Great moments in sports  

HeatedCondition 60M
37 posts
8/27/2006 11:38 pm

Last Read:
8/28/2006 7:21 pm

Great moments in sports

Sports has provided me with many memorable and exciting experiences. Now I know what some of you are thinking: "Ho hum, I couldn't care less! Sports bores me!"

But some things have happened that anybody can appreciate. Remember Jesse Owens? A brave American black man that went to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and stuffed Hitler's "Ve are da master race!" bullshit back in his face and came home a hero to millions. And then there's Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball, enduring incredible hardship and excelling at the same time. These were great stories.

I'm going to outline my three most memorable moments in sports that I personally witnessed; two of them I believe even non-sporting types could appreciate.


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April 25th, 1976

The Vietnam war is over after 58,000 Americans have died trying to stop Communism in South Vietnam without success. The nation's economy is sluggish and dragging. Gas prices had tripled almost overnight. Nixon had resigned from office and we had a president that nobody voted for. Americans were just not feeling good about things in general.

On this night the Dodgers and Chicago Cubs take the field for an early season game at Dodger Stadium. Nothing special really, just one of 162 games. Rick Monday is in center field. He was a good and consistent player, not particularly spectacular. He was a 6 year veteran of the USMC.

In the 4th inning two spectators dashed onto the field. One of them spread an American flag on the field and doused it with lighter fluid. Then they lit a match, but the flag didn't burn. By the time they lit a second match, Monday arrived on the scene and snatched the flag away from them.

This simple act made an icon of Rick Monday, and the Hall of Fame ranks it as one of the 100 most classic moments in baseball.


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October 15th, 1988

It is the first game of the World Series between the Dodgers and Oakland A's. The A's are overwhelming favorites to win the Series. Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, A's lead 4-3, one runner on base. And out of the dugout comes Kirk Gibson for his only plate appearance of this Series. He is in terrible pain from a bad knee. He can barely walk. And he is facing baseball's best closer in Dennis Eckersley. With 2 strikes, Gibson swings and hits the most improbable home run imaginable. It brought tears to my eyes, it was so exciting. Dramatically inspired, the Dodgers go on to win a Series nobody thought they could win.


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February 22, 1980, The Miracle on Ice

This is a date which saw arguably the single greatest moment in American sports history, and I have to admit I bawled like a baby when it happened. And I didn't even particuarly like hockey.

The cold war is in full swing. Americans are being held captive in Iran. Inflation is terrible. Oil prices have soared. It seems the money is on America's enemies everywhere.

It is the the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY. The USSR has an absolutely unbeatable hockey team. They are a powerhouse the USA can't possibly beat. Nobody can. The Russians are a lock.

Confidence was not inspired when, 3 days before the Olympics began, The USSR routed the USA in an exhibition game, 10-3.

A ragtag group of college players and their coach Herb Brooks of the USA thought they could muster a bronze medal. Most scoffed. Many European teams had superior skills. And the Americans had been playing together for only 18 months. Not much time really.

But somehow the USA managed to advance to the medal round with a tie and a couple of come-from-behind victories, setting up their worst nightmare: facing the powerful Soviets in the semifinal.

The Soviets dominated play the first two periods but had only a 3-2 lead to show for it. Then the 3rd and final period began. The younger, faster and better conditioned Americans, using a stifling defense and speed scored two goals to take the lead with 10 minutes to play. The Soviets panicked. At this point I'll quote broadcaster Al Michaels, who delivered the most famous call in American sports history:


"Eleven seconds. You got ten seconds, the countdown going on right now. Five seconds left in the game! Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

The greatest authors could not have written a more exciting story. The USA went on to defeat Finland for the Gold medal in front of millions of new hockey fans and etched an indelible and astounding moment in the history of American Olympic competition, indeed restoring lost pride in the greatness of America.


blackleather2006 51M/49F

8/28/2006 3:49 am

I don't remember the first two but the Miracle on Ice I do... And we aren't fond of hockey either but darn it was a great boost in spirits to all here in America at that time!


HeatedCondition 60M
890 posts
8/28/2006 11:38 am

    Quoting blackleather2006:
    I don't remember the first two but the Miracle on Ice I do... And we aren't fond of hockey either but darn it was a great boost in spirits to all here in America at that time!


The Miracle on Ice was an extrordinary moment, the kind that don't come along very often, the kind that could captivate the spirit of any American with the slightest pride in his/her country. Probably wouldn't have the same effect today given the current administration and its horrible, wrong-headed decisions.

Nice to see you here today, Julie!


HeatedCondition 60M
890 posts
8/28/2006 12:07 pm

    Quoting rm_mzhunyhole:
    I always liked reading about Jim Thorpe..another great one..neat blog.
Yes, the Jim Thorpe story is another great sports story. There are many through the years. The three I outlined I personally experienced and had the greatest impact on me personally.

Thank you Lyndah .... I aspire to the quality of your blog. I'll never have that Southern charm, but I'll keep trying. Thanks for stopping by, it's always a pleasure to have you here!


rm_aWench4U 61M/61F
741 posts
8/28/2006 5:36 pm

I remember the second two events you mentioned. The World Series Game was my mama's birthday, and it was a family tradition to watch as much of the Series together as we could. We tuned in late because of the b-day dinner, but I'll never forget the end of the game. My dad had been a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, so he was rooting for them all along.

And the miracle on ice! Who could ever forget that? Maybe we need something like that to get America excited again, inspite of the guy in the White House. . . .

Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.


~Angela


HeatedCondition 60M
890 posts
8/28/2006 7:21 pm

    Quoting rm_aWench4U:
    I remember the second two events you mentioned. The World Series Game was my mama's birthday, and it was a family tradition to watch as much of the Series together as we could. We tuned in late because of the b-day dinner, but I'll never forget the end of the game. My dad had been a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, so he was rooting for them all along.

    And the miracle on ice! Who could ever forget that? Maybe we need something like that to get America excited again, inspite of the guy in the White House. . . .
Yeah, we could use something like the Miracle on Ice again. The only downside would be that sack 'o shit in DC taking advantage with a photo op. Man I'm bad, I've never disrespected a sitting president so much. I find myself longing for the Reagan days.

Wasn't that Series something? Still sends shivers down my spine. But the '80 Olympics .... oh that was so special. A joyful thing to watch.


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