Clearly, I haven't been to any transcendent sporting events live in the last 10 years, and thankfully, that's not true of some of our lurking commenters. Join the party!
I know this is just a bit outside the last decade, but it is very appropriate for me today. It was September 13th, 1998. The Cubs had a playoff bound team, but the big story that summer was the Maguire/Sosa home run chase.
My brother and I had been to the game the day before and saw Sosa hit 60. It was a really fun day. So much fun in fact, that we decided to go again the next day. But this time we called our Mother to see if she wanted to join us. Despite the fact that we didn't have tickets she agreed to drive down to Wrigley with us and worst case sit in a bar and watch the game from there.
My Mom was the one who really made us rabid sports fans. When we were growing up, we would walk in the house from school and she would be watching the Cubs. She had pictures of Cubs' players on the fridge instead of our school work. A true die hard fan.
So she got in the car with us and we went to Murphy's and got 3 bleacher seats from my guy who always had tickets. We went in and watched the Cubs and Brewers play. It was a glorious day. Sosa hit 61 and 62. The place was rocking. My Mom was screaming and said it was the best day of her life. She was so thrilled to be there with us.
My Mother died on Wednesday night from cancer. I will miss her terribly. I will always think of her when I watch the Cubs or the Bears. And maybe now she can pull some damn strings and get the Cubs a world series.
parsley sagehenbait rosemary and thyme:
The Saints first-ever playoff win over the Rams in the 2000 playoffs. Remember: The Rams, defending Super Bowl champs, had drubbed the Saints in the regular-season finale a week before.
New Year's Eve Eve. Prior to the game, a voodoo ceremony was held to exorcise the Saints' past playoff demons. Through three quarters, the Saints had the Rams in check, and were up 31-7 at one point. Aaron Brooks was playing well. (No, really). Madness.
In the 4th quarter, the Rams got going, scoring 2 quick TD's and, with 2 minutes to go, forcing the Saints to punt. The Superdome was utterly silent. The only audible sound was the collective, "Oh fuck, I can't believe they're going to blow this" mutters of tens of thousands of beleaguered Saints fans.
Az Hakim muffs the punt, Brian Milne recovered for the Saints, and it was sheer pandemonium.
That night, my buddy and I went out to Bourbon Street—we were juniors in high school and had never gotten drunk before. Did we puke all over the lobby of a very nice hotel where a debutante ball was being held? Yes, yes we did.
Not so much a great game as an experience, but the '99 Western Open, Dubsdread: I was there to caddy in the Pro-Am but skipped the work part and got to walk around, get tons of free crap, and go anywhere with the caddy pass I had. Me and a buddy pretty much followed Tiger most of the time. We're behind the green on 18, and Tiger pops a wedge a bit left, long, and right at us. I try to get out of the way, but too many people were behind me, so the ball hits me in the shin and kicks toward the green instead of deeper into the crowd for what instead would have been a tough lie behind a tree. Cameras all over me, and Tiger walks up and asks if I'm okay, and of course I was. He shook my hand and thanked me for "helping" him out. It was surreal. After he chips two feet away from the cup and puts out, he's walking into the clubhouse and I ask for his autograph. He tells me he's "in a hurry, sorry" and blows me off. Douche.
/reflecting on my decade in sports, I realize I didn't see a single "great" game in person, which is thoroughly depressing. Though, being a Cubs, Blackhawks, Fighting Irish, and Bears fan, whatamIgonnado? Merry Xmas, queers.
I meant '00. Fuck me, I'm Christmas drunk. Why no edit button?
2006, UCLA vs. USC at the Rose Bowl. USC was on track to head to the national title game. All they had to do was beat a very mediocre UCLA team who was starting a backup QB. As per tradition, the middle sections of the Rose Bowl were filled with blue, while the end zones were red. My buddy and I were in the very fringe of the blue section, where we were forced to listen to USC's band play that stupid fight song approximately 9,473 times. They were even playing it when USC players got hurt.
The game was stunningly close, with UCLA barely hanging on late in the fourth quarter and USC driving. SC got all the way down to the Bruins' 15 when UCLA's Eric McNeil made the play of his life, not only tipping a pass at the line of scrimmage, but turning around, diving and catching it for the clinching pick. As the blue sections of the stadium went crazy, my friend, who hadn't trash talked the whole game, turned to the deathly silent red section and screamed "WHY DON'T YOU PLAY THE FUCKING FIGHT SONG NOW?" The perfect end to a perfect upset.