Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Ultimate Sports Moments

This afternoon, for reasons which will become apparent, I was thinking of great sporting moments I would like to be at. These are moments which transcend the sport they are part of, which contain a sense of drama and excitement so special that they have to be seen in person and shared by a crowd. I have seen a horse win the Triple Crown (three, actually, but Secretariat’s stretch run was the one that mattered most) and it was an incredible experience, with 80,000+ fans screaming at the top of their lungs, knowing they had seen history. I came up with five other moments I would like to see:

5. The opening bell of a heavyweight championship fight -- unfortunately, this doesn’t really exist anymore, as there is no actual heavyweight champion of the world. I actually have seen this in a theater, for Ali-Frazier I, which is close, but not the same as actually being there.

4. The singing of My Old Kentucky Home at the Derby – not a dry eye in the house, followed by the horses coming on the track.

3. “Gentlemen, start your engines” – I’m not an auto racing fan, but being at the Indianapolis Speedway for that moment must be incredible.

2. The bringing of the Stanley Cup to the ice after the home team has won it. Note: this should not take place in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, or Anaheim – seriously.

1. Script Ohio in Ohio Stadium before the Ohio State-Michigan game – there are many great moments in college football, I’m sure Seminole fans would say the moment the spear is driven into the 50 yard line before their home games is incredible, Tennessee fans would talk about the singing of Rocky Top (and the Victors in Ann Arbor and The Notre Dame Fight Song in South Bend, and I’m sure many others),UT fans would talk about the marching band’s entrance playing The Eyes of Texas – all great drama. But nothing compares to the dotting of the I. The long slow build as Ohio is written, the wonderful theatricality of the drum major leading the tuba player to the spot, followed by the deep bow as 100,000 crazed fans release a week of pent-up anticipation. That my friends, is sports theater at its best. O-H...I-O, indeed.


Blogger samG said...

It is hard to argue with any of those moments or add to them. I also saw Ali-Frazier I in a movie theater (snuck in and saved the $20) and was at Churchill Downs for the Preakness (a bit of bad timing). I would add to the list Centre Court at Wimbledon for a final although, to be honest, unless Nadal develops a grass court game, I can't imagine a match I'm dying to see. Duke/UNC at Cameron is high up there but regular season games have lost most of their pizazz. I'll try to think of some more.

1:15 PM  

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