 On 5

One night in 1992, in a small town in Alabama, the North Jackson Chiefs won a game against seemingly insurmountable odds. Then came the crashes and the gunshots and one man's fateful choice

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Another whistle, another foul on Chris Shelby (his fourth), another missed free throw by Fort Payne.

Chiefs get the rebound. Chad Cobb, just take it on in. Pull up from three, he is fouled and will go to the line with 54 seconds to go. So now Chad Cobb will have the pressure on his back. And Chad Cobb drops it in.

Chad will finish mechanics' school and become service manager at a motorcycle and ATV shop across the Tennessee line. His marriage will fall apart and his wife will leave for Texas, but he'll go to court and win primary custody of his daughter, Shanele, and his son, Chad Jr. He'll coach Chad Jr. in football and teach him to fix motorcycles and tell him he can be anything he wants, even a doctor.

Chad hits. So it's 67 to 64.

Chad will decide he should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for this game. He'll want to make a movie about it. He'll say it's something not even Michael Jordan ever did. He'll remind his children about it, especially at their sporting events when he thinks they might give up. He will put them in a room with the audio recording of this game and close the door so they can't walk out.

"Oh, Daddy," they'll say. "Again?"

Chad's third free throw is no good. Rebound, Fort Payne... 39 seconds to go. Somebody's gotta foul.... HE WALKED WITH THE BALL! And the Chiefs get it.

A month or two after the game Guess will hand Sanders a cassette tape of his broadcast. Fourteen years later, when he is 66, George Foster Guess Jr. will die of a heart attack. They will lay his bones in the clay on the side of a hill, next to his ancestors, between the river and Russell Cave. On his headstone they'll carve a five-word epitaph: THE VOICE OF THE CHIEFS.

Two years after that Sanders will have the tape transferred to compact disc. He will gather the old Chiefs at Western Sizzlin' and give them copies. Robert will not be there.

Thirty-two seconds left. Still got a chance. Three against five.... Robert Collier in to Chad Cobb, gotta take it down the floor. Chad's gotta do his stuff tonight. Pulls up for three—

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