The Duel in the Desert is arguably the biggest event in the state of Arizona every year. On Friday night in Tucson, that was still the case despite the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils having a combined record of 7-15 heading into the game.
This brings out some of the schools’ biggest and most well-known alums, and you can usually see them gracing both sidelines with their presence.
But the Arizona sideline had an interesting tie-in, as former linebacker Jake Fischer was there with his girlfriend, Tommy Lynn Calhoun.
Why should you know Calhoun? Well, she is Miss Arizona.
#ArizonaWildcats '13 LB #JakeFischer & girlfriend Miss #Arizona USA #TommyLynnCalhoun 90th #TerritorialCup game pic.twitter.com/8IIcHSWU6I— David Kelly (@DavidKellyTNN) November 26, 2016
Brandon Dawkins is a redshirt sophomore who ended up starting nine of Arizona’s 12 games at quarterback this year after getting very limited playing time last year.
But Dawkins and Calhoun’s paths crossed in a way that no one will ever forget during the ASU game.
With Arizona driving about halfway through the second quarter, Dawkins left the pocket after a fake end around, looking for the pylon.
Instead, he was ridden out of bounds by two ASU defenders short of the endzone, but then he found Miss Arizona in his path.
Down goes Miss Arizona: pic.twitter.com/MuWRlHorzj— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 26, 2016
“He laid there for a second,” Sani Fuimaono chimed in after the game.
“It was a late hit and I was trying not to hit anybody and I just so happened to run into her,” Dawkins explained. “I’m gonna leave it there. It was an accident.”
“I was looking at the replay,” Rich Rodriguez added. “He was kind I think. Didn’t he help her up? At least I hope he did. You gotta be a gentleman at all times, even if you’re in a gladiator outfit I guess. Yeah, she made a nice tackle.”
PUT ME ON THE FIELD COACH!#JustGotTackledOnNationalTelevision#LostMyShoes#MadeTheTackle#BEARDOWN— Miss Arizona USA (@missAZusa) November 26, 2016
When the ESPN sideline reporter found Calhoun after the incident, Dawkins made sure that he apologized on national television in what is possibly one of the greatest moments in college football broadcast history.
When you laugh until your belly hurts— Miss Arizona USA (@missAZusa) November 26, 2016
.#MissAZUSA #MissArizonaUSA pic.twitter.com/8FhUr7txiK
Can we talk about the time @ArizonaFball's @TheRealBDawks took out @missAZusa on the sideline?!#Pac12FB pic.twitter.com/uSxpMvMaC7— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 26, 2016
After the game, Miss Arizona was hovering around the entrance to the Arizona locker room, waiting for Dawkins to make his way over there. Arizona’s quarterback was taking the time to sign autographs and high-five every fan that was along the field, so it took about ten minutes.
But then this happened:
They made amends pic.twitter.com/gH76JwEzf1— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) November 26, 2016
“It felt good,” Dawkins explained about putting the tiara on. “I didn’t get to touch the cup yet, so that was my first little taste of the victory. She came over and made fun of it and she was a good sport about it. A lot of people wouldn’t have been as cool about it as she was so I commend her for that.”
Dawkins did finally get to touch the cup, and tweeted this out:
@missAZusa dinner on me. I owe you. pic.twitter.com/BWgSLyAQNG— Brandon Dawkins (@TheRealBDawks) November 26, 2016
“Yeah, I owe her one,” Dawkins said of the dinner invite. “I told her if she needs anything let me know. I’ll take her out to dinner anytime she needs it.”
After all of this, it appears Miss Arizona just wants to do a redemption video, where hopefully she gets her shot at taking down Arizona’s quarterback.
So @TheRealBDawks do we get to do a web redemption video or what? #Tosh #MissAZUSA pic.twitter.com/vEchILYVdN— Miss Arizona USA (@missAZusa) November 26, 2016
This was all just so good and another layer to one of the most interesting nights that has happened at Arizona Stadium in recent memory.
Currently training for the 2017 draft as a free agent.— Miss Arizona USA (@missAZusa) November 26, 2016
Focusing on my footwork, so I don't get tackled out of my shoes in the pros pic.twitter.com/XPvjrnJpAN