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Your best days of your life as a sports fan


johnnysama
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A while back, I made a similar thread talking about the worst days of your life as a sports fan. Now, this thread focuses on the other side of the coin: The best moments of your life as a sports fan; you know, the ones you cherish for the rest of your life. :)

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Super Bowl XLVIII. I don't think I need to go any further.... (and apologies to any Broncos fans out there)

The Los Angeles Kings 2012 and 2014 SC victories. The former was all the more amazing as that Kings team was the first #8 seed in any sport to win a championship. It made believe that dreams can (and do) come true.

(This space reserved for whenever the Seattle Mariners win the World Series, or the Vancouver Canucks win the Stanley Cup- yes, I'm a Kings and Canucks fan, VERY long story there.)

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  • Super Bowl XLII :D
  • Cubs @ Reds; August 27th, 2010 (my first Reds game, and also watching my grandfather get inducted into the Reds HOF)
  • Ohio State winning the National Championship in 2015 (many of my family members are graduates)
  • Texans @ Dolphins; October 25th, 2015 (my first Dolphins game)
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MLB - Sunday, October 11, 1992.  ALCS game 4.

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NHL - Saturday, May 1, 1993.  Norris Division Semifinals game 7.

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NFL - Saturday, January 19, 2002.  AFC Divisional Playoffs.

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2002, 2010, & 2014 Olympic Men's Hockey Gold medal games.

1996 Olympics Men's 100m & 4x100m finals.

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As tempting as it is to say "Game 6 of the 1995 World Series", I was only 11 at the time.  The Braves' run was about the get in full-throttle and I didn't really appreciate this as much as I should have.  I remember the game, but don't remember having as much fun as my other entrants.  So I went with the games or dates where I remember going absolutely nuts in jubilation or just really, really enjoyed something more than usual.....

 

Georgia at Tennessee in 2001, the "Hobnail Boot" game: The previous year, UGA had finally beaten Tennessee for the first time in a decade, but now went to Knoxville, a place they hadn't won in like 20 years.  Freshman QB leads the team down the field, throws the 5-yard pass to Verron Haynes for a touchdown in the last minute to win the game.

 

Georgia at Auburn; Georgia vs. Arkansas in SEC Championship, 2002: Georgia had never been close to winning the SEC East since the conference split into divisions, nor had they won the conference in 20 years.  UGA has a second half comeback that culminates with David Greene throwing a TD pass on 4th down to Michael Johnson to beat Auburn, then two weeks later, I got to be in attendance to see Georgia beat that Hog Ass to win the SEC, 30-3.  The game between these two, home vs Georgia Tech, was a hefty 51-7 beatdown of the Trade School.

 

Eagles at Falcons, 2005: This was a Monday night game, a rematch of the 2004 NFC Championship Game to open the 2005 season.  The Friday before, my buddy and I went to Dave and Buster's to try and win free tickets for this game.  The local radio station offered two avenues to get tickets: The first 32 folks got a entry spot to the Madden video game contest, with 16 winners...two folks would play each other, winner gets a pair of tickets. (The other way was to be one of the first 200 inside, random drawing.)  We were both in the first 32, so we each got a spot in the video game contest, with the matchups being determined via random draw.  My number finally gets picked, and someone else's number gets drawn to face me.  But, this guy isn't heard from in like five minutes.  We go to the guy running the contest and ask if I can play my friend, since he also had a spot and hadn't played yet.  He agrees, so my buddy and I play each other.  We've got two tickets in the bag, so we're screwing around during the video game...doing fake punts, FG attempts from 70 yards, trick plays, etc.  We're also not really that good at video games, at least I'm not.  Our final score was like 2-0, with me deciding in the last minute to just have my QB run backwards for a safety so we wouldn't have to play overtime.  So we won tickets for the game, as well as a party bus loaded with drinks to take us to/from the game, and this VIP tailgating tent full of beers, burgers, hotdogs, etc.  This just happened to also be my first time getting to see a Falcons game in person.  Falcons won the game, 14-10.

