What’s Your Favorite Sports Moment?

It’s the big day. The day when half the world tunes in for the biggest sporting event of the year.1

So let’s get into it. What’s your favorite sports-watching moment? It can be something you watched live or on TV, pro baseball or college rugby or a 10-year-old’s soccer game—anything goes.

If you’re a total non sports fan who doesn’t get why anyone would ever care about sports, answer instead with your favorite type of cloud. Here are your options.

Tim’s Answer: I’m from Boston and a big Patriots and Red Sox fan (along with a moderate bandwagon Celtics fan and an “I’ll watch if they’re in the Stanley Cup” Bruins fan). Boston sports fans have a weird identity. Their four teams have won eight championships in the last 13 years and appeared in 12 total championship games, averaging just under one every year. That’s outrageous. Each team on average should win about one championship every 30 years, so with four teams, a city should have one win, maybe two, in a 13-year span. Boston fans have had it better than anyone this century.2

But that’s weird because, Celtics aside, Boston had spent the whole 20th century building its identity as lovable losers. The Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1918 and fans suffered endless taunting from Yankee fans, especially during the Yankee dynasty of the late 90s. And the Patriots were the NFL’s biggest joke. My dad taught me the rules of football in 1989, just in time for the Patriots to go 14-50 over the next four seasons. When 2001 rolled around, I was 19 and had never witnessed a team of mine win a championship.

In 2001, coming off a 5-11 season, the Pats started off 0-2, typical, and then lost their star quarterback. Season over. Especially depressing was that the replacement QB was Tom Brady, a guy I saw play at Michigan and get benched mid-game in favor of dick freshman Drew Henson, and a QB I couldn’t believe was even drafted to the NFL.

Everyone was surprised when Brady turned out to be decent. Everyone was even more surprised when the team won 11 of the next 14 games and made the playoffs. I got tickets to the first playoff game, against the much better Oakland Raiders, and went in with low expectations. Then I stood there in zero degree weather under a blizzard for three hours and watched the Patriots lose 13-10 when Brady fumbled away the game late in the fourth quarter. Not fun.

The depressed crowd filed out. Except as we were exiting, we heard the crowd cheer. Huh? Apparently they were reviewing the fumble call. Two minutes later, the refs overturned the fumble in what turned out to be one of the biggest bullshit overturns in league history!

Everyone rushed back to their seats, and a few minutes later, Adam Vinatieri kicked an unheard-of 45-yard field goal through a blowing blizzard to tie the game. This video captures what it was like, including that specific guy’s face, accent, and demeanor, which is what every person in Foxboro is like in general.3

The Patriots went on to win the game, win the next game, and somehow, win the Superbowl—which was my first championship experience. Happiness. And that insane blizzard game, combined with my incredibly low expectations, was probably my favorite sports moment.

Go Pats.

Update: Actually, this.

More WBW thoughts on sports: Why Sports Fans Are Sports Fans

You can sign up for the Dinner Table email list here to be notified about the new topic each week, and remember to submit future topic suggestions to table@waitbutwhy.com.


  1. 112 million people watched last year’s Superbowl. Which is 1.56% of the world. Just short of half. So 3 out of every 200 people. Whatever it’s a big sporting event among football fans in the US.

  2. Spain football fans might be tied.

  3. This video and this video show the whole ending, if you’re interested.

  • My favorite sport is the Academy Awards.

  • Brian

    While it’s not on my options, Lenticular Clouds are totally my favorite, cause they look like UFOs or something. I’ve only ever seen pictures of them, and never one in real life, but I really really want to.

    • Gnip

      There’s a good chance to see it on Mt. Fuji. Plan your Japan trip wisely 🙂

  • František Ficek

    Definitely 1998 Nagano Olympics, ice hockey finals, the Czech republic beating Russia 1:0 and winning gold. First of all beating Russia is always a big thing for us and also winning the ice hockey olympic gold is as high as you can go. I was just a kid back than but I still felt that it was a big moment for our nation in post 1989 history. Plus it was the first olympics during wich NHL was paused so we proved that we’re really the best.

  • Rich

    5-1 even Heskey scored

  • Christian

    Game 4 of the 2004 American League Chamipnship. David Ortiz hits game winning home run to keep the series alive. The six would go on to win the next 3 games (first time in baseball history) and the the next 4 of the World Series. First in my lifetime and first since 1918.

  • Ed

    Alright, my choice is not strictly a sport, but I will explain. Breakdancing, which originated in New York in the early 70s, has, in the past 20 years, spread internationally. There are now a number of well-known international competitions in which the best dancers from places around the world compete.

    I am a fan of the “powermove” style, which is typically what is associated with breakdance. It is defined in general by flashy, acrobatic movements, typically performed in a circular motion. Some dancers specialize in this, and as a result, they are incredibly athletic.

    Honestly I don’t know most normal sports that well, but I am a big fan of breakdance, and this is one of my favorite moments: Pocket (from Korea, on the right side) and Bobby (from Venezuela, left side) compete. The whole thing is just amazing, and Pocket just blows the audience away.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3YSfI5zoKo

    • drew mueller

      Although I generally dislike guys just doing powermoves the whole time because it isn’t really dancing(more gymnastics),when the dude rocked one armed airflares I got pretty excited.

    • marisheba

      Normal schmormal. Who on earth wouldn’t consider this a sport after seeing what these guys can do?!

  • Jake

    My favorite sports moment is a two-way tie:

    For the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, I was in eighth grade. My parents had told me to go to bed and made me turn the game off at halftime. Unbeknownst to them, I turned on the television in my room and had it on mute and stayed up to watch the end of the game. It was the best finish to a game I’ve ever seen. The pick-six by Oklahoma. The flawless hook-and-ladder by Boise State (which was never used at the time but now teams try to emulate it). And the gutsy call to go for 2 in OT with the Statue of Liberty and pull off the incredible upset. Unbelievable.

