The top 10 sporting events in history for you to re-watch
By Michele Barletta
If you’re anything like me, you’re really struggling to come to grips with the fact that there’s no live sports on the TV right now. The spread of COVID-19 has resulted in professional and amateur leagues of all sports across the country, and the world, being canceled or postponed.
Staying at home wouldn’t be too bad if there was a new game we could watch every day. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll know that there’s nothing better than re-living that special moment that left your spine tingling. So, I thought I’d try and take you back to some of those ‘better times’ in the world of sports.
Here’s my list of the Top 10 moments in sporting history for you to rewatch while you’re stuck at home, including a few you might not know about.
“THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE”
In October 1974, Muhammed Ali took on the current heavyweight champion George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (Now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) in a boxing match up that was dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.” In the eighth round Ali knocked out the 25-year-old to become the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time.
The highlights to the famous fight are here.
8 GOLD MEDALS FOR PHELPS
At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Michaels Phelps swept the floor, breaking the record for the number of gold medals in a single olympics. Phelps surpassed fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz, who had previously achieved seven gold medals, and took home eight himself. Phelps set seven world records whilst doing so and left people all around the world stunned with his ability.
It was so big, ‘The Olympic Channel‘ created an episode just for it!
THE 2006 ROSE BOWL GAME
NCAA powerhouses Texas and USC faced off in what many people consider one of the greatest college football games every played. This game, filled with collegiate superstars like Vince Young, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, who would later go on to make their mark in the NFL, is still talked of today as Texas took the 41-38 win to complete a huge upset.
Watch the game highlights here, on ESPN Archives.
THE 1987 NBA FINALS
The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers met once again in the best of 7 NBA Finals. A game that pitted two of Basketball’s greats, Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, against one another. This would be the last time the teams would meet in a championship match up until 2008. Lakers head coach Pat Riley described the game as “History” so, don’t take my word for it, take his!
Official NBA highlights here!
1999 RYDER CUP
Captain of team USA, Ben Crenshaw, lead the Americans into the Sunday’s single matches 10-6 down. The media pestered him for much of Saturday night, before Crenshaw said something that later went down as one of the most famous sayings in golf, “I’m going to leave ya’ll with one thought, I’m a big believer in fate, I have a good feeling about this.” Justin Leonard came back from four down in his individual match against Jose Maria Olazabal to clinch the winner with a heroic putt on the 17th green. Even if you’re not a fan of golf, watching team USA storm the green after Leonard sunk that putt is sure to give you goosebumps.
Watch the best shots from the 1999 Ryder Cup here, including Leonard’s putt.
LIVERPOOL FIGHT BACK IN ISTANBUL
The 2005 Champions League final will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in soccer and sporting history. European giants Liverpool FC and AC Milan came head to head ‘on that night in Istanbul,’ as it’s known by Liverpool fans. With Liverpool down 3-0 at half time, all hope is lost. Captain, Steven Gerrard rallies his troops in the locker room and Liverpool scored three goals in six minutes, it was unheard of. The game ended 3-3 and Gerrard and his team took the trophy back to England by means of a penalty shoot-out.
Watch the highlights to the game here.
REDMOND’S FATHER HELPS HIM CROSS THE FINISH LINE
British track runner Derek Redmond finally had a chance at taking home the gold at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. Despite an injury plagued career, Redmond was eyeing a place in the final of the mens 400m after impressing in the quarter-finals. About halfway through the semi-final race, Derek picked up a hamstring injury and hit the ground. His father ran onto the track and helped his son fight his way through the pain and over the finish line, where the crowd of around 65,000 people were waiting, just for him.
Watch it here.
“THE SHOT” BY MICHAEL JORDAN
Arguably, the most legendary shot ever made, by arguably, one of the most legendary players of all time. Michael Jordan managed to the steal the show once again. The Chicago Bulls took on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs in 1989. The Cavaliers were leading 100-99, with only three seconds left on the clock. Jordan managed to keep the ball and get his shot away just as the buzzer went off. The Bulls won the game 101-99, with Michael Jordan’s game winner earning it’s spot in the history books.
Watch MJ’s game winner here.
WIMBLEDON FINAL 2008 : NADAL VS FEDERER
In a final that many tennis fans believed to have been the greatest tennis match ever played, on the biggest stage in tennis, Nadal and Federer continued their on-court rivalry. With Federer winning in five sets the year before, the match was eagerly anticipated. The pair played the longest final in Wimbledon history, going back and forth for four hours and 48 minutes. Nadal took home the title after beating Federer in a mach that tennis legend John McEnroe labeled as “The greatest match I’ve ever seen.”
Watch the famous fourth set tie-break here.
TROY DEENEY SENDS WATFORD INTO THE PLAY-OFF FINAL
Get ready to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster in my personal favorite of the bunch. The year is 2013 and Watford host Leicester City in the second leg of the semi final play off. The winner of this tie would go on to fight for their spot in the highest league of English soccer in the play-off final. With the score 2-2 on aggregate, Leicester City are awarded a penalty kick in added time, score this, and it’s all over. Watford Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia had other ideas as he saved the penalty before the ball found its way to the other end of the field in less than 10 seconds for Troy Deeney to score the winner and send Watford through to the play-off final. Chaos ensued as the fans raided the pitch. Another finish to a game like it you will likely never see.
Watch the dying moments of the game unfold here.