Being a sports fanatic is both a blessing and a curse. It can make your day. It can ruin your day. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve had more of the latter in my 33+ years of fandom. However, it’s those truly special moments that keep me coming back for more. So without further ado, here are My 5 Most Euphoric Moments as a Sports Fan.
5. 1995 World Series – Game 6 – Final Out
The Atlanta Braves are my favorite team… period. So you’d think their only championship during my lifetime would rank higher. Well, unfortunately I was only nine years old. With that being said, it’s one of the first great moments I remember as a sports fan.
4. 2019 Masters – Final Round 16th Hole
Some may call it recency bias since this happened less than two weeks ago. But Tiger Woods may be my 2nd-favorite athlete of all time. He brought me to the game of golf, and to this day, I’ll only watch a tournament if he’s in contention. To see him win after so many painful year was incredible. I was not able to stay seated during the entire day. And with this tee shot on the 16th hole, I knew something was magical was about to happen.
3. September 2, 2012 – Chipper’s Final Home Run
I just mentioned my 2nd-favorite athlete. But hands-down, my all-time favorite athlete is the great Chipper Jones. I will never idolize a professional athlete the way I did Chipper. Earlier in 2012, Chipper announced it would be his final season. So I tried to soak up every possible game I could. It just so happened, the Braves were in the midst of a pennant race. And on September 2nd, they found themselves in the Bottom of the 9th… down two runs… with two men on base… and a 40-year-old Chipper Jones at the plate.
It was the 468th (and final) home run of Chipper’s career.
2. The Bengals’ Week 17 Miracle (2017 NFL Season)
I’m a long-suffering Buffalo Bills fan who endured a 17-year playoff drought. I just simply got used to losing. But in the 2017 season’s final week, the Bill found themselves with a small chance of getting into the playoffs. They needed to defeat the Dolphins (which they did easily), but also needed help from other teams. After the Bills had one, all eyes went to those other teams.
Enter the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals needed to defeat the Ravens in order for the Bills to make the playoffs. But it didn’t look good. Down by a field goal with less than a minute to go in the game, the Bengals had a 4th-and-12 from midfield. I had all but given up hope. But then a miracle happened. (The video below is pretty cheesy with the Titanic theme song, but I love it because it shows the Bills locker room reaction in real-time as they were watching the game.)
1. 2008 NCAA Championship – Mario’s Miracle
Although I’ve completely lost my fandom for all college sports, that was not the case 11 years ago. I was a die-hard Kansas Jayhawks fan, and so were most my friends (which sets this particular moment apart from any other.)
I was at a watch party, and the mood was certainly gloomy as the Jayhawks were down by 9 with just 2 minutes remaining in the game. But thanks to the Memphis Tigers horrific free throw shooting, the Jayhawks actually had a chance to send the game into overtime. The rest is history…
The Jayhawks obviously went on to win the game and the Championship in what would ultimately be one of the most memorable nights of my life.
Sports… I feel sorry for those who can’t experience these same feelings.