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Due to Covid-19, sports around the globe have been postponed, if not outright cancelled. With our need for competition and moments we’ll remember forever, maybe it’s time to look back on the moments we celebrated and possibly took for granted.
The plan is to go decade by decade, and pick the ten moments and games to rewatch. We’ll start with the 2010’s as it’s most likely the easiest to find on streaming services or the internet. Some moments may be lumped together as they fit in with each other and could share to give other moments a shot.
The 2017-18 Cleveland Browns were a disaster in the making. Despite five games that saw them lose by one score or less, including two overtime games, they didn’t seem to show much improvement week to week. With one week left, their last chance to avoid becoming the second winless team in NFL history was against their rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the steel city.
The game remained close throughout, with Cleveland keeping the lead to 10 points or less, leading to a potential final drive for the ages. However, on fourth-and-two, quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a bullet to wide receiver Corey Coleman at Pittsburgh’s 11-yard line to keep the drive going.
Unfortunately, Coleman dropped it. It’s a moment of infamy that’s like a train wreck: you know what’s coming but you can’t stop watching.
9. Pinstripe Payoff
Two of the best moments in baseball at the same stadium, a year apart. Though in both years, the New York Yankees missed the postseason, it saw the curtain fall on two Hall of Fame careers.
The first came on September 27, 2013 when closer Mariano Rivera was brought in as a reliever for one-and-a-thirds inning. However following a pop out by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar, shortstop Derek Jeter and pitcher Andy Pettite came out of the dugout to take Rivera out for the final time.
The next year in his final home game, Derek Jeter would step to the plate against Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher Evan Meek. With one out, the score tied and runner on second in the bottom of the ninth, Jeter would rip a base hit to win the game.
These two moments need to be seen as a farewell to two of the greatest to don the Yankee pinstripes. Both are emotional moments that really aren’t done justice by these words.
8. The Decision
When forward LeBron James announced his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, things in the NBA changed forever. While super teams were already a thing, this set the standard even higher than the Boston Celtics team of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
On July 8, 2010, ESPN ran “The Decision,” a live special from the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut that ultimately lead to the famous statement: “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”
If for no other reason, this a moment to watch because you may never see someone announce something like this ever again. There’s no star as big as James was at the time and there may never be again.
7. Wrestlemania XXX
The culmination of two major storylines, Wrestlemania XXX featured three of the most must see matches. The show started off with Daniel Bryan facing Triple H in a match that would send the winner to a championship bout in the Main Event.
After much of the match being back forth, Bryan hit a running knee for a three-count to win. The moment was soon ruined by a post match assault by Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon.
Later on, The Undertaker faced Brock Lesnar in a match where the Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak was on the line. In another back-and-forth, Lesnar powered out of every strong move by the Undertaker before finally hitting an F-5 that ended the streak at 21-straight wins.
The night was finished with a triple threat championship for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between Randy Orton, Batista and Daniel Bryan. Despite being injured in storyline, Bryan would be punished by both men. However, in grand fashion, Bryan would lock in the “Yes-Lock” and win the championship, sending the crowd home happy.
It was night of shock and celebration, moments that defined WWE at the time and ones that bear replay.
6. Galarraga’s Nearly Perfect
In the history of baseball, there’s only been 12 perfect games thrown (nine at the time of this incident). There should be a 13th but it was taken away by one bad call on June 2, 2010.
Leading 3-0 in the top of the ninth inning, Armando Galarraga was staring in the face history when a ground ball was hit to first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera had to range to his left but grabbed it and threw it Galarraga who had beaten hitter, Jason Donald to the bag.
However, Donald was called safe. This game is like a predictable horror movie: you know what’s coming, you get built up all the way through and each time you think there’s going to be a different out. Nothing changes.
5. Cleveland Breaks The Curse
When you talk about curses, most fans associate it with teams, not entire cities. However, the city of Cleveland was indeed cursed for 52-years. That all changed with LeBron James coming home.
If there’s one moment that’s must watch of this season, it’s game seven of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. After being down 3-1 in the series, Cleveland fought back to force a game seven.
It saw each of the big three members contribute in the final quarter: James blocking a lay up by Andre Igoudala, Kyrie Irving hitting a three-point shot to give them the lead and Kevin Love contesting Stephen Curry enough to make him miss the game tying three pointer.
The game is suspenseful, back-and-forth and perhaps the second greatest game seven of all time, behind something else on this list.
Perhaps football’s second greatest comeback saw the New England Patriots trail the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI 21-3 going into halftime. The second half opened with Atlanta adding one more touchdown to make it 28-3. Most people at this point “knew” Atlanta would hold on.
What makes this must see is the comeback by New England and one of biggest chokes in sports. New England would put up 25 unanswered points and force overtime. With momentum on their side, New England marched down the field, ending with halfback James White breaking the plane for the game winning touchdown.
Most hail this the greatest Super Bowl of all time and they’re probably be right.
3. Tiger’s Masterful Comeback
2019 saw one of the biggest stories golf happen: Tiger Woods winning his first major in 11 years. After years of personal problems, injuries and bad performances, Woods would put together a fantastic final round.
This coupled with leader Francesco Molinari suffering from a water hazard, would give Woods his fifth green jacket, one behind the legendary Jack Nicklaus’ record.
This last round is one for the ages, as everyone figured Woods would crumble. Instead he held on and picked up the win.
2. In The Face of Tragedy
The 2010 Super Bowl featured two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, a Halftime Show featuring a Hall of Fame band (The Who) and one of the best games of all time. None of that is what is remembered. What is remembered is the storyline.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans was still rebuilding in 2010. Looking to give the city hope, quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints put together and exciting season leading to a Super Bowl win.
The celebration and just overall effect this win had for the city is one that was replicated when the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series following the Boston Marathon bombing. However, New Orleans gets the nod because of how badly this city was effected by Katrina and because of the lasting memory that accompanies it.
1. 108 Years In The Making
Unless you had some connection to the city of Cleveland, you were rooting for the Chicago Cubs to win the 2016 World Series. For 108 years, Chicago hadn’t celebrated a World Series win.
All the while, they watched as the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks held six championship parades each. Even the Chicago Bears and White Sox has the chance to celebrate one each. Meanwhile, the Cubs just watched.
Earlier in article, we talked about the second greatest game seven, well here’s the greatest. In a game that saw everything from a couple of lead changes to a rain delay to extra innings, Chicago finally did what it hadn’t done in the previous 108 years: win the World Series. It was one of the most celebrated wins in any fans life time and for that, it bears the time to be rewatched.