    The other is a game I actually attended. I’m a Duke student and Duke is known for their basketball program. Their football program had been an embarrassment for the better part of 20 years. But this year we were one win away from becoming bowl-eligible and had a prime-time home game against UNC, our arch-rivals. It seemed like we had fumbled away the game and pulled a classic Duke. But we drove down the field and with eight seconds left, down by 4, on fourth-and-goal, Anthony Boone dropped back and sat in the pocket for what seemed like forever, started to scramble and finally rifled a low throw into the end zone where Jamison Crowder fell to the ground securing the ball and our first bowl game appearance in nearly two decades. We rushed the field. I knew that there was a tradition that the winner of the rivalry got to paint the Victory Bell their team’s colors. I snuck in a can of Duke blue spray paint and was the first one to spray paint the Bell before a few lineman shoved me aside, took the can, and started celebrating.

  • rKater

    I love how altocumulus and cirocumulus clouds look so colorful at dawn.

  • Gokhan Arslan

    June 20, 2008

    Quarter finals in Euro 2008 games: Turkey vs Croatia. Croatia was playing pretty good back then (they even defeated Germany in the groups) so it was obvious that it’s going to be a great game. Also months ago, we bought a ticket for Unirock Festival ’08. I was very excited to see Opeth performing in Istanbul but after it was certain that the game was going to coincide with the Opeth concert, it was for me as I have the option to save only one of my two chidren from a burning building. We chose Opeth concert.

    The concert was great. My friends and I were calling and texting people who are watching the game regularly, asking how the game is. Normal time, 90 minutes, ended 0-0 then we were anxiously waiting for the extra time, another 30 minutes. In 119′ Croatia scored, needless to say that meant the end for us. Then after 3 minutes 120+2′ Turkey scored and the crowd went crazy (some people were pretty confused about why they were jumping like a retard, including me, because there was also a metal band playing their best songs.)

    Next thing was penalty shots. We were getting live updates every 10 seconds and I don’t think I had so many intense feelings in any moment in my life. We defeated Croatia 3-1 and became 3rd in the tournament.

  • Wim K

    My favourite moment is from all the way back in 1995 – the year I was born, in fact. I obviously wasn’t there to see it in person, but I’ve seen it on video a thousand times since then. In fact, I think everyone from my country knows it.

    A bit of background: the year is 1995, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Anyone who knows our history knows that we were only a year into democracy, and most of the country was still very tentative about our transition from Apartheid. Mandela was president, a lot of the white population was nervous about the whole deal, and we were hosting the Rugby World Cup final in Ellis Park Stadium, Joburg, against New Zealand – probably one of the best rugby teams in the world. Also remember that to a lot of South Africans, the Springboks (our team) were a symbol of Apartheid, and there was already a lot of talk about scrapping their uniform and name altogether.

    The moment I’m going to mention didn’t actually happen during the game, so I’ll just give you a TL;DR and say South Africa played fucking incredibly, and won the match. The moment I’m talking about (and if you’ve seen Invictus, you already know it), is the handing over of the cup. Amidst all this talk of scrapping the Springbok brand, Nelson Mandela – our first black president – comes out, carrying the trophy, wearing a Springbok jersey and cap. The iconic image of him, wearing that uniform, handing the trophy to Francois Pienaar, the captain – a white, Afrikaans man – is an image that will forever be revered in South Africa. There was no better way for him to say that it was time to leave the past in the past, and to learn to reconcile and live together. Honestly, I’m fucking choking up just writing this.

    As a South African who was born into democracy, I didn’t have to grow up in Apartheid, but I still felt (and still do feel) the lingering vestiges of that oppression. So whenever I think that a situation is completely irreconcilable, I look up that image of Mandela, wearing that jersey and cap, handing over that trophy, and I realise that there really isn’t anything that people can’t learn to forgive. Honestly it just makes me so proud to be South African, to say that we overcame something so horrible in peace.

  • Fan of LA teams here.

    1) The Lakers coming back from down 15 in Game 7 versus the Blazers, with that signature “Kobe… to SHAQ!!!!” alley-oop to seal the deal. I was 11 years old and already a very temperamental fan who would get visibly upset whenever my team was losing. I remember being ready to cry as the 3rd quarter started. It was one of those “team of destiny” seasons where they were ready to claim their spot as the dominant team in the post-MJ era. We finally got the right coach with Phil, Shaq won the MVP, Kobe in his 3rd year, etc. And it was just so personally devastating to at the brink of unraveling after claiming a 3-1 lead in the series. But they got their sh*t together, Portland couldn’t knock down a shot, and clinched it all later in the Finals. First real miracle moment for me as a sports fan and still the greatest team (2000-2002) I’ve ever rooted for.

    2nd place to the 2005 Orange Bowl when USC destroyed Oklahoma. We were at the top of the NCAAF world then.

    Honorable mention to the 2005 USC vs. Notre Dame game, aka Bush Push game, when Matt Leinart threw a fade to Dwayne Jarrett on 4th and 9. Another “team of destiny” season. Unfortunately that game lost its luster after losing the Rose Bowl to Texas…. which is definitely in my top-3 for worst sports moment, if not #1. (We should have converted that f***ing 4th and 2… and Ryan Ting should’ve caught that INT)

    I think when the Dodgers finally win the World Series (and I will be there with premium seats, no matter what the cost), it will top everything.

    • Joe

      Thoughts on 2016 LA NFL team? Do people in LA care about NFL at all or just college football and the Lakers?

      • most NFL fans I know have adapted another team.

        I’m a big NFL fan even without team and I’ve always said I would claim the next team in LA, but I was hoping it would be an expansion franchise. It will feel a little weird to root for the Rams/Raiders at first.

  • Innocent Bystander

    Very tough topic to find just one. I’m trying to figure out my personal ground rules for each word.

    “Favorite”
    Did I need to be there?
    Does watching live on TV count?
    How about something I only saw replayed much later like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODqjUqW3c0U

    “Sports”
    Just an athletic accomplishment? Or anything the athlete does?
    What about something like Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech?
    Or Allen Iverson’s introduction in his first time back to Philadelphia? I got choked up!

