10 of the Greatest Moments in Modern Sports

(or at least 10 great ones that come to mind)

For every sports enthusiast there are those moments that redefine the sport, break the known boundaries, or shape the future of the game.

In the history of professional sports, there are too many to mention, and too many that would unintentionally be left out.

However, in recent times, say the last twenty years, there have been some of the most exciting and important moments to ever slide across the ice, bolt across the infield, get slammed to the mat, bounce off the uprights or fall gently through the basket, touching only net.

In no particular order, here they are.

Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls and their first world championship victory in 19?? – Skeptics were crushed, slammed dunked into the basket by the pure talent of Jordan. Many said it would never happen, that Jordan would never have a championship – they were right. He had six.

Buster Douglas knocking out Iron Mike Tyson – Tyson was unarguably one of the most electrifying boxers to ever dominate the ring. He was pure anger and uncontrolled boxing aggression. At least until Buster dominated the former champ for ten rounds in 1990. With Tyson sank the future of the heavyweight division for at least the next ten years. Since then, the world-rousing champ who defied the boxing world and catapulted it to the next level, has done nothing but help bring about the current demise of the sport. Tyson, the biggest embarrassment to the circus-like atmosphere of boxing today, is also still its biggest draw.

Bo Jackson breaking his hip in the 1991 AFC Championship – Bo knows football. Bo knew football. He was poised to become possibly one of the greatest running backs to play the game. He was explosive and unstoppable. He played football and he played baseball. He was great at both. The hip injury was a reminder that we’re all only human.

Kurt Gibson’s 1988 World Series homerun – Being an Oakland A’s fan, makes this one difficult to talk about. The Dodgers were the underdogs. It was supposed to be an easy series for the A’s. Instead, in the ninth inning of Game 1 … injured and not expected to play, Gibson limped onto the field, belted a homerun. The Dodgers won the series 4-1 and reminded everyone that underdogs still have a chance.

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s 1998 homerun race – Baseball was becoming a sport devoid of excitement, overrun by big corporations and money hungry players. After a strike that proved detrimental to attendance numbers, baseball reemerged with a fairytale season that reclaimed it as America’s pastime.

John McCenroe retiring from tennis – McCenroe was a great competitor and fun to watch. You either loved him or hated him. And, since he has left, tennis has just been boring. Seriously, what are the choices, the bland style of a declining Andre Agassi or the incomplete outerwear of the overzealous Williams sisters?

The formation of the MLS – After a successful U.S. hosted World Cup, soccer showed some promise for American Audiences. What MLS organizers didn’t realize is that the World Cup is popular wherever it is played. The inaugural season had an ember of hope, but since then, the MLS has barely been able to keep its head above water – proving, once again, that American audiences (for whatever reason) just don’t care about soccer.

The 1998 New York Yankees and the 199?? Dallas Cowboys – Team owners in both baseball and football proved to fans that money can, in fact, buy a championship, but the question still remains – can it retain it?

Wayne Gretzky becomes leading scorer – In 1989, Gretzky became the all-time leading scorer in the history of hockey. Not only did he break Gordie Howe’s record while playing with the Los Angeles Kings, but Gretzky became the hero of hockey – he was and still is the embodiment of hockey.

The Catch – Trailing the Dallas Cowboys 27-21 in the NFC Championship, the San Francisco 49ers completed a drive that propelled them to their first Super Bowl and started a legacy. With 51 seconds remaining, Joe Montana desperately threw the ball into the endzone. Receiver Dwight Clark made a leaping catch, cementing himself in the annals of sports history.

by Brian Barsuglia