 

Georgia vs. Florida; and the rest of the 2007 afterwards: Folks remember the team storming the field after the first touchdown, but this was the handful of games where Mark Richt had a mean streak.  Beat Tebow and the Gators, the blackout blowout of Auburn, and the pantsing of Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.  Very fun second half of the season.

 

Thrashers at Nashville, 2009: First time being a true road, had to travel some distance to get there, fan of a team (I've been to a few Georgia at Georgia Tech football games, but those are usually pro-UGA crowds and being in downtown Atlanta).  Thrashers blitzed them early and won 7-2.

 

Week 17 of the NFL season, 2009 season: The week I finally won our 20 team fantasy league's championship.

 

Gold-medal men's hockey game in the Winter Olympics, USA vs Canada, 2010: My then-girlfriend's (now wife) mom had won the ticket lottery for us for this game, so we made the trip to Vancouver for that final weekend.  Easily, the most tense crowd for any game I've ever been to.  TV did it no justice.  And the game was incredible.  We made a shadow box commemorating our trip there, including our ticket stubs, a puck, a photo of us in our team sweaters (me in the Team USA jersey, she in her red Canadian jersey), a few of those Olympic lapel pins, and a couple of those Olympic-themed quarters and dollar loonie Canada had a couple years leading up to the Games.

 

Phillies at Cubs, 2011: First time being at Wrigley Field, and got the full Cubs experience (before they decided to give a damn): Day game, first batted ball of the game being a pop-up that neither the shortstop nor 2nd baseman wanted to catch (ball landed a little behind second base), Cubs were down like 6 or 7 runs after 4 innings, the first baseman had two errors on one play, and the Cubs didn't get a hit until the 5th inning.

 

Dec. 28-30, 2013: My Christmas gift to myself...doing four games in three days, involving four different venues, three sports and two different cities, and two games in one day.  Day one was the Hawks home game vs. Charlotte.  The next morning, my sister and I went to the season-ending Falcons game against the Panthers.  The next day, my friend and I traveled to Nashville in the morning to catch the Music City Bowl between Ole Miss and Georgia Tech in the afternoon, then cross the river and walk down Broadway to catch the Red WIngs play the Predators.  Pretty fun weekend, cool way to end the year.

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I'd say Stockton hitting the series-clinching 3 in the '97 Western Conference Finals would be the best thing to happen to any of my teams in my lifetime, but I was 5 at the time and unfortunately can't remember it very well, so I don't know if that would qualify here.

 

Of moments I DO remember, I'd have to say an honest, can't-decide tie between RSL winning their first MLS Cup in 2009, and then Utah winning the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Both were truly a bit unexpected and darn near miraculous considering the opponents they both faced. I've truly never been more thrilled watching a sporting event go down in my life than both of those moments (and in the same year!). I hope the Jazz have that kind of "moment" soon.

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Mostly mundane stuff from the early 00's.

 