    “Moment”
    This should be an easy definition, but really my favorite moment is when the Yankees were formed or even just the creation of the concept of baseball. #inception

    So with these possibilities I’m going to go with an athletic accomplishment that I was there live for. Still, so many to choose from, but # 1 is probably Oct 4 1995, ALDS Game 2, Seattle at the Yankees. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1995/B10040NYA1995.htm

    This was the Yanks first playoff season since 1981. They were the first AL wild card team ever. This was Game 2 back when the format was 2-3 best of 5. I called Ticketmaster for playoff tickets the day they went on sale with no luck. Randomly I tried back a week later and they said had 4 tickets available. (Someone’s credit card probably got declined.) As you can see from the attached box score, this was a phenomenally entertaining game because each time one team scored, the other came right back. In the 6th Sierra and Mattingly hit back-to-back HRs. I was so happy to see Donnie in the playoffs and performing well after all of those frustrating years. In the 12th both teams put up 1 run. Griffey’s HR in the top of the 12th I thought would end it, but the Yanks came back again. (Griffey saved worse for the Yanks in Game 5.) In the 15th Leyritz hit a walk-off HR to win it. When games like this end, you have 55,000 friends celebrating with you. The screaming, high-fives, and “LET’S GO YANK-KEES” chants continue from your seat, through the concourse, on to the outside, crossing the pedestrian bridge to the parking garage (which by the way would sway so much you would think it was ready to collapse), all the way until you’re in your car. There was nothing like a packed house for a playoff game at the Stadium.

    • Andrew

      Love that video.

  • I’m a Denver Sports fan, so my first real memory of sports triumph was being in the room when the Broncos, and John Elway won their first Super Bowl in 1998. I don’t say that I really watched that one, because I was too young to really care, all that I remember was the room exploding when the game was sealed. My mom and dad danced around, and our freaked and jumped up on everyone.

    After that I became a big hockey fan, the Avalanche were a very good team around that time, and so I became a Hockey player. It seemed like season after season they’d reach the Western Conference finals and lose to the Dallas Stars, which was very depressing to me in my youth. Finally, 2001 came around, the Avs roster was as good as it had ever been. Ray Borque had been traded to the Avs the year before for the explicit purpose of winning the cup. We fell behind in the Stanley Cup finals 3 games to 2, before winning the last two. And my living room exploded again. Dogs and parents danced. It was lovely.

  • Wilhelm

    June 22nd, 1995

    Rugby World Cup Final: South Africa vs New Zealand

    It is perhaps odd that a moment that occurred when I six years old comes to mind, but the rugby world cup of 1995 is a motif that has been repeated over and over again in my upbringing as “New generation South African”. In that strange way that sports and other people’s accomplishments get tied to your own identity, that moment means a great deal to me. Rugby is very intimately tied to many South African’s view of their country, especially the Afrikaners like myself.

    It was the first major sports tournament that South Africa got to host after the boycotts enacted during Apartheid, and the future of the country was a huge question mark hanging over everybody’s head. If you really want to get a sense of it, Invictus is a great movie that captures the mood of the time.

    Against everyone’s expectation, SA made it to the finals against the world champions New Zealand. The final match is legendary, with a last minute, drop goal finish during extra time, winning the match for South Africa. President Mandela showed up to the final wearing a Springbok jersey with the captain’s number on the back, an incredible sign of support from a man many viewed as a terrorist who would chase all the white people from the country. O, and pilot flew a Boeing 747 with “Good Luck Bokke” written on the wings across the stadium before the match.

    I am not naive enough to say that the match made any difference in white/ black relations in the country, then or in the future, but the match was a visceral sign of hope for South Africa, and it remembered that way by many.

    • Wilhelm

      Seems that someone beat me to posting about this moment by 30 minutes 🙂

      • Wim K

        I think every South African on this thread had the exact same moment in mind!

    • nielmalan

      We were out on a hiking trail with some German visitors. We listened to the match on the radio, in Afrikaans. When game was done we went out to some cliffs to watch the sunset. When we got back the Germans said the game had continued. We couldn’t believe it! I’d never heard of extra time in a rugby match before. The Germans couldn’t tell us what had happened and who had won. We only got to watch a taped version of it later. A memorable sports moment, even for a person like me who doesn’t watch rugby!

  • KristyMae802

    Cirrostratus! :p I first saw this (or first noticed it?) around the moon actually out as a kid around 11/12 years old night bike riding with my Dad in Ripon, CA. There were new developments being built where the almond trees had stood when we moved in a mere year or two before.. We stood in the brand new cul-de-sac and paused looking around at the area with foundations poured and not much else going on yet, and then admired the moon with the glowing circle around it and wondered what it was. I remember that moment vividly, the semi-cool air and the still night & the adrenaline of hopping back on and riding so fast… I felt so “alive” and it was a great moment/memory with my Dad! I always love to see that ring around the sun or moon now 🙂 p.s. its a generic picture/example of what we saw

  • nielmalan

    Mexico-South Africa in the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I was in Hatfield, Pretoria. I can’t remember much about the match (South Africa won) but I remember the festive atmosphere. It was practically a public holiday, and there was almost no traffic on the streets. It was difficult to get within viewing distance of any public television screen. In the end I went to my gym, which was almost deserted, and watched the second half of the game from the seat of a stationary bicycle.

    • 10i

      it was a 1-1 draw.

  • Paal

    Easy!
    Norway-Brazil (2-1) in the World Cup in France in 1998!

  • KillVolume

    I’m a massive baseball fan. One of my favorite recent moments that comes to mind is the 2013 National League Wildcard game between the Pirates and the Reds. I wasn’t particularly rooting for either team, (I’m an Athletics fan), but this game was absolutely amazing to watch.

    It was the Pirates first postseason appearance, and first positive record in a season in twenty years. You could feel the drama and the excitement in the home crowd. After a clean first inning, the Reds ace, Johnny Cueto (Kway-tow) takes the mound for the second, and the Pirates’ fans decide it’s time to intervene. They begin chanting “CUET-O”, at first softly, and increasing with intensity after Marlon Byrd hits a quick solo shot to left-center, putting the Pirates up 1-0. The chanting hits its loudest with Russell Martin up to bat, after Cueto misses on a 1-1 count. Preparing for his next pitch, Johnny Cueto literally drops the ball. The crowd cheers, and keeps chanting.

    CUET-OOOOOO
    CUET-OOOOOO

    On the very next pitch, Cueto allows another solo-home run, and only lasts 3 and 1/3 innings total before being yanked, allowing 4 runs total.

