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 email@example.com.
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.↩
Spain football fans might be tied.↩
This video and this video show the whole ending, if you’re interested.↩