What is there to do when sports are canceled and you’re stuck at home practicing social distancing? While many sports fans have turned to video games like Madden or NBA 2K to fill the void, we have another suggestion. There has never been a better time to revisit some of the most iconic games and moments the sports world has ever seen. From the Cubs winning the World Series to “the shot heard round the world,” here is everything you need to check out to satisfy your sports cravings!
LeBron James Brings A Title To Believeland
In 2016, LeBron James did the unthinkable — he brought an NBA Championship to Cleveland. As a young boy who grew up in the area, James made it his NBA goal to bring a title to what had been dubbed “Believeland.”
The year he did it, it happened in the least likely way possible. The Cavaliers matched up against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors and fell down three games to one in the seven-game Finals series. After pushing the series and his body to the brink, James cemented his legacy with an iconic block that helped seal the match for good.
Secretariat Outpaces The Field At The Belmont Stakes
Widely considered the greatest racing horse to ever be bred, the 1973 Belmont Stakes stands as the icon’s most legendary moment. The horse finished the mile and a half race in two minutes and twenty-four seconds — a record that still stands today.
Even more impressive, Secretariat won the race by 31 lengths, a distance unheard of in horse racing! The announcer was blown away by the feat, shouting, “He is moving like a tremendous machine!”
Marshawn Lynch Should Have Got The Ball
This moment might be too painful for Seattle Seahawks fans to re-watch, but for everyone else, it stands as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks had the ball at the goal line and needed to score to win the game.
The obvious play call would have been to hand off to running back Marshawn Lynch. Instead, head coach Pete Carroll opted for a pass, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a slant pattern. Malcolm Butler read the play perfectly and crashed down from the secondary for the interception, sealing the win for New England.
Mike Piazza’s Moonshot That Helped Heal New York City
After the events of 9/11, sports stopped in New York City for four days. When they started up again, 41,235 people packed into Shea Stadium to watch the Mets take on the Atlanta Braves.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mets trailed. The Braves gave the ball to relief pitcher Steve Karsay. Mike Piazza stepped up to the plate and hit a moonshot of a home run that gave the Mets a lead they wouldn’t give up. The dramatic play created pandemonium in the stands and helped begin the healing process for a grieving city.
The Longest Match Wimbledon Has Ever Seen
If binging sports like it’s Netflix is what you’re looking for, then the epic match between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010 is for you. The match lasted for 11 hours and five minutes and had to be suspended twice for lighting once it had become dark.
The match has been immortalized on YouTube in three parts, making it perfect for sports-starved tennis lovers. In total, the pair played 183 games during the match, with Isner claiming victory at the end of the marathon.
Jose Bautista Brings Back The Bat Flip
The Toronto Blue Jays went on a tear in 2015. The surprise title contender bashed its way through the regular season and faced off against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS (American League Division Series).
Down a run in Game Five of the series, Joey Bautista stepped into the batter’s box and created a sports moment that will never be forgotten. Nicknamed Joey Bats for a reason, he crushed a go-ahead home run, then flipped his bat. One year later, playing the Rangers again, Rougned Odor added to the legend, punching Bautista during the game as retaliation.
Zinedine Zidane’s Heavy Head
As France entered the World Cup Final in 2006, it was widely expected to be Zinedine Zidane’s final game. During the match against Italy, the iconic soccer legend scored early, but it was his action late that made headlines.
With the score tied 1-1 in the 111th minute, Zidane turned on an opponent and headbutted him in the chest. There was no doubt a red card was coming, ending Zidane’s career with one of the most violent plays in World Cup history. France then went on to take the title.
The Miracle On Ice
The United States men’s hockey team wasn’t supposed to stand a chance during the 1980 Winter Olympics. The hockey world wasn’t full of big-name American players, and the Soviet Union had won gold in five of the last six Olympic games.
The gold medal match was truly a David-versus-Goliath affair, and when the final buzzer went off, the underdogs stood victorious. Even more amazing, the match took place on American soil in Lake Placid, New York.
The Cubs Break The Curse Of The Billy Goat And Win The World Series
Cursed by a man in 1945 because he couldn’t bring his goat to a game, the Chicago Cubs were never supposed to win the World Series. The last time the team had won was 1908, and they were up two games to none in 1945 when they were cursed and lost.
In 2016, the Cubs made the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, and in true dramatic fashion, it took seven games. The deciding game is the one worth rewatching. It was getting late when a weather delay caused a massive pause. When the action started again, the city of Chicago watched with bated breath until they could let out a collective cheer in victory.
