Plays that altered/changed sports history (1 Viewer)

SabresRule

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Apr 15, 2008
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Sometimes, in sports, there is a play or a moment in a game that can change everything- triggered a winning/losing streak, led to a player or team's rise/fall/changing the course of where a team/player goes, etc.

One play. One pitch. One hit. One shot. One moment where everything can change.

Can you recall any such moments?

I'll give you some examples:

1. Adam Vinatieri's 45 yard field goal to send the Raiders-Patriots Snow Bowl playoff game into overtime. If he misses that and the Raiders win the game in regulation, IMHO, the Tuck Rule would have not become a big deal.

2. Dwayne Bowe's failed onside kick recovery- In a 2008 Chargers/Chiefs game, San Diego trailed 21-16. His failure to recover an onside kick led to a Chargers win. The significance? If he recovers that kick, the Chiefs win the game, Denver wins the AFC West and San Diego misses the playoffs. If the Broncos had made the playoffs that year, Cutler/Shanahan would still be in the Mile High City.

3. Alex Rodriguez's ninth-inning homer in game 2 of the 2009 ALDS. His postseason reputation was dramaically altered with this one swing.

4. Scott Norwood's Wide Right. Bills would have had a Super Bowl, the NFC Super Bowl streak would have stopped at 6, and the legacies of Kelly, Reed, Thomas, etc. would have been completely different.

5. John Elway's Helicopter Play. It changed the way his career would be defined, as well as conferences in the Super Bowl. Before this, the NFC won 13 straight of these games- since then, they've triumphed only 3 times on Super Sunday.

5. Dave Roberts's steal of second base. Considering everything that came before and after it, I think it may be the most famous base theft of all time.
 

AntAltMike

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5. Dave Roberts's steal of second base. Considering everything that came before and after it, I think it may be the most famous base theft of all time.

Number 5 is number 1! Without it, not only would the Red Sox have lost, they would have been SWEPT, and the pundits would have "explained" how that Red Sox team was not built for the playoffs. etc., ad nauseum. I saw a great interview of Roberts, where he said that early in his career, Maury Wills told him that, because of what his talents are, there will come a time in his career when he has to steal a base, and everyone in the ballpark will know he has to steal it, but he'll have to steal it anyway. So he won't be deciding, "Do I steal the base?" It will be his job to steal the base. And that is what he did, on a tag play so close that, if the ump had called it the other way, no Red Sox fan really could have complained.

I'd have to put the guy on the hang glider interrupting the Holyfield-Bowe fight as the biggest contributor to a turnaround, since Holyfield was getting pummeled and needed the break.
 

Ramy

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Tim Krumrie getting his leg broke in the open series of the Super Bowl. :(:mad::rant:
 

Ramy

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Major Harris of WVU getting hurt on the 3rd play of the game in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame for the National Championship.
 

SandraC

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Bucky Dent homerun in the 1978 playoff game against the Red Sox.

Mark Messier game tying goal against the Devils in 1994, game six, with the Rangers down three games to two.

The ball that went through Buckner's legs.

The Bartman fly ball in Chicago.

Mariano throwing the ball into centerfield in game seven against the D-Backs in 2001.

Shonn Greene getting hurt early in the second half against the Colts on Sunday.

Christian Laettner with that long shot against UConn in the NCAA tourney.


Sandra
 

AntAltMike

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Bucky Dent homerun in the 1978 playoff game against the Red Sox.
I hadn't thought about it for years, and if you hadn't brought it up, I would have been happy to go through the rest of my life without ever thinking about it again.

The ball that went through Buckner's legs.
OVER-RATED! OVER-RATED! It was already a tie game at that point. Even if he fielded it, either team could have won.

It did throw a lot of New England barrooms into chaos, since they had already started setting up the house.

Christian Laettner with that long shot against UConn in the NCAA tourney.
I'm afraid I can't include any basketball buzzer beater on my list because that is the way basketball games naturally end a few dozen times a year. Something like that would have to happen in a game like Princeton/Georgetown for it to be that significant.

An afterthought: Van Velde triple-bogeying the 72nd hole at the British Open.
 

SandraC

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Oh my goodness, how could I mention game six and leave out Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!