    Here’s a video: http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/58922774/v31066941/nl-wc-pirates-fans-cause-cueto-to-drop-the-ball

  • I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of sports. I watch live ice hockey games occasionally, and I’m always invested in the World Cup, but that’s about it. That being said, my favorite moment in sporting events was when Tim Tebow was photographed praying after a touchdown. You don’t have to be religious to see the value in this moment, though if I remember correctly, it was seen as controversial?? I wouldn’t consider myself overtly religious, but it was nice to see a person being grateful and thankful for the life he’s currently living. It was a very touching and soft moment in the midst of one of the most barbaric sports in existence.

    I think it’s important for people in leadership positions to remain grounded like an oak tree. I hope we see more behavior, religious or not, from players like that in the future!

    • Jeff Lewis

      Hmm. I always thought Tebow was a bit obnoxious for that habit. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t other religious people in the NFL. Reggie White was an ordained minister, for crying out loud. But they don’t go around calling attention to themselves by performing very public acts of prayer. Heck, doesn’t the holy book they believe in say something pretty specific about that sort of thing (Matthew 6)?

      • What’s wrong with public acts of prayer? I don’t think there’s anything offensive about expressing yourself spiritually in public. I consider yoga and meditating to be such a practice when I do it, and I’ve done it in public at times (the best is summer days at the park!).

        Also, just because someone is praying doesn’t mean they’re praying to the same god as referenced in Matthew 6. Whatever that rule is shouldn’t be viewed as universal for all those who pray. I guess we can correctly assume this is the case for Tebow? However, I’m speaking in a general sense here.

        • Jeff Lewis

          There’s nothing wrong with public acts of prayer if the person doing so is sincere in their efforts. What bothers me (and what is kind of the message of Matthew 6) are those people who pray in order to call attention to themselves. Tebow could do what so many other Christians in the NFL do – either close his eyes and bow his head or glance up to the skies to say a prayer. Going through such an elaborate public display (when few other Christians do something similar in that situation) makes it seem like it’s less about humbling himself before his god, and more about letting everybody else know what a good Christian Tim Tebow is.

          And to clarify, Tebow is a Bible believing Christian, so Matthew 6 applies to him.

          • Very interesting. I guess we just see a different tone here. When I view the clip, I never even though to question his sincerity. I thought every football player engaged in moderate to elaborate celebration when they scored a touchdown. It’s a passionate albeit barbaric sport! haha I don’t watch enough football obviously. I do remember this being “controversial” and newsworthy, so you definitely have a point.

            • Jeff Lewis

              “It’s a passionate albeit barbaric sport!”

              Says the guy who watches live ice hockey. Like the old joke goes – I once went to watch a fight and a hockey game broke out. (FWIW, I like watching hockey, too. We’ve got a local minor league team that I try to watch at least once a year. It’d be more, but my wife and daughter aren’t big fans.)

            • LOL you’re so right!! I also watch UFC…

              But football is the sport that statistically leads to the most dangerous injuries. The shelf life on professional football players is ridiculously short.

              I like hockey/soccer, because there’s constant movement. Watching football is like driving through heavy stop & go traffic in a big city.

  • Karen Edgerton

    Americans. Buenos Aires, Argentina. June 1999. In a small bar with my two sons watching soccer. Agentina against ‘who cares’. Bar is filled with old men. We are all yelling at the tv and hoisting our Quilmes beer. No one even looked at us

  • Jill Dicen

    I think the cirrus clouds just look cool, especially when there’s a bright moon at night.

  • hal9thou001

    Cirrocumulus. They make for some of the best sunsets, east to west coast.

  • Michael

    My favorite ephemeral wildflower is hepatica, and this time of year I’m too busy searching the ground to notice any clouds. The first blooms of the season are always the white ones, and I can typically find at least one plant in bloom as early as mid-January.

    The other flavors bide their time until March Madness kicks in, and that’s when you find abundant clumps of the pretty purple ones kicking off the excitement, segueing into bloodroot, trillium, yellow violets, and so forth, in a progression of short-lived and tiny color on the forest floor. March Madness is a most awesome time of year. To some, it involves an orange ball and Budweiser commercials, but to those in the know, it’s the narrow window of opportunity the rare few use to get their flower freak on before the leaves unfurl and overshadow everything.

  • Jonathan Wells

    Johnny Weir skating to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Priceless.

    • CT

      Isn’t that the truth. He’s the best.

  • Brad

    I like any cloud that stops that nasty star from shining on me. I realize it’s required for us to live here but it hurts my eyes, burns my skin and makes me hot and uncomfortable.

  • CT

    Favorite sports moment….DeLaSalle High School football….any game! Favorite clouds….one you left off…a lenticular cloud. They’re awesome.

  • James Pressler

    Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run for the win in the 1988 World Series. No bias — I’m a Cubs fan — but to see the man come up to the plate, knees clearly hurting, struggling to even swing but knowing he was the last chance in Game 1, then muscling out a home run with sheer upper body strength then hobbling around the bases was and still is moving.

  • hepcatbflat

    It was a hooking line drive in the middle innings
    of a game at Comiskey by some veteran been-around
    on the Angels that batted right and i’m-telling-you
    that ball just kept coming into the 1st base side lower deck
    seats arcing in this slo-motion split-second kinda way
    to EXACTLY where i was sitting soon standing
    wide-eyed breathless OH BABY i’m yelling ” I GOT IT ” and did.
    man oh man oh man oh man
    The only game ball i ever caught.

  • Orkhan Jafarov

    Sporting events, especially big finals are strange. They are strange because someone’s heartbreaking moment may become one’s favorite sports moment. This is exactly what happened on a rainy night in Moscow in 2008 when Manchester United and Chelsea clashed to determine who is the strongest in Europe. The winner would be decided by a penalty shootout and Man United that I’ve watched for the first time in a big final was one shot away from the defeat. The captain of Chelsea stepped up to seal the victory for his team… and ran… and slipped… and shot… and just missed the goal. The suite is insignificant, because that was my favorite sports moment as I thanked the poor guy for his misery and knew that we would go on and win.

  • Nicole Tsandelis Mason

    My favourite sports moment was when I went to watch a rugby match at Ellis Park (can’t remember why – some work thing of my husband’s) and Nelson Mandela came out onto the field and did a circuit in an open car. It was his 80th birthday. I think the match was against New Zealand. Can’t remember who won.

  • Nicole Tsandelis Mason

    The other big sporting moment for me happened in a shopping centre the day it was announced that South Africa had been chosen to host the Soccer World Cup. A big cheer travelled through the centre, starting from somewhere where someone was watching TV, and moving through the mall like a wave. People were clapping and laughing and crying. My daughter was a baby in a pram and I leant down and said to her, “when it happens you will be in Grade 1.”

  • Anna

    My absolute favourite so far is the Brazil vs. Germany football match (2014 FIFA World Cup) because it doesn’t happen very often in football that you go to the toilet for a few minutes and you miss 3 goals 🙂

    Towards the end I felt so sorry for Brazil, with people in the audience crying, that I found it really hard to watch till the end.

    You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_v_Germany_%282014_FIFA_World_Cup%29

  • André Rodrigues

    Stratocumulus, without a doubt.

  • Schaaschaa

    I’ll tune down a few tiers.

    I’m from Jena in Germany and the football (as in soccer) club in that city, FC Carl Zeiss Jena, was one of the best clubs nationwide – in the time of the GDR. Unfortunately (?), I’m a bit too young to have experienced that time, so when I became kind of a fan, the team was buried in the depths of the fourth tier. It took four years to return to third tier, and when we did so with a bang in 2005 (by 108 goals in 30 matches), I really got hooked, even though I moved away later that year. Being modest, our hopes were focused on not immediately being relegated. To our own surprise, the team did really well – by Christmas, at half of the matches played, we were in position 7, which was about 10 positions higher than we had dared to hope. By march, we were in the top 5 and tentatively enthusiastic. Some tender hopes for promotion (the top two were going to be promoted) were voiced, but quite easily trampled by the remaining programme: we still had to play all of the other top 6 teams, while some of those still had some of the candidates for relegation, so I, at least, thought “Well, it’s a nice spot to be in now, but we’ll probably return to the middle of the table by the end of the season; and that’s okay, as we just got promoted.” The obviously decisive game would be at home against Rot-Weiß Essen, who lead the table and were the first of the top six remaining to play.

    The 1-0 after about half an hour instigated some hopes, which were boosted by the second goal before half-time. The third shortly thereafter completed the thrashing of the favorite, and remains my favorite sports moment till now, showing me, that maybe, just maybe, we really could have a chance.

    We did get promoted in the end, though with a bit of luck. We lasted two years in the second tier, reaching the semifinal of the national cup competition in the second. Being relegated in 2008, the team declined again. Today, they’re back in tier four.

    I’ve moved quite far away and am not really involved any more. (Actuallly, I’m living quite near to Essen now)

  • DrSuess

    Wayne Gretzky scoring his 50th goal in 39 games in the 1981-82 season

    If you don’t know hockey, this is an unbelievable accomplishment. As the game has evolved and defense has gotten better, of all of 99’s records, this will likely be the one that remains unbroken. The NHL season is 85 games, and current top scorers are only scoring goals in the upper 20s – lower 30s range for the whole year. He did nearly double that in half the season.

    Gretzky did this in only his 3rd season in the league.

    The best part is, that Gretzky, for his entire career, never fell into arrogance, and remained a very decent person. It’s always easier to root for a guy who isn’t a jerk. As part of a young team that went on to create a 5 championship dynasty, this was a high point.

    I was a kid of 11 yrs when it happened. I remember almost jumping out of my skin when he did it. Fantastic memory.

    (a quick video recounting that season)
    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=12887

  • Afford Anything

    “Anvil top” might be my favorite type of cloud, through cumulus is a close second.

  • Adam

    Last Night! I grew up in CT as a big Pats, Sox, and Celtics fan (my Whalers left when I was a kid. Heartbreaking) but now I live in Baltimore. Over the last few years, there has been no love lost between Baltimore and Boston sports fans. I take it all in stride but the tension has boiled over the last two weeks with that fake outrage over some air in a football. A Patriots fan club has also surfaced this season in Baltimore and it grew from 15 people to having over 150 people at one bar last night. Being able to celebrate amongst other Pats fans after that interception (I cried a little, and I’m a grown man) and then take our gear and flags around to bars in Baltimore that we knew were having anti-Patriots promotions was so amazing and special. You never forget the first SB win, but that was just something else entirely. THAT is why I love sports. Go Pats!

  • Guava Queen

    May 13th, 2012. Manchester City is down 1-2 against QPR. To win the Premier League over Manchester United on goal difference they need to win this game. The first league title for 44 years is so near, yet oh so far. The full 90 minutes have been played and the frustration is unbelievable. Into the five minutes of extra time.
    On the 92nd minute Silva has a corner kick, which Dzeko heads in. 2-2!! There’s a spark of hope, and we can hardly contain ourselves as we shout at the screen for the game to continue. The players don’t even celebrate the goal, they just get the ball and run into the centre of the field to get going again. Come on, come on, come on, we’re running out of time! I can hardly watch.
    City quickly regains possession. United fans think they’ve won it, but some are still on the phone waiting to make it official.
    It’s the 94th minute. Balotelli passes the ball over to Aguero as he falls down. He swiftly skips over a defender’s foot and AGUEROOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
    Everything just explodes.

    Premier League Champions 2011-2012. My dad almost broke his ankle as we celebrated.

    Best. Day. Of. My. Life.

  • wobster109

    Cumulonimbus. Those suckers are scary! They are like the godzilla of clouds.

  • Joanna Rene Rasmussen

    As a skydiver, I’ve enjoyed free falling through statocumulus clouds. That moment when the air changes and you lose visibility for a brief second and you’re just in it, feeling the cloud. No sports moment I’ve ever witnessed could beat that.

    Oh, unless you count the Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space. I know his record was broken by Alan Eustace back in October, but I wasn’t nearly as excited about it. That breathtaking moment when Baumgartner was spinning until he was nearly unconsciousness, and then pulling it all together… I say, gawd DAMN! That was wild! It may not take as much athleticism as some team sports require… or, maybe it does. Regardless, it still takes years of training.

    Anyway, stratocumulus is my answer.

    • Joanna Rene Rasmussen

      Oh, wait! I just thought of an actual sports moment: 2002 World Series game 5 when J.T. Snow simultaneously made a scoring run to home plate AND saved Dusty Baker’s son from being trampled by David Bell, who also scored a winning run. I watched that happen in real time. That was back when I gave a shit about baseball. I thought that team of misfits, including Dusty Baker, was pretty fuckin’ cool, back before full beards were such a thing.

  • PeteM

    As a kid who grew up in the Chicago area, I could easily say watching the 90’s Bulls dynasty and Michael Jordan dominate the NBA or my beloved White Sox winning the World Series in 2005, but I think my favorite memory might be Mark Buerhrle’s perfect game in 2009. I apologize for the length of this but I couldn’t contain myself.

    For those of you who do not watch baseball, a perfect game is when a pitcher pitches the entire game and does not allow a hit or a walk and no one reaches base. It’s very rare to see and has only happened 23 times in over 100 years of professional Major League Baseball.

    So I get off work one day from my college job and head to my girlfriend’s apartment. On the way, one of my cousins texts me and asks me if I’m watching the white sox game but says nothing else. I remember that Sox have a day game today and decide to check the game at her apartment. When we arrive at her apartment and turn on the game, it’s the end of the 5th inning. The sox are up 5-0 and it looks like they had. As they cut to commercial, I noticed that the box score for the opposing team was all zeroes. I remember thinking, “Wow, he hasn’t given them a hit yet.” Sure enough, the 6th inning goes by… no hits, no walks. I started getting nervous. I had almost seen the white sox throw a perfect game several years ago when it got ruined late in the game by a home run so I was trying to contain my excitement and failing miserably at it. To underscore how seldom this occurs, no
    White Sox player had thrown a perfect game since Calvin Coolidge’s bald head graced the oval office. 7th inning comes and goes, three batters up and three batters down. I am sweating bullets by now. In the 8th inning, the crowd is starting to stir with new vigor and every out is met by raucous applause and cheering. I can no longer sit down and I am pacing the living room back and forth. The 9th inning arrives, the crowd is on their feet and screaming at every strike. The atmosphere is as tense as a ticking time bomb. Somewhere in the distance, I’m sure someone has just suffered a heart attack on their couch and is waiting for the paramedics to revive them. The announcer even acknowledges what is going on: Mark Buerhle, one of the most beloved pitchers in all white sox history, needs only to get three more outs to make history. The first batter comes to the plate and the pitch from Buehrle arrives. There’s a hit and the ball sails deep into the outfield. The crowd is stunned and watches silently at what is undoubtedly home run that will ruin a historical game. I am crushed. We were so close and I can feel the spirits in the ball park beginning to die. Good effort guys, no point in watching the rest of the game. Drive home safe. But wait, what’s this? Out of nowhere charges our backup center fielder who hasn’t played at all today and has been in the game for only a few minutes. He meets the wall, looks up and, jumps and pulls back a home run ball. The crowd erupts in crazed cacophony of joy. The perfect game has been saved by an incredible play. I am jumping up and down like a child yelling at the top of my lungs. (See the play here, http://m.mlb.com/video/v5699065/tbcws-wises-homerrobbing-grab-preserves-perfecto/?query=dewayne+wise) There’s no way we can mess this up now, right? right…? Two more outs are needed. The next batter comes up and strikes out. One batter is left, the crowd can hardly keep their feet on the ground and I can’t stand still at all. After a ground out to the short stop, the game over and Mark Buerhle has thrown a perfect game. The crowd is in uncontrollable hysterics and sounds like 25,000 drunken banshees. By now, the national guard has likely been dispatched to contain the frenzied mob that is coalescing at 35th and Shields in Chicago. I finally fall back on to the couch so I can crash from my 20 minute adrenaline rush. I have probably removed 2 years from my lifespan but I watched my favorite pitcher throw a historical game. Totally worth it! In the corner of the room my girlfriend (now my wife) smiles as she rolls her eyes in silence.

    Sorry if this was long and if you have read it, I appreciate you hearing me gush.

    • hepcatbflat

      it could have been LONGER for any sox fan, ha.

  • Ekin K.

    Turkey’s epic comeback in Euro 2008 against Czech Republic.

  • Michael

    Been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember (about 43 years, as I remember some odd details of the 1972 season). One of the things I love about the game is the idea that any game you go to, you could see something you have never seen before. I had always hoped to see a no-hitter in person and had come close a couple times. In October 2010, through some connections, I managed to score pretty great seats for Game 1 of the Reds-Phillies Wild Card match up in Citizens Bank Park (in Philadelphia) and was treated to the awe-inspriring sight of Roy Halladay pitching the second ever post season no-hitter in baseball history in his very first playoff appearance ever. When the final (heart in mouth) out was recorded, the ballpark shook like no other place I had ever been before (and I was in the 1989 San Francisco earthquake). It was the most unbelievable sporting event that I ever witnessed. The best part? My companion to the game was my 11 year old son. Tickets, food, parking to the game- a lot of money. The look on his face when it was over – priceless.

  • Jeff Lewis

    Maybe two experiences tied for best:

    1. Back in the early 2000s, a goup of my friends and I went on a trip to Europe right after graduating from college. In Madrid, we went to see a Rayo Vallecano game. I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I recognized their goalie, Kasey Keller, since he played for the U.S. team. And he was just phenomenal that night, making all types of crazy saves to keep Rayo Vallecano in the game. In the end, they pulled out the win, and the entire stadium rushed the field. Only two of the five of us could speak Spanish, but it didn’t matter because everybody was just celebrating.

    2. High school football’s a pretty big thing down here in Texas, and the town I live in (Wichita Falls) has two high schools that are involved in a pretty intense rivalry (there’s another public high school, but they’re not part of it). Every year, the Rider – Old High game is a big event. The entire week leading up to the game has everyone talking, not to mention all the activities at the schools. I didn’t grow up here, but my daughter goes to Old High, so I’ve got to root for them. The night of the game, the city stadium fills up to overflow capacity – around 15,000 people. Keep in mind that the city’s only around 100,000 people – 15% of the city population goes to watch this game. For the past several years, Rider’s been pretty dominant, but this year, the first year my daughter decided to go to the game, Old High won. It was a close game, and Rider even had the lead for a bit, but Old High pulled out the win. To see so many local people so excited about their local community and the kids in it was great (of course, it would be great to see the same excitement for other things besides sports, like theater or academics, but you take what you can get).