  • I was maybe 16 or 17 and it was snowing really heavily outside.  My mom was getting Christmas decorations out from the garage attic and we had an Eastern Illinois football game on where Tony Romo was playing one of his final games as a Panther.  I honestly barely remember watching the game, surely don't recall the outcome, but it was just really, really nice to have the winter aesthetic outside, football on the television, and spending time with my mom doing Christmas-y stuff.
  • Indiana Pacers beating the Knicks in 2000 to finally thwart those bastards and punch their ticket to the Finals.  After years of languishing under Jordan's Bulls (like everyone else) and getting beaten in heartbreaking fashion in 99 ( :censored: yourself forever, Larry Johnson, and cram your 4-point play up your ass until Hell can no longer render your ashes into anything further than atomic trace elements, you piece of :censored: ), the Pacers went to the damn Finals.  I was so happy for my hero Reggie Miller and my buddy Mike called me to congratulate.  I had my Pacers shrine set up in our den with all my cards, Pacers swag, and of course wearing the Reggie jersey.  It was a fine time. Until the Finals.  Kobe & Shaq happened, and yeah.  
  • I was sick in bed on a wintery day in 2000 and it was the first Saturday of the NFL Playoffs for that season.  I watched the St. Louis Rams fall to the Saints in a very tight win that almost saw The Greatest Show On Turf mount an insane comeback.  It was the first playoff win in Saints history.  My mom was upstairs making cookies and our house was filled with the smell of delicious treats.  It was just a really, really nice day.  
  • The Blackhawks beating Boston in game 6 with two goals in seventeen seconds.  I was watching that one by myself (as I usually do when I watch sports) and it was such an emotional roller coaster.  You can listen to my obscenity-laden reaction here.
  • Gould hitting the game winning field goal against the Seahawks was magical stuff, but the beating the 2006 Bears laid onto the Saints in the subsequent NFC title game was magical.  Big win in the snowy atmosphere, the McCaskey trophy being raised by Brian Urlacher.  It's such a shame Peyton Manning couldn't just die in a fire and let my goddamn team win something. :censored: ing prick.
  • Seeing Jordan's final basket as a Bull to win game 6 in Utah.  I was up in Chicago at my grandparents' house and everybody knew this was it for Jordan. I'd never really adored the Bulls but I respected the dominance. Inside a minute to play, Jordan hits a crucial game-tying free throw, then John Stockton drains a 3.   Jordan easily sinks a layup.  30 seconds - Malone turns it over, Jordan puts Byron Russell on the floor with a crossover and sinks what would be the game winning basket.  Stockton's attempt at a game winning three spins out of the rim, and it's over.  I hear fireworks going off in the neighborhood, and we opened the front door to hear all the car horns and mini-booms of people setting off firecrackers and stuff.  
  • In 2002 the Lions and Bears were squaring off in a late-November contest which was taking place in Champaign.  The Lions famously took the wind after winning the coin toss in OT, which led to Paul Edinger kicking a game winner in OT.  My brother and I cheered, grab the football immediately after it was over and took to the backyard.  It was a brisk fall day with leaves everywhere and just enough chill in the air to remind you it was Autumn.  It was something I'll never forget, for some odd reason.

 

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I'll let you know when it happens. JK. 

 

June 25, 1997 - NHL announces Columbus was going to get an NHL expansion team. I was sheesh 9 at the time and a huge hockey fan, but without a team to call my own. It felt like a gift just for me. My dad took me to the Easton mall a couple years later to see the uniform unveiling. 

 

January whatever 2003 - Ohio State beats Miami in the National Championship Game. The last time I was really a huge OSU fan and invested in a season from start to finish. 

 

December whatever 2005 - Bengals clinch a playoff spot for the first time in my memory. 

 

April whatever 2009 - Blue Jackets clinch playoff spot for the first time. 

 

late september 2010 Reds clinch division on Jay Bruce home run. Epic way to end a 15 year playoff drought that for a while felt like would never end. 

 

April whatever 2014 - Blue Jackets win first ever playoff game in double OT in Pittsburgh. 4 days later I was in attendance for their first home playoff win, an overtime epic comeback win over Pittsburgh - the best sporting even I've ever been to in person. 

 

January 2014 - Ohio State beats Alabama. This one was better than the NCG win over Oregon. 

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1/17/2010: it was a month after Christmas and I was getting ready to watch my first vikings playoff game. I was 11 and I was getting into watching full time football games. it was the Vikings vs Cowboys. Favre was the starting QB coming off of an amazing season. to make a long story short we demolished the cowboys and it was probably the last time I felt true confidence in a Vikings offense.

and there was also super bowl 42, not a Giants fan nor a Patriots hater it was just nice to see David slay Goliath in such an amazing fashion

 

April of 2014: my first season of watching hockey and I got a chance to see the Wild get pass a surprisingly challenging Avalanche team in the playoffs in OT

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June 15, 2004- Pistons win the NBA Title. I was just a wee one when they won their back-to-backs, so up to this point, I just knew the Pistons as being terrible. They seemed to come together in 2002, and won the title 2 years later. Conversely, one of the worst days as a sports fan was just over a year later on June 23, 2005: the night they lost game 7 in the finals against the Spurs, despite dominating the first 3 quarters. 

