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College GameDay nominated for national honor, courtesy of Alabama PK Adam Griffith

Tears only come from a powerful story.

Prior to Alabama facing Wisconsin and earning a national championship, ESPN’s College GameDay took it upon itself to shine the light on someone special. Despite its love for analytics, commentary and highlights of the gridiron game on Saturdays in the fall, ESPN does have a soft side.

Stories are forever told on marquee names who are thought of as preconceived legends, but rarely is a fresh face put on television. Everything changed with Alabama kicker Adam Griffith.

The self-proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports” was nominated for an Emmy Award, per The National Academy of Television Arts and Science on Thursday. ESPN earned its recognition in the category of “Outstanding Short Feature,” granting it 40 nominations (most for any network).

College GameDay aired the documentary entitled Adam Griffith: Family Ties on Sept. 5, 2015, the day of Alabama’s season opener against Wisconsin. The first minutes of the feature proved difficult for Crimson Tide fans to watch, as the dreaded “Kick Six” from the 2013 Iron Bowl played.

Griffith’s first taste of Alabama football was bitter, yet he learned to cope with it in the same manner as his childhood.

A rising senior, Griffith’s roots began in Stargaro Szczecinski, Poland with an alcoholic mother and a father who endured numerous mishaps with the law.

A seven-minute film that started in poverty, hurt, pain and anguish would later see acceptance as Griffith, also known as Andrzeda Debowskiego, was adopted at age 12 by a family in Calhoun, Ga.

The Griffiths’, Tom and Michelle, saw something special about Poland’s native son, regardless of a trouble and complicated childhood. Griffith turned his sorrow into success on the football field, kicking a game-winning field goal for Calhoun High School against Buford in the 2011 Georgia AA State Championship Game. He nailed a 46-yard try in the same contest, prior to the winner.

Griffith experienced good and bad moments during his redshirt sophomore year in 2014, but last season Alabama fans saw him rise and contribute to a national championship unit. He nailed a 55-yard field goal against LSU and tied a school record with five made tries against Auburn.

The 5-foot-10, 193-pound kicker had his finest moment in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

He connected on a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, tying Alabama with Clemson at 24. Griffith’s ensuing kickoff was nothing short of remarkable.

Alabama's onside kick against Clemson.

He targets the right side of Clemson’s defense, allowing cornerback Marlon Humphrey to recover the onside attempt.

The Crimson Tide would regain the lead on Jacob Coker’s touchdown pass to O.J. Howard and win the game, 45-40.

Griffith ended the 2015 season with 23 made kicks out of 32 attempts (71.9 percent).

He finished second on the team in scoring (131 points) and was named second-team All-SEC by the conference coaches.

Nominees for the 37th Annual Sports Emmy Awards will honored during a ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on May 10, 2016.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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