    I can also point out my worst experience. I was born into a family of Steelers fans, so of course I was a Steelers fan, too. But I was born just barely too late to see them in their Steel Curtain heyday. So I grew up hearing about how great the Steelers had been, and how they had the record for most Superbowl wins, but I’d never seen them win a Superbowl myself. Well, in 1996, they finally made it to the game. Even when they were down 20-7 in the 3rd quarter, I didn’t give up hope. And when they’d cut the lead to 20-17 in the fourth quarter, and got the ball back, it seemed like they really had a shot. Then !#$%#@!^ Neal O’Donnell threw an interception, and with the good field position from the run back, the Cowboys were able to turn it into a touchdown, and the Steelers never recovered. I’m only just now getting over my bitter hatred for the Cowboys (probably in no small part due to being in Texas now and having friends and in-laws that are Cowboys fans).

  • Drudge

    Italia vs. France:
    Final Match of the World Cup 2006
    1) Because Italy, that’s why (Oh and I’m Italiano!)
    2) Some of Italy’s and the game’s greatest players were apart of the final match and world cup
    3) It was a special moment for my family and the celebration was one to remember all over Italy and in the US

  • Chantal

    Altocumulus Lenticularis

  • marisheba

    MaKayla Maroney’s perfect vault during the London olympic women’s gymnastics team competition. (No, she didn’t technically receive a perfect score, but it was completely perfect).

    I did gymnastics as a kid pretty seriously, but I only really watch it during the olympics these days. Normally I don’t really care much about the vault–it’s not a big crowd pleaser, ya know?

    But you don’t see true perfection in a sport you love very often in your life, and she executed that mind-blowingly difficult vault flawlessly. It was breathtaking.

    http://youtu.be/ScPJhhObthY?t=11s

    • marisheba

      I will also add that I had to wrack my brain to come up with a transcendent sports-watching moment. Watching sports, even the most amazing moments, pales in comparison to the thrill of participating in sports even at a low level; especially anything that involves being outdoors or flipping through the air 🙂

      • Veronica

        Agreed! I barely even like to watch sports that I love playing. It’s just exponentially more boring.

  • MXC

    I absolutely love the time an Australian won the gold medal in the 2002 WINTER Olympics for speed skating. Yes, you read that properly.

    http://youtu.be/fAADWfJO2qM
    (embedding is disabled but it is WELL WORTH the click, I assure you.)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Steven Bradbury.

    Just … incredible. His face! “Where did everyone … ? Did I just … ? WHAT?”

  • bunnyparsnips

    What Tim said. Although, I’ll give the 2004 Red Sox the slight edge over this Superbowl.

  • roots27

    1980 Men’s US Olympic Hockey team Miracle on Ice. Not only for how these kids (and Herb Brooks) finally conquered big bad Soviet hockey but for the feelings it sowed throughout the country. remember how we all felt in the days/weeks after 9/11? we all felt the exact opposite of that.

  • hepcatbflat

    After watching a Ernie Banks home-run at Wrigley on WGN-TV
    circa 1966 my Dad says ” 20,000 people will stand-up
    and cheer him, but nobody wants to live next door
    to him ”
    Not my favorite sports story,
    Maybe not even a sports story at all.

  • Wakefiled

    Game 5 – 2001 World Series – Bronx New York. The Yankees are down 2 nothing in the game against the Diamondbacks and take the field for the 9th inning. Thinking its the last time Paul O’Neil will be patrolling in right in pinstripes the Yankees faithful being to serenade him for the ENTIRE 9th inning.

    Paul-O-Neil!

    clap-clap

    clap-clap-clap

    You can see emotion in O’Neil’s face as he’s trying to focus on the game. The chant is relentless and just won’t stop as the game continues.

    The inning ends, the Yanks score 2 in the bottom of the 9th and win it in 12.

    To this day when I hear the chant I still get chills.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoY3svcKSbc

  • mihai

    7th of may 1986. Steaua bucharest winning champions league after beating Barcelona. Really a miracole. I was 6 year old. That game made me a fan for life

  • Veronica

    I’m not a huge sports fan, but all Wisconsinites are born with Packer pride ingrained in their DNA. My favorite Packer player of all time is Donald Driver, because he was such an incredible wide receiver and because he always seemed equally awesome off the field. Five years ago, my best friend and I drove to Appleton, Wisconsin to watch Donald Driver’s annual charity softball game, where the Packer’s offense plays the defense. The game was so much fun to watch, since all the players were just goofing around and having fun. Aaron Rodgers did demonstrate that he was a multi-sport athlete though, and hit a grand slam to win the game for the offense. I managed to get a picture of him hitting it, too (see below).

  • DeeDee Massey

    [An interesting note is that the Patriots’ safety, Nate Ebner, has an awesome rugby career behind him and would have gone on to play more rugby, had he not been signed on for football. ]

    A memorable time for me as a spectator was the fantastic weekend I had in Chicago last November for the USA vs. New Zealand match. The last time these two teams met up was decades ago, and decades before that, so it was a rare and eagerly anticipated event for our nation’s rugby lovers.

    Watching the All Blacks perform the haka live was cool, but seeing Jamie Burke of the US women’s team honored at half-time for her 50+ caps was even more inspiring. She’s amazing.

    I had expected to see some non-Americans there in support of NZ, but I was very disappointed that so many Americans favored them over the US team as well. I found that embarrassing, rather shameful, especially when some of my fellow citizens were wearing or waving the other country’s flag or colors. Now that just downright disgusted me.

    Clearly, NZ is the premier rugby team and the US team has a long way to go to catch up to them. Knowing the chances of even scoring, much less winning, were slim, I still loyally cheered for the US. Playing a strong competitor is the best way to improve skills, so the inevitable defeat was well worth the chance to play and learn from such a good opponent. I admire NZ a lot – they’re impressive athletes – but I’d really love to see the Eagles bump the All Blacks down a notch or two. Or ten.

    Maybe I’ll still be around to see them next time, and hopefully by then we’ll improve enough to at least score some tries.

    Here’s a clip to one of the goal line spankings we got that day.