Devils/Rangers semifinals, game seven at the Garden. Rangers leading 1-0 most of the game, Devils tie it with six seconds left. Six freaking seconds! Valeri Zelepukin scored it, and it almost literally made me puke.

My mom, who was not the biggest sports fan but got caught up in the Stanley Cup run because of my dad, my brothers and me, is so mad she goes upstairs crying during intermission.

Devils/Rangers allegiance is 50/50 on the Jersey Shore, and even she doesn't want to hear from Devil fans if we lose.

One overtime, numerous chances each way. A couple of posts for each team, the goalies are somehow keeping their teams in it.

Another intermission. My mother is asleep. Downstairs we can't take it. Being Ranger fans we of course focus on the negative, and we talk about how painful the loss will be. Six freaking seconds away from advancing, and we don't. You always joke about winning and misery, and this is the ultimate example.

Into the second OT, Matteau circles the net on a wraparound and banks it in off Brodeur. Our house (not to mention all of NY and half of NJ) erupts. As my dad and brothers tackle each other, I go running upstairs to tell my mom. We have 12 stairs, I think my feet hit two or three of them at the most. Mom wakes up, now she's crying because we won.

It's around midnight, but the phone starts ringing and won't stop for hours. Outside you can hear fireworks and horns honking, and this is partly Devils territory. I can't imagine what it was like in Brooklyn, Queens, etc., let alone in the Garden itself.

The next day, people are calling WFAN, and women are comparing what they went through last night with giving birth. Men are calling and comparing it to being in Vietnam.

It was the ultimate changing of sports history.


Sandra
 

hancox

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Christian Laettner with that long shot against UConn in the NCAA tourney.


Sandra

The play preceding it was maybe as important. Tate George (whose preceding game heroics could also be on this list) had a gift steal to seal the game, and UConn's first Final 4. He started running before catching it, and the rest is history.
 

AntAltMike

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Oh my goodness, how could I mention game six and leave out Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!...

Doesn't she host the show that follows Keith Olbermann's? I've never heard of any other Matteau. You can't put a hockey incident on the list because over 90% of the people in this country don't even know what hockey is. Who here ever played hockey in gymclass?
 

SandraC

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You can't put a hockey incident on the list because over 90% of the people in this country don't even know what hockey is.

:p

I didn't know the sports history police were going to be deciding what makes the list and what doesn't. And I don't vote for you to be the police.


Sandra
 

Ira Lacher

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May 9, 2008
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Montreal Canadiens' vaunted power play of 1955-56. The following season, the NHL changed the rule so a minor penalty ended when a team scored a power-play goal.

The Wayne Maki/Ted Green stick-swinging incident during an exhibition game in 1969. The fallout caused the NHL to seriously clamp down on using the stick.
 

cosmo_kramer

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It's not really a single play (although a critical one (Tuck rule) does come to mind ;)), but what about the use of instant replay in sports and the number of important plays it could have corrected before it was implemented?? And, conversely, the calls that did get corrected that otherwise would have been left to be wrong.

The infamous Tuck rule play hinged on replay because IIRC the play was originally ruled a fumble but overturned on replay....
 

HD MM

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The 2009 NFL Draft, selection #5 overall. If the Browns don't trade their draft pick to the Jets who subsequently drafted Mark Sanchez, do they go onto having as much success as they did this year with Kellen Clemens?
 

AntAltMike

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The 2009 NFL Draft, selection #5 overall. If the Browns don't trade their draft pick to the Jets who subsequently drafted Mark Sanchez, do they go onto having as much success as they did this year with Kellen Clemens?

Oh, yeah? Oh, year? Well, if Utah hadn't announced that it was going to take Darrell Griffith with its #2 pick in the 1980 NBA draft, then the Celtics never could have traded #1 (Joe Barry Carroll) and #13 (Rickey Brown) for #3 (Kevin McHale) and Robert Parish.

I don't think yours or mine qualify.
 

SandraC

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The 2009 NFL Draft, selection #5 overall. If the Browns don't trade their draft pick to the Jets who subsequently drafted Mark Sanchez, do they go onto having as much success as they did this year with Kellen Clemens?

Mark Sanchez...Kellen Clemens...JAMARCUS RUSSELL...Conan O'Brien,...Paul Wozniak, it's been argued here ad nauseum, it's not about the QB, it's about the TEAM around him! :rolleyes:


Sandra
 

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