It's the season of end-of-the-year awards. For journalism, 2013 presents us with a new category: the most banal question of the year.
The standard may have been set Saturday afternoon in Auburn, Alabama. In the most hyped college football game in years, with storied rivals playing for a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game and possibly a national title, Auburn upset the defending national champions, Alabama.
The Tigers' victory occurred in the most improbable and unforgettable football finale. With one second remaining, Alabama attempted a Hail Mary 57-yard field goal, figuring they had little to lose.
The kick fell short and Auburn kick returner Chris Davis caught the ball in the end zone and dashed more than 100 yards up the sideline past the stunned Alabama defenders to score with time expired, winning the game, 34-28.
In the locker room, an inquiring reporter asked Davis what he was thinking as the ball was coming.
Here's a list of his possible responses:
2. Will the Iranians dismantle the heavy-water reactor at Arak?
3. What's the name of that girl I kissed in the 10th grade?
4. I wonder if Lady Gaga is watching this game.
5. Who is going to win the Academy Award for Best Actor: Robert Redford or Chiwetel Ejiofor?
6. Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership create U.S. jobs?
7. Do I need to pull an all-nighter tomorrow to finish that geology paper?
8. Why is Vladimir Putin such a thug with Ukraine?
9. What's Senator Richard Shelby really like?
10. Every time I see that Bama cheerleader, I think: Roll Tide, Roll.
Alas, it was none of the above. The Auburn senior answered: "I knew when I caught the ball I would have room to run."
(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)