 

I was only 8 in 1993 when the Habs won the Cup. I remember it, but was too young to really care.

 

Being a Lions fan, there's not many happy days.

 

For the Tigers, up to this point I'd have to say game 4 of the 2006 ALCS, when Ordonez slammed that 3 run walk off homer to advance to the Series, where we were annihilated. 

 

 

 

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January 9th, 2010; First playoff win for Dallas since I was about 5 years old. Against the hated Eagles, it was a sweet win.

August 10th, 2014; Seeing AJ Allmendinger win his first career Cup series race; even though it was on TV. I was a fan of The Dinger since 2009; so it was sweet to see him win. Especially after the hell-and-back journey he had to make to get to that point.

 

EDIT: Forgot one important one!

 

March 16th, 2012; Lehigh 75, Duke 70.

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On 12/10/2016 at 10:30 AM, CS85 said:

Mostly mundane stuff from the early 00's.

 

  • I was sick in bed on a wintery day in 2000 and it was the first Saturday of the NFL Playoffs for that season.  I watched the St. Louis Rams fall to the Saints in a very tight win that almost saw The Greatest Show On Turf mount an insane comeback.  It was the first playoff win in Saints history.  My mom was upstairs making cookies and our house was filled with the smell of delicious treats.  It was just a really, really nice day.  

While you were sick in bed in the morning, I got a last minute call from my boss who had 2 extra tickets to the game (the company's seats are GREAT, too). While you were watching the game, my wife and I were there at the game, watching Hakim dropping the punt and Brian Milne recover to seal the Saints 1st playoff win.  While you were having chicken soup or medicine, we were drinking a different kind of elixir in celebration....

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February 24, 2002- Canada wins gold at the Olympics: I was 10 years old and had just really started watching hockey. We went to my grandparents' condo in Toronto to watch it on their big-screen TV, and I remember everyone in the family (including those who didn't care for hockey) just being GLUED to the TV.

 

January 19-20, 2012- Hamilton hosts AHL Outdoor Classic: This was the best game I've ever been to in person. It was my first (and so far only) outdoor game, and it lived up to its billing. One of our friends came down from Toronto and we had a BLAST. It was nearly -30C on the night of the Alumni Game, but I vividly remember standing wearing 8 layers and belting Sweet Caroline with 10,000 other equally cold people.

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The one that sticks out the most for me, in terms of pure fan bliss, was Nashville's Game 4 triple-OT win against San Jose. It was a long, hard fought game, and the refs and rules played way more of a role than they should have, going both ways. Watching your favorite player score a goal after a game like that, though, is an exhilaration I don't know that I'll top soon.

 

The only one that might be a better memory, overall, was because of circumstances.

 

Going to the inaugural Tucson Roadrunners home game with my girlfriend. It was my first game, as a season ticket holder, first time going to a game with a girlfriend who actually liked sports, and Tucson won what is probably the most exciting game of live hockey I've ever seen, in a sold out arena.

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I don't have anything that would surprise people.  Best day, by sport:

  • MLB: Twins 1991 Championship.  1987, being my first big title, was more exciting, but in hindsight I have more appreciation for 1991.
  • NFL: Ugh.  I guess the 1988 (1987 season) playoff win in San Francisco. The Vikes were good (8-7 but 0-3 in "replacement player" games) but it was a huge upset.  The next week I experienced my first of four NFC championship game disappointments (first of 3 nailbiters).
  • NBA: The first T-Wolves playoff series win.  Monkey leaves back.
  • NHL:  The North Stars 1991 Campbell Conference championship / playoff run.  17th best record in the league and they rode a hot goalie for three rounds.  He cooled off in time for the finals.
  • NCAAF: Ron Dayne breaks NCAA rushing record (which will be broken* later this month) and Badgers clinch Big Ten title outright.  I was at this game and it was lotsa fun.
  • NCAAB: Clinching the birth to the 2014 Final Four (followed closely by same 9in 2015 and Kentucky upset, but Duke poops on that image).
  • NCAAH: 2006 National Championship.

 

 

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