The Philly Special Super Bowl
With a backup quarterback starting the game for the Philadelphia Eagles, they had no business beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Nick Foles, who became the starter at the end of the season when Carson Wentz tore his ACL, had the game of his life, going toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and coming out victorious.
The game, which ended with a score of 41-33, was highlighted by Foles turning into a wide receiver for one play and catching a touchdown pass. The Philly Special instantly became a classic play call in one of the best Super Bowls of all time.
The Shot Heard ‘Round The World
For this moment, we’re taking you back to 1951, when the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants was still in New York. The teams were playing for the pennant and a chance to face off against the Yankees in the World Series.
It was the deciding game of the series, and Bobby Thompson stepped up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. With one swing of the bat, now dubbed “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” the Giants beat their longstanding rival in the most dramatic fashion.
The Spurs End The LeBron Era In Miami
When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Miami Heat, he created the “Big Three.” The combination of him, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade was considered unstoppable. Then they met the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals.
The Spurs were their own aging super team, featuring Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. The battle of aging players versus those in their prime was fascinating to watch and culminated with the Spurs overcoming a major deficit in Game Five to take the championship. Perhaps most notably, this was also James’ last game for Miami before he returned to Cleveland.
The Legend Of Andrew Luck Is Born
Andrew Luck had a lot of weight on his shoulders as the successor to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. A can’t miss college prospect, he was finally given his chance to shine in the 2014 AFC Wild Card game.
Initially, the game did not go in the Colts’ favor. They fell down 28 points in the third quarter, a deficit they shouldn’t have been able to overcome. Then Andrew Luck roared to life, leading the team on a 35-6 scoring run to beat Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brandi Chastain’s Iconic World Cup Goal
Just about any Women’s World Cup Final featuring the United States could make this list, but the 1999 match takes the cake. Facing off against China, the match ended at 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw. After two scoreless periods of Golden Goal, the match moved into a penalty shootout.
With the shootout tied 4-4, Brandi Chastain stepped into the box. With one swift kick, she sent the crowd in Los Angeles into a panic. The United States won, and Chastain ripped off her shirt in celebration, revealing her sports bra underneath. The shocking moment began a debate about sports celebrations between men and women that still lives on today.
The 1989 NBA Finals Proved Bad Boys Were More Fun
The Lakers of the ’80s, led by Magic Johnson, were an incredible NBA powerhouse. In 1989, they matched up against the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were a team full of talent and attitude and proved to be the perfect foil for the “Showtime” Lakers.
Los Angeles was aiming to win its third straight NBA Title. The Pistons were looking for respect after dropping the previous seasons NBA Finals match-up to the Lakers. Johnson and crew swept through the playoffs, then found themselves swept by Detroit, led by Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer.
The Brooks Conrad Game
If you want to watch a game with a little humor involved, try the Brooks Conrad debacle from the 2010 National League Division Series. The series was tied 1-1, and the Braves were looking to steal momentum away from the Giants with a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth.
Then Brooks Conrad made a crucial error. It was his third of the game. The Giants won, and it can be argued, rode Conrad’s uncharacteristic issues to the first World Series title in San Francisco history.
Vince Young Upsets Matt Leinart In The Rose Bowl
To many analysts, the 2006 Rose Bowl between the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans is the greatest college football game ever played. It was a match-up between the two best college QB in the country, and the final score was 41-38.
Vince Young’s Longhorns versus Matt Leinart’s Trojans was a match for the ages. You know the final score, but what we haven’t said yet is just how dramatic it was. Texas took the lead with seconds to go, and USC nearly matched them score with seconds left, but ultimately ended up on the losing side.
Bye Bye, Curse Of The Bambino
While the 2004 World Series might not be as viscerally exciting as the 2016 one, the historical impact was just as big. The Boston Red Sox had overcome a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS against the Yankees to advance to the World Series and break “The Curse of the Bambino.”
Boston swept St. Louis and won its first World Series since 1918 when they were cursed for trading Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
Gale Sayers Six TD Masterpiece
Gale Sayers etched his name into the history books in 1965 with this awe-inspiring game against the San Francisco 49ers. He scored six touchdowns — four on the ground, one in the air, and another on a return.
At the time, the number tied him for the most TDs ever scored in a single game in the history of the NFL. The feat came during his rookie season and was only a sign of things to come for the Hall of Fame half-back.
The Rumble In The Jungle
No list about classic sports moments to revisit would be complete without the Rumble in the Jungle. The iconic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took place at Madison Square Garden in 1974. Ali was 32 years old and looking to reclaim his World Heavyweight title from his undefeated rival.
In front of a crowd of 60,000, Ali took Foreman eight rounds before knocking him out, proving that age was just a number for one of the most legendary boxers to ever enter the ring.