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=578159218997615&l=457626179904162001

    Following that are some a clips of my favorite moments as a participant, my first experiences in a new-found passion, Scottish Highland Games. I’m not a remarkable athlete, but I’d much rather play when I can than spectate. Having these videos helps me know my baseline from which I hope to improve and experience more favorite sports moments.

  • DeeDee Massey

    [An interesting note, Tim, is that the Patriots’ safety, Nate Ebner, has an awesome rugby career behind him and would have gone on to play more rugby, had he not been signed on for football. ]

    A memorable time for me as a spectator was the fantastic weekend I had in Chicago last November for the USA vs. New Zealand match. The last time these two teams met up was decades ago, and decades before that, so it was a rare and eagerly anticipated event for our nation’s rugby fans.

    Watching the All Blacks perform the haka live was cool, but seeing Jamie Burke of the US women’s team honored at half-time for her 50+ caps was even more inspiring. She’s absolutely amazing.

    I had expected to see some non-Americans there in support of NZ, but I was very disappointed that so many Americans favored them over the US team as well. I found that embarrassing, rather shameful, especially when some of my fellow citizens were wearing or waving the other country’s flag or colors. Now that just downright disgusted me.

    Clearly, NZ is the premier rugby team and the US team has a long way to go to catch up to them. Knowing the chances of even scoring, much less winning, were slim, I still loyally cheered for the US. Playing a strong competitor is the best way to improve skills, so the inevitable defeat was well worth the chance to play and learn from such a good opponent. I admire NZ a lot – they’re impressive athletes – but I’d really love to see the Eagles bump the All Blacks down a notch or two. Or ten.

    Maybe I’ll still be around in a few decades to see them next time, and hopefully by then we’ll improve enough to at least score some tries.

    Here’s a clip of one of the goal line spankings we got that day. For some reason, the link embedding doesn’t work well on Disqus, which is why I’m posting it also on Facebook.

    http://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=578159218997615&l=457626179904162001

    Following that are some a clips of my favorite moments as a participant, my first experiences in a new-found passion, Scottish Highland Games. I was in excruciating pain during some of these events because I had bruised my tailbone in the events of the earlier weekend. I’m not a remarkable athlete (OK I suck), but when I’m not maimed I’d much rather play than spectate. Having these videos helps me know my baseline from which I hope to progress forward toward some even more outstanding sports moments.

  • eyesonhorizon

    It’s definitely in 2012, one of the most dramatic games I ever see: Manchester City ended the 44 years wait and won the Premier League title by last minutes goals.

    It’s the final day of the season, and the math is clear: a victory for Manchester City over Queens Park Rangers is enough to win them their first league title since 1968. Anything else, and Manchester United can claim another championship. All City fans held their hopes high that day, QPR is one of the worst teams in the league and everyone is expected a win. But the opposition team played great defense all afternoon and somehow led 2-1 after 90 minutes.

    When the game entered injury time, everything seemed lost for City. The trophy was hovering over another stadium for delivery to Manchester United once again. Gone all the hopes. Gone all the dreams to step away from the shadow, laughing and mockery of their bitter rival. And the image of another year of waiting ready to torment them once more. I was 8000 miles away and watching the game on a TV screen in a bar, yet I can feel the emotion of all those people in the stands with chest pains and short of breath. All those asking themselves how they would cope with another United title win.

    And then came the moment of unparalleled drama and ecstasy. Within the last minutes, an equalizer from Edin Dzeko and a winning goal from Sergio Aguero sent the crowd into raptures. Everyone is screaming, crying, and jumping in jubilation. All that happiness breaking the dam of 44 years.

    It was so beautiful. Some calling this the greatest Premier League season and it’s certainly one of the greatest climax in football/soccer history. I’m not really into sport before, but after I witnessed this game I can see why many people loves sport. The simple joy it brought, the shock of the new, this kind of kick and experience…it’s just beautiful.

    I watched the game again and again on YouTube, even until today. And this is one of the videos that I liked, it’s pretty much captured the emotion:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKF-thvlT6A

  • Allen M

    By far the best sports moment I have ever had was rushing the field after the 2013 iron bowl. The game was incredible and the final moments topped any other moment in college sports history. It was one of the most euphoric feelings in my life. Nothing is better than beating Alabama, and in that fashion was just incredible.

  • WorldofMouth

    Years ago, in the UK, when my father was in his late 40s, he was asked to come out of football (soccer) retirement and help his works team play in a cup match as they were a man short. He didn’t know how long he would be able to play for, but said he would do his best. He was positioned at centre forward, and I watched from the touchline with ever increasing amazement as he scored 6 goals in the first half… his team were 8-0 up by this stage. He then decided he had done enough for the day (in actual fact his legs were really sore by now) and we drove home in silence, just relishing a wonderful sporting day. What made this even more poignant for us both, is that when he was a young man of 20, he had been given a trial for a professional football team, but his father thought it was too risky and persuaded him instead to join the army and study for an engineering apprenticeship. Today, my father is now 81, we talk about this experience and wonder “what if?”.

  • Sam Kozman

    So this is a little late…but i love the 4×100 Freestyle relay from the Beijing olympics.

    So I’m an american, surprise surprise, But in this instance, the French team was supposed to win. They weren’t just supposed to win, they were supposed to set the world record. One of the guys on the team was so confident they were going to win, they decided they were going to talk about how they weren’t just going to beat the americans, they said “We are going to smash them.” They were supposed to. They a couple world record holders at the time, and we had Michael Phelps, leading off on the first stretch hoping to get more gold medals than any swimmer before him.

    i cannot do this any justice… I was just hoping the rest of the people on this site enjoy an underdog as much as I do…

    Here is the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxy920Nd7yY

    If this is the first time you are watching this, have fun

  • the bang!

    This is from the bundesliga(soccer). A match had been played with wolfsburg vs leverkusen. Wolfsburg were winning 3-0 at half time. After 90 minutes, Leverkusen brought it back to 4-4 by the skin of their teeth! There were 3 mins of stoppage time. at 2 minutes and 58 seconds into added time, a great cross flew in from Vierinha and Bas Dost completed the move.Guess what was the result?A goal, 4 goals for Dost, a 5-4 win for Wolfsburg and a crazy commentator.

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