Most dramatic sports moment of a lifetime? The case can be made
Want to feel old, like me?
It is 25 years ago to the day today – a quarter of a century – since Kirk Gibson hit the home run to win Game 1 of the World Series for the Dodgers over the A’s.
And I’m going to say this now and suffer the inevitable slings and arrows because that’s what I do:
It is the single most dramatic sporting moment I can clearly remember from my lifetime.
And here’s why.
What you want in those “moments” is not only drama because of the outcome and what it means but you want them to be so totally unexpected that they shock you.
And I’d say a 3-2 pitch to a guy who was basically playing on one leg in the bottom of the ninth inning of a World Series game meets all those criteria, no?
I remember watching in the bowling lane-like newsroom of the Ottawa Sun at the time, waiting for Boxing Bob Elliott to file right on deadline and being absolutely stunned at the turn of events; it was stunning and thrilling and exciting and would be one of a handful of “moments” that I don’t imagine I’ll ever forget.
Now, here’s the aside:
It provided two of the all-time great “calls” by broadcasters, those signature moments of the great that make it even better.
Because I was watching on TV here, I got Jack Buck and that was special (“I can’t believe what I just saw” were the words as I recall but I can’t find a clip) but this one was awesome. The best in the game at his best.
So, it beats out Paul Henderson’s goal because that was just one moment in what was a long and crazy story that was more about society and Good vs. Bad than it was about sports.
It beats out Joe Carter’s home run because you just had a feeling that if Carter didn’t do something tremendously dramatic, Mitch Williams would have found another way to screw things up as the game progressed.
It beats out 100 metre wins for Ben Johnson and Donovan Bailey because they were, in large measure, expected.
I don’t know how many Irregulars would remember it or even think of it but when I heard it was 25 years ago today, it brought back great memories and got me thinking where it stood up all-time.
Right at the top, in my opinion.
Just because …
Good tune, no? Could listen to it over and over.
Lovely place, very far away, great people, traffic nightmare there and back. Was a long trip for maybe an hour of intrasquad work but it’s what they, and I guess I, do.
So why go?
Well, they go because of contractual issues and to spread the “brand” and because someone somewhere in the hierarchy thought it was a good idea but, trust me, if the Raptors didn’t have to take a 90-minute bus ride there and probably a 2 1-2-hour bus ride back in traffic to work for an hour or so, they would have been quite over-the-moon happy.
I might have been, too.
But the good is the $100,000 the casino gave the Raptors foundation, some of which will be spread about the community up there (it’s north of Toronto and east of Orillia for those not from these parts) so that’s the good.
The bad? It’s a long way to go, only about 1,000 people there and no kids because it’s in a casino, and it sure wasn’t a full practice day.
I don’t want to say anything but wonder how many have noticed that the local football team hasn’t won a game since my Argo Boy days were curtailed a couple of weeks ago.
Is this going to turn into a case of the perception being the reality?
It’s troubling, I suppose to some, that there seems to have been a decided reduction in drug testing for Jamaican athletes in the months leading up to the London Olympics, especially given their dominance of the sprints and the positive tests throughout the sport since the Games end.
But mostly I would imagine this story will elicit yawns globally; I think we are inured to stories about steroid use or drug cheats in athletics. The days of shock and outrage are long behind us and I have a feeling this will be a one or maybe two day story and we will go back to paying scant attention to the sport until either the next world championships or positive test.
Oh yeah, one more tiny Raptors note.
Steve Novak took part in the scrimmage thing yesterday with his right hand taped – didn’t bother him because he knocked down a handful of three-pointers – after he banged it on Friday night, I was told.
But, and I can see Dwane and others knocking on wood while they’re reading this, it’s the first even minor injury of the pre-season and that’s an impressive feat.
There are guys dropping like flies all over the league these days and to get this far into camp and the exhibition season without losing anyone for as much as two or three days has been great for getting full workouts in.
Remember last year? Kyle Lowry got hurt early, others were banged up and everything was a bit off-kilter to start the season?
Not this time around and it’s got to have them at least a little bit ahead of a handful of other teams right now.