It’s not looking like we’re going to have live sports back in our lives anytime soon. That’s obviously a bummer, but we know there are far more significant things going on in the world and understand how important it is that we remain both patient and vigilant.
One popular idea to fill the sports void is … to watch sports. But sports from another time. A time when we didn’t have to imagine which magazine we’d rip up first when our toilet paper rationing fails us. A time when we didn’t have to “accidentally” blast a video at full volume on our phone so that no one could hear us sneeze.
So here are five sporting events I’ll almost certainly rewatch at some point before this quarantine ends.
This is the biggest “no-brainer” on the list. While the final game at Texas Stadium in 2008 is probably my personal favorite Ravens win of all time, this was the most incredible, thrilling, improbable victory in franchise history. While the “Mile High Miracle” is clearly what everyone remembers most, this should also be recognized on Marshal Yanda’s Hall of Fame plaque.
While the Midshipmen would go on to record wins against much better Notre Dame teams in the years that followed, this triple-overtime thriller was the one that snapped Navy’s 43 year drought in the rivalry. Late in the fourth quarter you’ll get to re-live one of my favorite plays in football history as Ram Vela turned into an actual superhero to save the day late in the fourth quarter.
I don’t like thinking about the words “Indians” and “Orioles” in the same sentence because it brings up nightmares of 1997. But Game 4 a year earlier was a dandy. David Wells kept the Orioles in the game, but the Indians had a 3-2 lead in the ninth and were down to their last strike (!) with a chance to tie the series up and host a deciding Game 5. Instead, Roberto Alomar played the role of the superhero. Oh, and those old-school ESPN2 graphics. Nothing quite captured the significance of the moment like alternating lower case and capital letters on a chyron.
You’re gonna need to block out a little time (six hours!) to fully dive back into the greatest tennis match ever played. While we’ve been spoiled by having these two (and Novak Djokovic) playing a “match of the year” like five or six times every friggin’ year, this was the best of them all, as documented in Jon Wertheim’s book “Strokes of Genius.” There’s no possible way to be caught up in hyperbole while describing this match. It was breathtaking until well past dusk in London.
I did not put these games in any particular order, but without a doubt this is my singular favorite “game” of all time in any sport. This game had absolutely everything: Jim Nantz on the call; Juan Dixon lobbing for a Lonny Baxter dunk off the opening tip; a huge, raucous crowd at the Carrier Dome, Caron Butler willing the Huskies back into the game and taking a late lead, Dixon’s dramatic game-tying three with 3:45 to play and momentum squarely on UConn’s side (a shot I firmly believe to be the most important shot in Maryland basketball history), and Steve Blake’s clincher after not making a basket at all during the rest of the game, all with the desperate pressure to get back to the Final Four and FINALLY deliver Maryland a national championship riding on their shoulders. This game was so good. I sweat through my shirt just watching it when I was in college. I still sweat through my shirt reliving it today.
And in a nod to a game that would have made the list if I could have found the full game to watch anywhere on the internet, the 2006 women’s national championship game where Maryland beat Duke. ESPN2 is reairing the game in full at 6pm March 18. If someone understands technology and can take it from air to YouTube, please do. Wait. Is that legal? You know, we’re in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak. Do it anyway. If they’re not giving parking tickets right now they sure as hell should be understanding about this.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox