Assoc. Sports Editor
As I was tossing and turning in my bed on Saturday night, the reflection from the television beckoned my attention. My groggy eyes opened and caught a glimpse of SportsCenter, where they were showing highlights of No. 1 Alabama’s faceoff against No. 4 Auburn. The matchup intrigued me, since, if there was a game that would debunk two-time defending National Champion from their throne, it could well be the run-heavy Auburn squad in this so-called Iron Bowl.
And, boy, did it not disappoint.
After avoiding overtime and salvaging a second to attempt a 57-yard field goal, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban seemed in a good position: it was his team’s game to win.
Or so he thought.
With the kick up, on line and heading towards the field goal posts, Auburn’s balloon of confidence seemed to be expunging air by the second. However, the kick landed one yard short, and a prepared Auburn special teams crew, anchored by return-man Chris Davis, were suddenly on the offensive. Davis caught it nine yards deep into the end zone, bobbed and weaved through Alabama’s dumbfounded field goal unit, and returned it for more than 100 yards for a game-ending, Alabama-dethroning and gasp-inducing touchdown.
“No way,” I exhaled, awkwardly talking to the television in my lonesome and dark bedroom. And then, I started pondering where this particular instance would fall in the all-time mind-bending endings in sports. Here’s a look at (a very miniscule slice) of the competition:
Do you Tyree-ve in miracles?
It was Super Bowl XLII; the New England Patriots were undefeated and one win away from ultimate perfection; and the New York Giants were a measly wild card team. But what occurred in the final three minutes would be the impetus for the upset of all upsets.
Down 10-14, facing a third-and-five, Giants quarterback Eli Manning somehow slipped his way out of several Patriot defenders’ grip and hurled a desperation throw to a no-named—at the time, at least—wide receiver, David Tyree, in triple coverage. Tyree hopped alongside his coverers for the ball, and what would happen afterwards would be placed into Super Bowl history as one of the greatest plays in football history.
The catapulted pass was, indeed caught by Tyree, but via unconventional means. It looked like cheerleaders forming a pyramid with Tyree being the lucky one on top. Reaching up, the ball neared his head, and Tyree quickly snagged it and pinned it on top of his helmet as he was lowered back down by the base of the pyramid.
The play was the highlight of an 83-yard drive, which culminated in a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, to quash the Patriots’ quest for perfection, 17-14, and send Giants fans around the nation in hysteria. The hero of 2008’s Super Bowl unfortunately didn’t fare as well.
Tyree was ungratefully cut during the following offseason.
Evand-ear Holyfield gets bit.
We all know that Mike Tyson may have been the kid to eat glue in preschool and the teenager to sniff glue in high school, but who knew his boxing adversary would need glue after his match with Tyson?
Evander Holyfield has gone down as a boxing legend, but he left a piece of him on the boxing ring—literally.
As a rematch of the much sought-after Holyfield-Tyson fight, in 1997, both of the heavyweights joined together for round two. During round three of the fight, however, Tyson let out his rage on Holyfield’s ears, causing the match to be halted by the referee.
After being warned for chomping on Holyfield’s right ear, Tyson went back to feasting—but, this time, it was the left one. Tyson ripped off a chunk of his opponent’s ear and set in motion Tyson’s disqualification. This was a pique in Tyson’s not-so-ideal career, but, hopefully, with an HBO special and autobiography in the midst, his legacy can be glued back together.
You know, like Holyfield’s ear.
Why America hates Sidney Crosby.
2010 could have been a magical year for the United States’ sports teams. After beating Algeria with a game-winning goal by Landon Donovan during stoppage time, America reestablished itself in soccer, going 1-1-2 and making the Round of 16. Earlier in the year, though, the country had a chance to win big on the ice, rather than the grass.
In the battle for the Gold medal in the Winter Olympics, the US was pitted against Canada, led by Stanley Cup champion and consummate professional hockey player Sidney Crosby.
The game started 2-0 in Canada’s favor, but after the American group surged back and tied it with less than a minute remaining. I—not a fervent follower of hockey, I might add—along with other Americans were dialed in and relishing in our country’s success, but especially of goalie Ryan Miller’s impermeable defense.
And then Crosby happened.
In front of his home crowd, nearly eight minutes into overtime, Crosby scored a Gold-clincher, sending the Americans with a disparaging Silver medal. Flaunting and waving the Canadian flag while gamboling around the ice afterwards, Crosby severed hearts around the nation and indentured an everlasting spite against the Pittsburgh Penguin.
Through the years, Crosby has entertained American hockey fans with his MVP-like play, somewhat tending to our bitter wound left from that year, but the memory will never fully fade.
But, hey, at least we will always have entertaining endings like these—and, well, our ears.